Volume 2, Issue 7
November 14, 2016 – November 20, 2016
Jason Mulderrig | Anushka Dasgupta | Devorah Saffern

Oil and Gas:
USGS Announces Largest Oil and Gas Deposit Ever Assessed in US                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/16/502337471/usgs-announces-its-largest-oil-and-gas-discovery-ever
November 16, 2016 | Rebecca Hersher                                                                                                                     The U.S. Geological Survey announced this past week that the largest continuous oil and gas deposit ever to reside in the United States, to date, was discovered. The West Texas deposit, called Wolfcamp shale, contains an estimated 20 billion barrels of oil and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Most of this new oil and natural gas is now accessible today due to advances in horizontal drilling methods and fracking. Private companies, such as Pioneer Natural Resources and ConocoPhillips, are already ramping up extraction in the Wolfcamp shale. West Texans hope that the newly found reserves can help boost their economy, which has been hit hard by the fall in oil prices in the past 2 years. -JPM

Obama’s Offshore-Oil Plan Forces Drillers to Focus on U.S. Gulf                                                                                                                                                                                                https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-18/obama-s-offshore-oil-plan-forces-drillers-to-focus-on-u-s-gulf
November 18, 2016 | Jennifer A Dlouhy                                                                                                                     On Friday, the Obama Administration announced a five year plan to stop oil drilling in the U.S. Arctic waters in areas that could be ruined by spills, while focusing on land leases in the gulf that are far from infrastructure and have high potential. Trump could abolish the plan when he comes into office but it would take many years to put those areas back on the block. This news came as a disappointment to many oil companies, military leaders and Alaskan locals, who believe that drilling in that area would help promote creation of infrastructure and jobs. Work there would allow the U.S. to further establish its presence in that region, make more waterways, and extend the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Those concerned about the environment hope for even more restriction, as drilling there is harmful to the ecosystem and contributes to the growing problem of climate change. House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans in Congress vowed to reverse this change, while Natural Resource Defense Council and Oceana’s U.S. leaders applauded the new ruling. -DS

Energy Policy:
Today’s Energy System Could Blow Paris Climate Goals                                                               http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/current-energy-system-eat-entire-carbon-budget-43630061
November 18, 2016 | Karl Ritter                                                                                                                                  Since climate scientists predict that a global temperature increase of 2°C would bring on severe weather and mass extinctions, the Paris Accord’s main goal is to avoid reaching that benchmark. As monumental as the agreement is, however, it’s starting to look like a 2°C increase may be hard to prevent. The problem lies in existing energy infrastructure: power plants, buildings, and vehicles can have lifespans as long as 30 or 40 years. It’s expensive and difficult to retire them early, especially when a single coal-fired plant provides thousands of local jobs. These sources alone are expected to emit enough carbon dioxide to result in a 1.5°C temperature rise. Take into account additional projects planned for construction (many in Asia), and the outlook starts to look a little bleak – even with new renewable energy sources available, it’s easiest to let these old, reliable, gas and coal-powered elements of the global energy infrastructure continue to operate. I think this brings carbon capture technology into sharp focus. -AD

Energy Economics:
Tesla and SolarCity Shareholders Approve Merger                                                                                                                                                                                 http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/business/dealbook/tesla-and-solarcity-shareholders-approve-merger.html?ref=energy-environment&_r=0
November 17, 2016 | Michael J. de la Merced                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     On November 17th, shareholders from both Tesla and SolarCity approved the merger of SolarCity into Tesla. The merger was publicly assumed to be approved by SolarCity shareholders, but there was a bit of uncertainty as to the direction of Tesla shareholders. However, after the prominent firm Institutional Shareholder Services publicly announced their favor for the merger several weeks ago, it was clear that the Tesla shareholders would move in the direction of approval. That is exactly what happened on Thursday with about 85% of independent Tesla shareholders voting for the merger approval. -JPM