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Morning Consult Energy: Extensive Overhauls Expected at U.S. Refineries in 2nd Quarter


Top Stories

  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects total refining production to decline in April by 8.5 percent compared with the start of 2019 as U.S. oil refiners prepare to make plant overhauls in the second quarter. U.S. refinery maintenance tends to be higher in early spring and winter, but refiners are currently conducting more upgrades than usual to prevent autumn and winter shutdowns as they work to meet upcoming low-sulfur standards. (Reuters)
  • Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has registered as an energy and natural resources lobbyist in Indiana with RailPoint Solutions LLC as his only client, according to filings with the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission. No company called RailPoint Solutions is registered to conduct business in Indiana, but a search of Delaware business records shows an incorporation date of Jan. 22 for the company. (Indianapolis Star)
  • Tesla Inc. and Boring Co. Chief Executive Elon Musk has proposed building two 35-mile tunnels from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., that would use autonomous Tesla vehicles or cars from corporate allies to transport commuters at speeds up to 150 miles per hour between the two cities in 15 minutes. An environmental review of the proposal conducted by federal and Maryland transportation officials does not offer details on cost, safety and practicality, and the report indicates the project “would not change travel patterns in the region.” (The Washington Post)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

04/22/2019
Institute of World Politics Event on the New Dynamics of Energy Security 4:00 pm
04/23/2019
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Strategic Programmatic Overview of the Fuel Facilities and the Nuclear Materials Users Business Lines 10:00 am
Columbia University Event: Women in Energy and Development: A Practitioner’s View 6:00 pm
04/24/2019
Electric Power Conference and Exhibition
North American Carbon World
University of Chicago Panel on Lower Emissions, Competitive Prices: Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver?
Utility Energy Forum
The National Capital Area Chapter of the United States Association for Energy Economics Annual Spring Conference 8:00 am
POLITICO Event on Disaster Relief in an Era of Extreme Weather 8:00 am
SEIA Codes & Standards Symposium 8:30 am
U.S. Energy Association and SPE International joint briefing on energy sustainability: the pride of the oil and gas industry 11:30 am
Environmental and Energy Study Institute Event on Hydropower: A New Look at Opportunities for America’s First Renewable Energy Resource 2:00 pm
04/25/2019
North American Carbon World
California Solar Power Expo
Utility Energy Forum
Wilson Center Event on Ambitions Beyond Growth: Sustainable Development Goals in Asia and the UN 10:00 am
Information Technology & Innovation Foundation Event on the End of the Road for Gas Taxes: The Case for Switching to Road User Charges 10:00 am
Nuclear Regulatory Commission open house on the Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant Performance and Construction Inspection of New Units 6:00 pm
04/26/2019
North American Carbon World
California Solar Power Expo
Utility Energy Forum
Global CCS Institute, Carbon Capture Coalition and Carbon Utilization Research Council Carbon Capture 101 Briefing 11:30 am
American Gas Association Natural Gas Roundtable Panel Discussion on the Resilience and Reliability of Natural Gas 12:00 pm
View full calendar

The Brands That Define American Culture and Commerce

Morning Consult analyzed over 400,000 survey interviews to determine this year’s rankings. See who made the list.

General

Mueller report reveals Russian efforts to target US coal jobs
Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill

Russian social media accounts focused on U.S. division over coal jobs as part of an effort to sway the 2016 presidential election, according to the newly released report from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Tesla and Elon Musk Are Given Week to Reach Accord With S.E.C.
The New York Times

Elon Musk has another week to work out his latest dispute with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Carlos Ghosn to be indicted on additional charge as early as Monday: NHK
Chris Gallagher and Elaine Lies, Reuters

Tokyo prosecutors are likely to indict former Nissan Motor Co Ltd Chairman Carlos Ghosn on an additional charge of aggravated breach of trust as early as Monday when his current detention period expires, public broadcaster NHK reported on Friday.

Stocks Mixed in Holiday Hit Trading; Dollar Steady: Markets Wrap
Cormac Mullen and Todd White, Bloomberg

Stocks in Asia traded mixed Friday after modest gains in their U.S. counterparts, ahead of a holiday weekend in many countries. The dollar was little changed.

Oil and Natural Gas

Trump talks oil supply, Iran sanctions with Abu Dhabi crown prince: White House
Meghan Gordon, S&P Global Platts

US President Donald Trump spoke Thursday with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince about the UAE’s “contributions to the global energy markets as a reliable supplier of oil,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

Exclusive: Venezuela skirts U.S. sanctions by funneling oil sales via Russia
Marianna Parraga, Reuters

President Nicolas Maduro is funneling cashflow from Venezuelan oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft as he seeks to evade U.S. sanctions designed to oust him from power, according to sources and documents reviewed by Reuters.

Utilities and Infrastructure

CenterPoint Energy Hires Georgia Power Finance Chief
Tatyana Shumsky, The Wall Street Journal

Energy delivery company CenterPoint Energy Inc. named Xia Liu, the finance chief of Georgia Power, to lead its finance team.

Cooler weather will cut power costs for households this summer
L.M. Sixel, Houston Chronicle

Cooler than usual temperatures are expected to lower electricity bills for U.S. households this summer. But higher electricity rates will eat up some of that savings as utilities pass along the cost of investments they’re making to expand transmission and generation capacity.

Renewables

Green energy jobs are better-paid but lack diversity
Ben Geman, Axios

Employment in low-carbon energy fields is better-paid than average jobs and is widely available to workers without college degrees, a new Brookings Institution analysis shows.

Faster than a fighter jet: The $2.5 million Pininfarina Battista electric hypercar debuts in New York
Mack Hogan, CNBC

While other automakers packed the Javits Center for the New York International Auto Show, Automobili Pininfarina launched one of the week’s most exciting car debuts at an off-site event.

Coal

Coal Prices Are Up and U.S. Miners Still Can’t Catch a Break
Will Wade, Bloomberg

The global coal markets have been on a tear lately. And America’s miners are still tanking.

Nuclear

Federal Court Vacates Parts of Obama EPA’s ELG Rule
Sonal Patel, Power Magazine

In a legal victory for environmental groups, a federal court has vacated key portions of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) November 2015-promulgated effluent limitations guidelines (ELGs) for steam electric power plants, deeming them “unlawful.”

Climate

We Asked the 2020 Democrats About Climate Change (Yes, All of Them). Here Are Their Ideas.
Lisa Friedman and Maggie Astor, The New York Times

For Democrats vying to unseat President Trump, acknowledging climate change is easy. Deciding what to do about it is the hard part.

Climate change finds new momentum with voters
Miranda Green, The Hill

Environmentalists and lawmakers are praising a Democratic messaging blitz that they say has put the problem of global warming back at the forefront of the national conversation.

NYC Climate Bill Targets Trump Tower, Other Skyscrapers
Henry Goldman and Chris Martin, Bloomberg

New York City has passed sweeping legislation to curb energy demand from some of its most iconic skyscrapers, including Trump Tower.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

Trump’s North American trade agreement will promote US energy leadership
Aaron Padilla, Washington Examiner

Trade with Canada and Mexico supports 11 million U.S. jobs, benefiting every state and every corner of the economy. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, manufacturing sales supports jobs in 43,000 U.S. manufacturing firms. Canada and Mexico are top markets for American farmers, buying nearly one-third of U.S. agricultural exports.

Fed Policy Makers Take Notice of Climate Change’s Implications for Economic Outlook
Michael S. Derby, The Wall Street Journal

The Federal Reserve is starting to take notice of climate change and its implications for the U.S. economic outlook.

PG&E creates world-class hangover for wind and solar investors
John Dizard, Financial Times

Californians like to think they show the rest of the country the way to a clean energy future. Inconveniently, utility power purchase agreements (PPAs), which have been the principal economic model for renewable energy in the state, face legal collapse within two weeks.

Research Reports

EIA expects 2019 summer average residential electricity use to be lowest in five years
U.S. Energy Information Administration

EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts that the typical U.S. residential household will consume about 3,080 kilowatthours of electricity this summer (June through August), down 5% from the average summer consumption in 2018. If this forecast is realized, it would be the lowest level of electricity consumption per customer since 2014 and the second-lowest level since 2001.