In what may be the biggest exception yet to its deregulation agenda, the Trump administration is expected to announce tougher tailpipe standards for heavy-duty trucks. Billed as the “Cleaner Trucks Initiative,” Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler and other Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials are due to announce stricter regulations for big trucks, according to sources who spoke with E&E News. The new standards aim to reduce smog-forming nitrogen oxide, better known as “NOx” that is emitted from big rigs. NOx is known to have a number of detrimental effects to the environment and human health, which can exacerbate asthma and cause inflammation of respiratory airwaves.
Our Take: Industry representatives and clean air advocates appear to agree on this. Trucking employs over 13,700 people in Alaska, 1 out of every 19 workers. Trucking pays over 800 million dollars in wages annually with an average industry salary of $56,283.
Opec lowers oil demand growth forecast and warns of oversupply
Anji Raval, Financial Times, November 13, 2018
Opec has again lowered its forecast for 2019 oil demand growth in a further sign Saudi Arabia and its partners inside and outside the cartel could be forced to cut supplies to bring the market into balance. Opec’s research arm said on Tuesday world oil demand was forecast to grow by 1.29m barrels a day next year, which is about 70,000 b/d lower than last month’s forecast and sharply down on the 1.45m b/d it forecast in July. Worries are mounting about a slowdown in the world economy, trade tensions and emerging market countries’ currency weakness, and how these will impact on oil demand.
Factbox: Key oil forecasts from the IEA’s World Energy Outlook
S & P Global Platts, November 13, 2018
The International Energy Agency on Tuesday published its latest World Energy Outlook, containing closely watched, long-term forecasts for energy supply and demand to 2040. Below are some of the key projections for the oil sector:
Big Oil Is Now Thrifty—but That Comes at a Cost
Sarah Kent & Bradley Olson, The Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2018
Oil prices may have weakened recently, but they’re up strongly from lows just a few years back. Few executives, however, at the world’s integrated oil giants have been talking about ramping up spending. That raises a big question: Can companies keep a lid on spending and keep the crude flowing? The oil business works like a treadmill. To maintain production levels, companies have to keep approving new projects and finding, or buying new, untapped deposits. In the industry, this is called replacing reserves. To guarantee output growth, firms have historically tried to at least replace every barrel they take out of the ground and sell.
White House economic advisor Kudlow says US is speaking again with China on trade
Liz Moyer, CNBC, November 13, 2018
Top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Tuesday the U.S. is talking with China again on trade. “I think that’s very, very, very positive,” he said, confirming reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has restarted trade talks with his Chinese counterpart. President Donald Trump said Nov. 1 he had a conversation with China’s President Xi Jinping, and the two sides plan to discuss trade at the Nov. 30-Dec.1 G-20 summit of world leaders in Argentina. Talks between the U.S. and China had stalled this fall amid an escalating tariff battle.
Our Take: Kudlow also highlights the strength of US communications with the EU and Japan. Strengthening our relationships with those allies certainly should get China’s attention and strengthen the US negotiating position. Read the next headline…
First U.S. LNG cargo since 10 percent tariff enacted arrives in China: data
Jessica Jaganathan, Reuters, November 11, 2018
A liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from the United States has arrived in China, the first such cargo since Beijing imposed a tariff on U.S. imports, shipping data from Refinitiv Eikon showed on Monday. China, the second-biggest importer of LNG globally after Japan, announced in September a 10 percent tariff on U.S. LNG imports as part of an escalating trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. Since the tariffs were announced, Chinese companies have largely been diverting U.S. shipments to other countries, trade sources said. This is the first U.S. LNG cargo to be shipped to China since Sept. 10, the Eikon shipping data showed. The cargo was shipped on tanker Ribera Duero Knutsen from the Sabine Pass terminal operated by Cheniere Energy.