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Morning Consult Energy: OPEC Again Cuts 2019 Oil Demand Growth Forecast

Top Stories

  • Oil producers face less strain to shore up losses in crude oil supply from Venezuela and Iran as oil demand growth moderates in 2019, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ monthly oil report. OPEC forecast that global oil demand next year would rise by 1.41 million barrels per day, 20,000 bpd less than its estimate last month and its second straight reduction in its 2019 forecast. (Reuters)
  • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a memo requiring Interior agencies to develop action plans in 90 days that “defer to the states” over fish and wildlife management, when appropriate, across 780,000 square miles of land overseen by the department. According to the memo, Deputy Interior Secretary David Bernhardt will have 120 days to consult with the state agencies and release an implementation plan. (E&E News
  • Natural gas producers, shippers and midstream firms in the Northeast are facing a potential loss of 2 billion cubic feet of gas supplies per day in the area for several days due to Hurricane Florence, according to analyst estimates. Florence’s heavy rainfall could result in flooding and shut-ins and could delay regional pipeline construction and repairs. (Platts)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Air Sensors International Conference 7 a.m.
Department of Energy National Cleanup Workshop 7 a.m.
Mid-Atlantic Bioenergy Conference and Expo 8 a.m.
Platts Annual NGLs Conference 8 a.m.
Global Climate Action Summit 9 a.m.
National Coal Council Fall Annual Meeting 10:30 a.m.
Atlantic Council discussion on local climate action in California 3 p.m.
Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment event on women in the energy sector 6 p.m.
Department of Energy National Cleanup Workshop 7 a.m.
National Coal Council Fall Annual Meeting 7 a.m.
Air Sensors International Conference 8 a.m.
Mid-Atlantic Bioenergy Conference and Expo 8 a.m.
Global Climate Action Summit 9 a.m.
Environmental Business Council New England update from EPA Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn 9:15 a.m.
House Science, Space and Technology Oversight and Environment Joint Subcommittee hearing on glider trucks 10 a.m.
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing on innovation in transportation 10 a.m.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing on the role of U.S. LNG to meet European demand 10 a.m.
Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on advanced nuclear reactors 10 a.m.
House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee hearing on wildfires’ impact on air quality 1 p.m.
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions session on carbon neutrality 3 p.m.
Northeast Energy and Commerce Association dinner meeting legislative update 4 p.m.
Women’s Energy Network launch event 6 p.m.
Air Sensors International Conference 8 a.m.
Mid-Atlantic Bioenergy Conference and Expo 8 a.m.
Global Climate Action Summit 9 a.m.
American Bar Association webinar on Judge Brett Kavanaugh and recent energy and environment cases 12 p.m.

New Poll: Consumers React to Nike’s New Ad Featuring Colin Kaepernick

Real-time brand tracking data reveals a sharp drop in favorability and purchasing consideration.


What’s in the Final VA, Energy, Legislative Branch Minibus
Jack Fitzpatrick, Bloomberg Government

The measure would give a big boost to Department of Energy nuclear security programs. Energy Department weapons activities, defense nuclear nonproliferation and naval reactor programs would receive $15.23 billion, a $560 million increase over the current fiscal year.

House and Senate negotiators reach agreement on water infrastructure bill
Emily Birnbaum, The Hill

Senate and House lawmakers on Monday night reached an agreement on a bipartisan water infrastructure bill that will reauthorize billions of dollars in federal spending on ports, harbors, and waterways as well as deauthorize inefficient spending on water projects.

Devin Nunes claims Russia is financing environmentalism
Scott Waldman, E&E News

Russia is secretly funding the environmental movement, particularly in Germany, to help pressure the closure of nuclear power plants, he claimed during the latest episode of his personal podcast.

EPA assessing vulnerability of at least 9 toxic sites in Florence’s projected path
Rene Marsh et al., CNN

Hurricane Florence, with its strong winds and massive storm surge, threatens to release toxic chemicals from hazardous waste sites that the Environmental Protection Agency has designated contaminated Superfund sites.

Oil hovers near $80 a barrel as concern grows over global supply
Amanda Cooper, Reuters

Oil eased on Wednesday, having neared its highest level this year after a drop in U.S. crude inventories and the prospect of the loss of Iranian supply added to concerns over the delicate balance between consumption and production.

Oil and Natural Gas

U.S. Crude’s Discount to Global Prices Opens Taps to Exports
Dan Molinski, The Wall Street Journal

U.S. oil is trading at a big discount to global crude, handing domestic producers a golden opportunity to cash in on exports, although American consumers might suffer.

Criticism high, bidding low for Utah’s biggest oil, gas lease sale since the Bush years. Sensitive areas near Canyonlands auctioned.
Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune

Critics have been saying it for months. Under President Donald Trump, Utah’s scenic public lands are being sold off to the highest bidder.

Meet the Shalennials: CEOs Under 40 Making Millions in Texas Oil
Kevin Crowley, Bloomberg

John Sellers and Cody Campbell are holding court one hot August evening in the corner of an oil-themed dive bar in Midland, Texas. After flying in on their private jet, they’re shaking hands, cracking jokes and talking deals with aspiring oilmen, contractors and land traders, almost all in their early 30s.

Refiners poised to save billions with digital technology
Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle

Refiners are poised to adopt new technologies at a faster pace after years of incremental progress, an effort that could save the industry billions of dollars.

Utilities and Infrastructure

Utilities in Florence’s path prepare for outages, massive restoration costs
William Freebairn and Mark Watson, Platts

Power utilities across the Carolinas, Maryland and Virginia on Tuesday braced for the impact of Hurricane Florence, described as “a large and extremely dangerous storm system,” which is likely to cause widespread power outages that could take “several weeks” and millions of dollars to restore.

EEI White Paper Calls for End to `Pancaked’ Rate Cases
Rich Heidorn Jr., RTO Insider

Seeking to persuade a change in FERC policy, the Edison Electric Institute has released a white paper by former Commissioner Suedeen Kelly that proposes raising the hurdles for those challenging transmission owners’ returns on equity.


China’s Tesla Rival Prices $1 Billion IPO Near Bottom
Ying Tian et al., Bloomberg

China’s NIO Inc., which seeks to take on the likes of Tesla Inc., starts trading on the New York stock exchange after raising about $1 billion selling American depositary shares at $6.26 apiece.

Power is now flowing from Brooklyn landfill solar farm
Courtney Astolfi,

Construction is finished and power is now flowing from a $10 million solar array at the closed Brooklyn landfill, which Cuyahoga County officials have called a first-of-its-kind project in the state.

California has a 100% clean energy goal, but not the laws to get it there, critics say
Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

California made history with the 100% clean energy target signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, D, on Monday, but decisions avoided by state lawmakers in the recently concluded legislative session are sowing doubts about whether the state can meet its ambitious aims.


US East Coast coal terminals prepared for Hurricane Florence: sources
Tyler Godwin, Platts

With Hurricane Florence’s landfall expected to take place in the Carolinas later this week, coal terminals along the US East Coast have prepared for Hurricane Florence, according to multiple sources Tuesday.


U.S. nuclear power plants prepare for Hurricane Florence
Scott DiSavino, Reuters

Several nuclear power reactors in North and South Carolina and Virginia on Tuesday started to prepare for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit the coast as a major hurricane on Friday.

A Texas waste storage plan is back. So is the opposition
Edward Klump, E&E News

A proposal to send used nuclear fuel to West Texas didn’t end last year, but it did stall during a trip to corporate purgatory.


Take 2 for Washington state: Carbon fee on fall ballot
Phuong Le, The Associated Press

Voters in Washington state will be asked this fall to do what state and federal leaders have been reluctant to: charge a direct fee on carbon pollution to fight climate change.

Behind the scenes, Republican Carlos Curbelo builds case for his carbon tax plan
Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner

In his home district as well as in Washington, Rep. Carlos Curbelo is lobbying fellow Republicans to support his carbon tax bill, trying to build momentum where there has been none.

Firefighters Cope As Climate Change Radically Changes Their Jobs
Chris D’Angelo, HuffPost

California has always had a “fire season,” but smoke and flame have now become a near year-round ordeal.

Category 6? Climate change may cause more hurricanes to rapidly intensify.
Chris Mooney, The Washington Post

In little more than a day, Hurricane Florence exploded in strength, jumping from a Category 1 to a Category 4 behemoth with 140 mph winds. This process — hurricanes intensifying fast — is both extremely dangerous and poorly understood.

They Defied Trump on Climate Change. Now, It’s Their Moment of Truth.
Brad Plumer, The New York Times

Hours after President Trump announced last year that the United States would exit the Paris climate deal, a broad group of governors, mayors and business executives declared that they would uphold the agreement anyway and continue tackling global warming on their own.

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

California’s Carbon Exorcism
The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill requiring that 100% of California’s electricity be generated by renewables like wind and solar by 2045. The price of his green virtue won’t be cheap.

Another hurricane is about to batter our coast. Trump is complicit.
The Editorial Board, The Washington Post

He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks.

Even without the Trump administration, the U.S. is upholding its commitment to the Paris climate agreement
Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times

The Trump administration has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, moved to weaken California’s fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles, sought to repeal stricter limits on methane, and attempted to prop up coal-fired plants. But it’s important to keep in mind: None of those attempts has yet succeeded.

What unites America around clean energy
James Redford and Adam Browning, The Washington Post

During our recent travels across the United States, we met with the policymakers, business leaders and activists behind the nation’s radical shift to clean energy. After speaking with them, it became evident that there were countless motivations driving this transition: climate change, healthier air, environmental justice, customer choice, national security and energy freedom.

Xcel Resource Planning Executive: We Can Buy New Renewables Cheaper Than Existing Fossil Fuels
Juan Monge, Greentech Media

Xcel Energy has long been a leader in renewable energy, investing in wind and solar even when they were not the cheapest alternatives. Today, however, the tables are turning.

Research Reports

Fulfilling America’s Pledge: How States, Cities, and Businesses Are Leading the United States to a Low-Carbon Future
Rocky Mountain Institute et al.

When President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement in June 2017, the response from across the country was swift and significant. An unprecedented coalition of U.S. states, cities, businesses, universities, and other organizations spoke out in continued support for America’s climate pledge to the world.