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Morning Consult Energy: IEA Lowers Oil Demand Growth Amid Supply Uncertainty


Top Stories

  • The International Energy Agency said that oil supply projections are “confusing” amid reduced Iranian, Venezuelan and Libyan production and the recent contaminated crude shipments from Russia. The IEA lowered its 2019 oil demand growth by 90,000 barrels per day to 1.3 million bpd. (Financial Times)
  • House Democrats released draft appropriations legislation that would fund the Environmental Protection Agency with $9.5 billion next fiscal year, or $672 million more than enacted for fiscal 2019, and provide the Interior Department with $13.8 billion — $2.4 billion higher than President Donald Trump’s budget request. Another draft spending bill would provide the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program with $59 million above previously enacted levels. (The Hill)
  • In a speech at the site of the Cameron LNG export terminal in Hackberry, La., Trump called Democrats’ Green New Deal resolution “a hoax” and said its supporters “don’t like clean, beautiful natural gas.” Trump also touted his administration’s executive and regulatory actions to streamline domestic oil and gas development. (The New York Times)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

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
Recharge Thought Leadership Forum 10:30 am
05/21/2019
American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER Conference
DLA Energy Worldwide Energy Conference
LIGHTFAIR International Conference
House Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee hearing on U.S. transportation infrastructure and climate change 10:00 am
Atlantic Council Event on US Nuclear Energy Leadership: Innovation and the Strategic Global Challenge 2:00 pm
05/22/2019
American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER Conference
DLA Energy Worldwide Energy Conference
LIGHTFAIR International Conference
CO2NNECT Conference
House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Hearing on Policies, Recommendations, and Impacts of the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request 10:00 am
Energy Secretary Rick Perry scheduled to testify at House Science, Space and Technology hearing on the FY2020 Budget Request 10:00 am
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 tests Joe Biden as he confronts a major question for Democrats: Is any compromise too much?
Matt Viser, The Washington Post

Joe Biden has spent the past two days attempting to push back against liberal criticism over his stance on climate change, pointing to decades-long environmental work in an effort to blunt the first major ideological skirmish of his presidential campaign.

EPA officials met with law firm in groundwater case
Ariel Wittenberg and Ellen M. Gilmer, E&E News

Ken Kopocis, who led the Office of Water during the Obama administration, said it was “odd” for Ross to meet with attorneys involved in active litigation.

U.S. leaves rare earths, critical minerals off China tariff list
Tom Daly, Reuters

The United States has again decided not to impose tariffs on rare earths and other critical minerals from China, underscoring its reliance on the Asian nation for a group of materials used in everything from consumer electronics to military equipment.

Murphy administration sues DuPont, 3M and other companies over toxic firefighting foam
Scott Fallon, North Jersey Record

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal actions taken against the chemical manufacturers over widespread pollution caused by PFAS: a group of toxic chemicals including PFOA and PFOS that have been in everyday use for almost 80 years

Oil prices fall as U.S. inventories rise, but Middle East tensions support
Ahmad Ghaddar, Reuters

Oil fell on Wednesday after data showed a surprise rise in U.S. crude inventories and the U.S.-Chinese trade dispute threatened oil demand, although Middle East tensions capped losses.

Oil and Natural Gas

Attacks to Raise Security, Insurance Costs for Persian Gulf Oil Shipments
Benoit Faucon and Summer Said, The Wall Street Journal

Recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil tankers and pipelines are set to increase the cost of insuring and securing crude shipments in the Persian Gulf region, added expenses that will likely lead to higher oil prices, industry executives said.

Texas petrochemical facility with March blaze has flash fire
The Associated Press

A company that owns a Houston-area petrochemical storage facility that burned for days in March says it quickly extinguished a small fire that broke out at the facility during ongoing cleanup efforts. Intercontinental Terminals Company says the flash fire happened at 11:45 a.m.

Mozambique authorizes Exxon Mobil’s Rovuma LNG project
Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle

The Rovuma LNG project aims to process natural gas produced from three offshore reservoirs in East Africa, and then market that LNG around the world.

In World’s Top Oil Play, a Driller Bets Big on Gas Liquids
Rachel Adams-Heard, Bloomberg

In September 2016, Apache said it had made an “immense” find in the Alpine High, with the promise of at least 3 billion barrels of oil in place in two of the five formations.

Utilities and Infrastructure

Texas Startup Letting Homeowners Buy Wholesale Power Gets Funding to Expand
Gerald Porter Jr. and Chris Martin, Bloomberg

Power giant Electricite de France SA took an equity stake in Griddy Energy LLC, a Texas-based supplier that lets homeowners buy electricity at real-time wholesale prices. The investment from EDF will allow Griddy to expand beyond Texas into New York and the grid stretching across 13 states from New Jersey to Illinois, Chief Executive Officer Greg Craig said in an interview.

The Energy Industry’s Secret Campaign to Get Us to Build More Power Plants
Michael Isaac Stein, The Nation

It’s a scheme designed to imitate the appearance of genuine grassroots support while obscuring the actual decision makers and funders. But industry insiders say that the ploys are becoming both more frequent and audacious.

Renewables

U.S. Senate moves forward on plan to develop electric vehicle supply chain
Ernest Scheyder, Reuters

U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday moved closer to developing a national electric vehicle supply chain policy, with senators voicing bipartisan support for legislation designed to parry China’s dominance in metals production and battery manufacturing.

Democrats Try to Extend Wind, Solar Aid They Agreed to Let Die
Ari Natter, Bloomberg

Tax credits worth billions of dollars for the wind and solar industries are set to expire or begin phasing out next year — part of a 2015 deal Democrats struck that ended a 40-year-old ban on the export of crude oil. But some Democrats are seeking to extend the credits, saying President Donald Trump’s tariffs on solar panels and moves to roll back Obama-era climate-related policies has changed the equation.

Volvo taps Asia’s LG Chem, CATL for long-term battery supplies
Cynthia Kim and Yilei Sun, Reuters

Swedish carmaker Volvo said on Wednesday it had signed long-term battery supply deals with Asian firms LG Chem and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), as it pushes its EV target of 50 percent of sales by 2025.

ChargePoint sounds alarm on electric vehicle charging standards
Douglas Busvine, Reuters

A leading operator of charging stations has sounded the alarm on a proposed technical standard that it says could hamper mass adoption of electric vehicles by making it harder to charge them at home or at work.

Coal

With Billions at Stake, Utilities Fight to Charge Coal-Ash Costs
David R. Baker  and Jim Efstathiou Jr., Bloomberg

Officials from Virginia to North Carolina to South Carolina are pushing back on utilities’ plans to charge customers for the costs of shuttering coal-ash ponds, long the primary way of storing residue from coal-fired power plants.

Nuclear

Annual DOE funding bill includes no funds for Yucca Mountain
Humberto Sanchez, The Nevada Independent

A bill to fund the Department of Energy does not include any funding to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, according to the text of the legislation released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Santee Cooper sues VC Summer contractor Westinghouse over abandoned nuclear equipment
Avery G. Wilks, The State

The state-owned utility’s legal battle with Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Electric Co. is important to the two million South Carolinians who get Santee Cooper’s power, either directly or through an electric cooperative that buys and distributes it.

Climate

New CEO push on climate-change policy
Amy Harder, Axios

The initiative, the CEO Climate Dialogue, features CEOs from oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell, as well as from companies across the economy including Citi, Dominion Energy and Ford Motor Company. The Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy are among the environmental groups that helped convene the group.

Heating up: Investors’ green targets go beyond just big oil
Stan Choe, The Associated Press

In the next few weeks, Amazon shareholders will vote on a proposal made by one of their own to push the company to describe how it’s curbing its use of fossil fuels. In California, investors of Ross Stores are asking the retailer of off-price clothing to set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In Flood-Hit Midwest, Mayors See Climate Change as a Subject Best Avoided
Mitch Smith and John Schwartz, The New York Times

The disasters have renewed national attention on how climate change can exacerbate flooding and how cities can prepare for a future with more extreme weather. But in some of the hardest-hit areas, where bolstering flood protection and helping the displaced are popular bipartisan causes, there is little appetite for bringing climate change — and the political baggage it carries — into the discussion.

Single-use plastics a serious climate change hazard, study warns
Sandra Laville, The Guardian

The report says plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is managed as a waste product.

These Are the Cities Doing the Most to Combat Global Warming
Jeremy Hodges and Demetrios Pogkas, Bloomberg

Cities, which are home to more than half the world’s population, are stepping up efforts to slash pollution, often wresting the fight against climate change away from national governments.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

House Democrats must choose economically viable solutions on climate change
U.S. Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kan.), The Hill

The House Ways and Means Committee will take up the subject of climate change in a hearing this week. If the House Democrat’s agenda – and the campaign speeches of their presidential candidates – are any indication, the hearing may be heavy on scare tactics and light on real, viable solutions.

Allowing DERs to participate in wholesale markets does not trample state and local authority
Ted Thomas and Jeff Dennis, Utility Dive

The rapid deployment of technologies like onsite renewable energy generation, battery storage, fuel cells and electric vehicles, along with enabling consumer devices and software controls, promises to bring significant benefits not only to the customers deploying them, but also for the electricity grid as a whole.

A Decisive Year for the Sunrise Movement and the Green New Deal
Osita Nwanevu, The New Yorker

Six months ago on Tuesday, climate activists with the Sunrise Movement, joined by the incoming congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, held a sit-in at the office of the incoming House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, demanding that House Democrats establish a committee to draft a Green New Deal.

Research Reports

Innovation Outlook: Smart charging for electric vehicles
International Renewable Energy Agency

Electric vehicles (EVs) hold the key to unleash synergies between clean transport and low-carbon electricity. Just as future transport must be increasingly electrified, future power systems must make maximum use of variable renewable energy sources. Smart charging for EVs minimises their load impact and unlocks the flexibility to use more solar and wind power.