Morning Volt for 04/17/2017

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Morning Volt

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Climate’s New Best Friend — Stranded Assets

Casey Sattler, Energy Intelligence

An unexpected question has emerged as the industry adjusts to another year of sub-$60 oil: Are low oil prices climate’s best friend? It was previously assumed that high oil prices would be necessary to stifle oil demand, make renewables economically competitive and encourage governments to adopt policies that would expedite the shift away from fossil fuels.

Saudis Seek 30 Solar, Wind Projects in $50 Billion Pledge

Wael Mahdi, Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia will develop 30 solar and wind projects over the next 10 years as part of the kingdom’s $50 billion program to boost power generation and cut its oil consumption.

Is This as Good as Rex Tillerson Gets? (Passive Aggressive Headline Much?)


The secretary of state still has time to improve. But if he doesn’t change some things soon, it will be too late. For the past few weeks, the secretary of state has been the subject of endless chatter and several prominent reports about what he has been doing or, more to the point, not doing during his short tenure in Foggy Bottom.

Roger Pielke Jr. on Climate #1

Climate Fix

I’ve decided to publish an occasional newsletter on climate and energy issues. It is not part of my day-to-day research or writing, which is focused on sports governance and science policy.

LNG Brings Russia And China Closer

Jamestown Foundation

Since 2001, Russian-Chinese relations have been largely grounded in security issues, both military and economic. The former is a shared perception of an increasingly aggressive United States and, in the case of Russia, concerns over the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) deployments on the periphery of both countries.

A Bankruptcy That Wrecks for U.S. Nuclear Energy

Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes

Chalk it up as a win for the Russian and Chinese state-owned nuclear power companies for now. Their competition just got weaker. The bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC) has ruined its global ambitions.

Climate Cast: Green Energy Boom in the Midwest

Paul Huttner, MPRNews

Chief meteorologist Paul Huttner spoke to Xcel Energy’s president for Minnesota and the Dakotas about a benefit of green power that’s overlooked: more jobs.

Coal Giant Peabody May Help Save Navajo Plant in Arizona

Robert Walton, UD

The Arizona Republic reports Peabody Energy is working to save the largest coal-fired power plant in the western United States: the 2,250 MW Navajo Generating Station (NGS) in Arizona, which purchases coal from the mining company..

Corporate America Isn’t Backing Trump on Climate

Amy Harder, Axios

Corporate America is uniting on climate change as a president opposed to action is in the White House. Consumer brands and industrial giants have been supporting government action on climate change for years. In a shift that is changing the debate, the biggest and most important U.S. energy companies are now dropping their resistance to a global climate deal.

It’s Not Your Father’s Haynesville Natural Gas Shale Play

Sheetal Nasta, RBN Energy

After spending the past few years on the backburner with declining production volumes, the Haynesville Shale natural gas play, which straddles the Northeast Texas-Louisiana border, is back in the headlines. Rig counts in the region have doubled in the Haynesville in the past six months or so. Exco Resourceswhich has four rigs operating there currentlylast week said it is divesting its Eagle Ford assets in favor of boosting drilling investment in the Haynesville.

Oil prices Push Lower as Investors Cash in on Recent Gains

Jenny Hsu, MarketWatch

Analysts say buying was suppressed by data showing that U.S. oil rig count rose for the 13th straight week in the week of April 13, with the current tally the highest in two years.

Iran Boasts of Economic Break From Oil

Daniel Graeber, UPI

During the first 11 months of the Iranian calendar year, non-oil exports have grown more than 30 percent, state media reported Monday.

Grid Study Ordered by U.S. Energy Chief to Boost Coal

Jennifer Dlouhy, Bloomberg

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is ordering a study of the U.S. electric grid, with an eye to examining whether policies that favor wind and solar energy are accelerating the retirement of coal and nuclear plants critical to ensuring steady, reliable power supplies.

Clean Energy Investments Down 17% Year-Over-Year in Q1 2017

Julia Pyper, GTM

Worldwide clean energy investments totaled $53.6 billion in the first quarter of this year, down 17 percent from the first quarter of 2016, and down 7 percent from the final quarter of last year, according to new figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Stop Swooning Over Justin Trudeau. He’s a Disaster

Bill McKibben, The Guardian

Donald Trump is a creep and unpleasant to look at, but at least he’s not a stunning hypocrite when it comes to climate change

How Apple Could Help Westinghouse Finish New Nuclear Plants?


Apple’s overseas cash hoard might end up helping electricity customers in Georgia and South Carolina avoid long term responsibility for paying costs of incomplete nuclear power plants. By investing a chunk of its cash in Toshiba, Apple could provide the capital clout needed to finish projects.

NYT Hires Climate Skeptic In Effort To Expand Opinion

Michael Calderone, Huff Post

Bret Stephens won over progressive critics of the president, but his climate change views have sparked backlash. The New York Times’ decision to hire Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal columnist, is part of a larger effort to further widen the range of views the paper presents to readers, James Bennet, the paper’s editorial page editor, told The Huffington Post Friday.

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