Morning Consult Energy: Week in Review & What’s Ahead


Week in Review

Ukraine inquiry

  • The chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees subpoenaed Energy Secretary Rick Perry for records related to President Donald Trump’s pressuring of the Ukrainian government to investigate presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. The lawmakers said that media reports have raised questions regarding whether Perry played a role “in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message” to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
  • Earlier, Perry denied reports that he urged Ukraine to install two U.S. executives onto the board of the state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz, acknowledging that he made the suggestions of board members only at Ukraine’s request. He confirmed that he had asked Trump to speak to Zelensky in July and deflected rumors that he plans to leave the Energy Department by the end of November. 

Oil and gas

  • Iran said that missiles hit one of its vessels, which was filled with crude oil in the Red Sea, and initially claimed the strikes came from Saudi Arabia before walking back the attribution. The attack, occurring weeks after strikes on key Saudi oil infrastructure, caused a spill and resulted in oil prices rising above $60 per barrel in London.
  • Trump said the administration’s biofuels deal would increase the quantity of ethanol mixed into gasoline in 2020 to about 16 billion gallons, up from the current annual requirement of 15 billion gallons. 
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. gave $13 billion in contracts to three companies, including Irving, Texas-based Fluor Corp., to construct a $23.6 billion liquefied natural gas plant in Mozambique, according to the country’s oil and gas regulator. 
  • An analysis of global corporations’ emissions showed that the top 20 emitting companies have released 35 percent of global energy-related carbon dioxide and methane, or 480 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent since 1965, according to the U.S.-based Climate Accountability Institute.
  • Investment bankers working with the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. were expected to provide Mohammed bin Salman with final recommendations on Aramco’s initial public offering valuation as soon as this past Friday, said people familiar with the matter, who expected the suggested value to stand substantially short of the crown prince’s desired $2 trillion.

PG&E Corp.

  • Almost 8 percent of California’s population could ultimately be impacted by PG&E Corp. and Edison International’s wildfire prevention power shutoffs. 
  • Judge Dennis Montali of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco ruled to allow a rival bankruptcy plan for PG&E led by Elliott Management Corp. and other bondholders to move forward in tandem with the utility’s own plan in the chapter 11 proceedings.

Environmental Protection Agency

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the party intends to force a vote in the chamber under the Congressional Review Act on the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. 
  • The EPA proposed changes to federal lead pipe standards that disappointed environmentalists, who worry the regulation could extend by about 20 years the amount of time until all lead pipes are replaced in affected water systems.
  • The agency also sent the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs a final rule that would rescind the agency’s past cost-benefit analysis of the Obama-era Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule.

Cars and renewables

  • The U.S. Trade Representative announced the elimination of a tariff exemption that had allowed imported bifacial solar panels to skirt 25 percent duties, a setback for the U.S. solar industry. 
  • A group of 22 General Motors Co. investors with $1.1 trillion in assets under management called on the automaker to join California’s voluntary agreement with car manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency, a move that investors said would allow GM “to avoid regulatory uncertainty and litigation delay.”

What’s Ahead

  • The House and Senate are in session this week.
  • The EPA is taking comment on its proposed changes to the national marine diesel engine program through Oct. 21.

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

10/13/2019
Global Ethanol Summit
10/14/2019
Global Ethanol Summit
Global Ethanol Summit
NAWEA/WindTech 2019 Conference
10/15/2019
Global Ethanol Summit
NAWEA/WindTech 2019 Conference
House Science, Space and Technology Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Hearing on Addressing the Lead Crisis 10:00 am
Nuclear Science Week Opening Reception 5:00 pm
University of Chicago book talk about the electric grid 5:45 pm
10/16/2019
5th Annual NY Energy Summit
Advanced Energy Economy Conference
Demand Response & Distributed Energy Resources World Forum
2019 Ascend Summit
NAWEA/WindTech 2019 Conference
Senate Environment and Public Works Hearing on the Impacts of Diseases on Wildlife Conservation and Management 10:00 am
Nuclear Science Week Expo and Reception 12:00 pm
View full calendar

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