During the past two weeks, oil prices threatened to fall below $40 a barrel until oil trader short-covering, in response to a couple of positive data points last week, pushed prices above $46. Although short covering was the driving force, market sentiment shifted in response to the upcoming long weekend as traders don’t like being shore for an extended period of time, as well as data showing a decline in the EIA’s estimate for weekly U.S. oil production and the first drop in the weekly rig count in 24 weeks. Ignoring the short-term oil price focus, we wanted to concentrate on fundamental changes underway in the industry because them will have long-term impacts on its future. For guidance, we examined the 1982-1986 and 2008-2011 industry cycles compared to the current one for clues to the future. A new study from Sweden points to the magnitude of carbon emissions associated with EV battery manufacture. It will take years of driving to offset that beginning carbon sinkhole. Larger EV batteries, to offset range anxiety, actually make the carbon sinkhole deeper.
The roof-top solar industry gets a reprieve in Nevada, but its support is often based on flawed assumptions about the industry’s job creation power. We look at solar job creation, as well the history of questionable “green” job creation figures. The latest hurricane forecasters have raised their estimates for the total number of tropical storms and hurricanes, but not increasing the number of major hurricanes to occur. The most significant forecast change, however, is the sharp increase in the probability of a major hurricane making U.S. landfall. It has been 4,271 days since the last major hurricane arrived, nearly 12 years in duration, the longest streak in history. The latest J.D. Power car quality survey highlights consumer frustration with aspects of autonomous driving systems being added to new cars. Will these concerns pose a stumbling block for the early arrival of self-driving cars?