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Morning Consult Energy: Drone Attacks Hit Two Saudi Arabian Pumping Stations


Top Stories

  • Armed drones attacked two pump stations along a pipeline run by the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., according to Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, who said the pipeline’s operation was temporarily halted as a precaution from the “limited” damage. The attacks follow a different set of strikes on Saudi oil tankers near the United Arab Emirates on Sunday and contributed to an oil price increase of 1.5 percent to $71.31 per barrel for Brent crude. (Bloomberg)
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden (D), who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination for 2020, said he would give “a major speech in detail” by the end of the month over his environmental priorities, while also calling for a rational and affordable “green revolution.” Biden’s campaign has disputed an earlier report’s characterization of his forthcoming climate plan as seeking a middle ground. (The New York Times)
  • In a third legal defeat over glyphosate, a jury in Oakland, Calif., ordered Bayer AG to pay more than $2 billion in damages to two individuals who claimed that the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, made by Bayer’s Monsanto Co., caused their cancer. Bayer, which still faces more than 13,000 similar claims in the United States, has pledged to appeal the court’s decision. (Financial Times)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

05/14/2019
7th Annual Infrastructure Week
Argus Natural Gas Summit – Monetization Strategies
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Briefing on Digital Instrumentation and Control
DNV GL Energy Executive Forum
Greentech Media Solar Summit 2019
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Hearing on Mineral Security and Related Legislation 10:00 am
CSIS Global Cooling Prize event 2:00 pm
Senate Public Lands, Forests and Mining Subcommittee Hearing on lands bills 2:30 pm
The Wilderness Society Too Wild to Drill Reception 5:00 pm
05/15/2019
7th Annual Infrastructure Week
Defense Strategies Institute Expeditionary Power and Energy Summit
DNV GL Energy Executive Forum
Greentech Media Solar Summit 2019
POLITICO’s Reinventing American Energy: Modernizing U.S. Power Infrastructure for a Clean Energy Future 8:00 am
Senate Environment and Public Works Hearing on Oversight of the Council on Environmental Quality 10:00 am
House Ways and Means Hearing on the Economic and Health Consequences of Climate Change 10:00 am
House Natural Resources Hearing on the Interior Budget and Policy Priorities for FY 2020 10:00 am
House Science, Space and Technology Hearing on Advancing the Next Generation of Solar and Wind Energy Technologies 10:00 am
House Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Hearing on Protecting Americans at Risk of PFAS Contamination and Exposure 10:30 am
House National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee Hearing Examining the Impacts of Climate Change on Public Lands Recreation 2:00 pm
House Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee Hearing on the Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act 2:00 pm
05/16/2019
7th Annual Infrastructure Week
Defense Strategies Institute Expeditionary Power and Energy Summit
DNV GL Energy Executive Forum
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission open meeting 10:00 am
House Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Hearing on Oil and Gas Development: Impacts of Water Pollution Above and Below Ground 10:00 am
Bipartisan Policy Center Event: EPA’s Role in Building Critical Infrastructure 10:00 am
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Hearing to Examine CCUS and to Receive Testimony on Legislation 10:00 am
Senate Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather Subcommittee Hearing on Atmospheric Science Research and Forecasting Innovation 10:00 am
Energy Department and Nuclear Energy Institute Atomic Wings Event on Advanced Manufacturing and Nuclear Energy Applications 11:30 pm
Atlantic Council Event: The Future of Energy Storage 12:00 pm
Atlantic Council Event on the Future of Energy Storage 12:00 pm
House Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee Hearing Examining the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Proposal for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Geological Survey 2:00 pm
House Science, Space and Technology Hearing on the Future of Forecasting 2:00 pm
U.S. Energy Association Briefing on CCUS Deployment 2:00 pm
Stanford University Environmental Forum with David J. Vogel 3:30 pm
05/17/2019
7th Annual Infrastructure Week
05/18/2019
7th Annual Infrastructure Week
05/20/2019
7th Annual Infrastructure Week
05/21/2019
American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER Conference
DLA Energy Worldwide Energy Conference
LIGHTFAIR International Conference
Atlantic Council Event on US Nuclear Energy Leadership: Innovation and the Strategic Global Challenge 2:00 pm
View full calendar

Morning Consult’s Governor Approval Rankings

The definitive ranking of every governor’s approval in America, based on over 470,000 survey interviews.

Morning Consult is also tracking every senator’s approval, as well as the 2020 Democratic primary and Donald Trump’s approval. See more.

General

Climate change takes center stage for Schumer
Anthony Adragna, Politico

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is vowing to keep a sharp focus on climate change, pressing what he views as one of the Democrats’ best advantages over Republicans in the 2020 election.

Trump pick to head FEMA sent to Senate for confirmation
Brett Samuels, The Hill

President Trump on Monday formally nominated Jeffrey Byard to serve as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), three months after the previous administrator resigned.

5 questions about the Interior-EPA, Energy-Water bills
George Cahlink, E&E News

Already, House Democrats have backed top-line increases for those measures — 4% for Energy-Water and 4.5% for Interior-EPA.

AOC and Bernie Sanders rally against ‘middle ground’ on Green New Deal
Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner

Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders headlined a rally for the liberal Green New Deal in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Sunrise Movement, a group of young climate change activists.

Top Democrat calls for GAO to investigate climate threat
Miranda Green, The Hill

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, sent five separate letters to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Monday to open up as many studies into how global warming is affecting areas that the federal government oversees

Carlos Ghosn Got $20 Million From a Saudi Friend, Prosecutors Say
Sean McLain, The Wall Street Journal

The new element adds to a charge first laid out in December, in which prosecutors alleged the former Nissan Motor Co. chairman tapped a personal friend, Saudi Arabian businessman Khaled Al Juffali, for financial support.

Oil and Natural Gas

U.S. Says Iran Likely Behind Ship Attacks
Summer Said et al., The Wall Street Journal

An initial U.S. assessment indicated Iran likely was behind the attack on two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and two other vessels damaged over the weekend near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. official said, a finding that, if confirmed, would further inflame military tensions in the Persian Gulf.

Senators Draft Bill to Sanction Work on Nord Stream 2 Pipeline
Nick Wadhams and Daniel Flatley, Bloomberg

Texas Republican Ted Cruz and New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, drafted the measure to increase pressure on Russia and one of its most important exports.

U.S. Energy Department says oil markets well supplied after attack on ships off UAE
Timothy Gardner, Reuters

The U.S. Energy Department said on Monday that global oil markets are well supplied despite the attack on Sunday that damaged four vessels off the UAE coast, two of them oil tankers from Saudi Arabia.

Natural gas industry raises alarm over Trump’s trade war with China
Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner

“We are deeply troubled by the ratcheting up of China’s tariff and would like to see the two countries reach a resolution quickly, which is in the best interest of all parties,” said Charlie Riedl, the executive director of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas.

Iran insists on ramping up oil sales to stay in nuclear pact: sources
Bozorgmehr Sharafedin et al., Reuters

Iran insists on exporting at least 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil, triple May’s expected levels under U.S. sanctions, as a condition for staying in an international nuclear deal, sources with knowledge of Iran-EU talks said.

Utilities and Infrastructure

San Francisco May Make PG&E a Multibillion-Dollar Offer in Weeks
By Romy Varghese et al., Bloomberg

Mayor London Breed told the utility owner in March that the city may submit a formal offer for its electric distribution system in San Francisco “within the coming months” if the acquisition proves feasible, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission said in the report Monday.

US oil, LNG export buildout takes shape on Gulf Coast
Corey Paul et al., S&P Global Platts

The US energy sector is piecing together an infrastructure puzzle to connect booming onshore oil and natural gas production with export markets around the world. The pipeline buildout from the Permian and Williston basins is well underway, and the next missing piece is at the water’s edge, mostly in Texas and Louisiana.

PG&E proposes court order for CEO, board to tour town destroyed by wildfire
Jim Christie and Rama Venkat, Reuters

PG&E Corp on Monday submitted a proposed order to a U.S. District Court judge that would require the power provider’s chief executive and board to visit the California town of Paradise by July 15, to see the destruction caused by a wildfire in November that may be linked to the company’s equipment.

US power sector recognizes cyber risks, but violations show enforcement issues
HJ Mai, Utility Dive

Industry, regulators and others are all well aware of the risks associated with outdated and vulnerable IT systems. But as a string of recent cyber rule violations has shown, the regulatory framework requires refinement to prevent a large-scale attack.

Renewables

Falling renewables investment stalls Paris climate goals
Anjli Raval and Leslie Hook, Financial Times

The world is moving in the opposite direction of the Paris climate pact goals, with investment in renewable energy falling for the second consecutive year in 2018 and spending on fossil fuel extraction rising, the world’s energy watchdog has warned.

U.S. faces hurdles in push to build electric vehicle supply chain
Ernest Scheyder, Reuters

The United States faces stiff challenges as it moves to create its own electric vehicle supply chain, industry analysts say, with the extent of the country’s metal reserves largely unknown and only a few facilities to process minerals and produce batteries.

Coal

Massachusetts coal plant to be redeveloped into offshore wind hub with 400 MW of storage
Jared Anderson, S&P Global Platts

The former 1,493-MW Brayton Point coal-fired power plant site in Massachusetts is being redeveloped into an offshore wind power support center that will include 400 MW of battery storage, the site owners and developers said Monday.

China, Japan and South Korea, while vowing to go green at home, promote coal abroad
Shashank Bengalik, Los Angeles Times

In the last-ditch global battle against climate change, China, Japan and South Korea have joined other industrialized nations in promising to reduce their use of fossil fuels. Yet even as they take steps to promote renewable energy at home, these three countries are facing growing scrutiny for financing dozens of new coal-fired power plants in foreign countries.

Nuclear

Nuclear Subsidies Still on the Table in Pennsylvania
Christen Smith, RTO Insider

An earnest attempt to save Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island fell apart last week, but that doesn’t mean state lawmakers will abandon support for nuclear subsidies altogether.

Climate

Fossil Fuels Ally Uses New White House Rule to Try to Shatter Foundation of U.S. Climate Policies
Marianne Lacelle, InsideClimate News

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank and steadfast ally of the fossil fuel industry, filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), seeking to block the agency from continuing to use the so-called “endangerment finding” adopted by the agency in 2009 as a basis for policymaking.

Today’s floods occur along ‘a very different’ Mississippi
Daniel Cusick, E&E News

Experts say the new floods come faster and more furiously than their 20th-century counterparts. They last longer and are less predictable.

New York mayor threatens to fine Trump Organization over pollution
Daniel Trotta, Reuters

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is considering a run for the White House in 2020, on Monday threatened to fine the Trump Organization $2.1 million a year starting in 2030 unless the president’s business reduces emissions from its buildings.

Beef cattle get a genetic makeover for a warming world
Marc Heller, E&E News

A researcher at the University of Florida, Mateescu is tweaking cattle genes to try to unlock one of the mysteries of Southern agriculture: developing a breed that can withstand the hot, humid weather that has become more pronounced due to climate change while still producing high-quality beef.

Merkel vows to make Germany CO2 neutral by 2050
Joseph Nasr, Reuters

Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Tuesday to draw up a roadmap to make Germany CO2 neutral by 2050, urging a climate cabinet she chairs to find the best way to reach that goal.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

The Real Reason You’re Not Driving an Electric Car
Anjani Trivedi, Bloomberg

Before getting carried away with images of electric cars racing down roadways and crowding out gas guzzlers, there’s a stark reality to consider: Vehicles that appeal to swaths of consumers remain few and far between, and those on the road are still too expensive.

Research Reports

Hurricanes, Climate Change Policies and Electoral Accountability
Stefano Gagliarducci et al., The National Bureau of Economic Research

This paper studies how politicians and voters respond to new information on the threats of climate change. Using data on the universe of federal disaster declarations between 1989 and 2014, we document that congress members from districts hit by a hurricane are more likely to support bills promoting more environmental regulation and control in the year after the disaster.