Earlier this month the Nation Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their winter outlook for this upcoming season. According to Weather.com, “La Niña is the periodic cooling of the equatorial eastern and central Pacific ocean. When sea-surface temperatures are cooler than average by at least 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius), along with consistent atmospheric indications for at least three consecutive months, La Niña is considered to be present…This is important because the interaction of this cooler-than-average water with the atmosphere can affect weather conditions thousands of miles away in the U.S. and around the world.”
On September 23rd California Governor, Gavin Newsom issued an executive order requiring the sales of all new passenger vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035. According to Yahoo, ”As an announcement from the California governor's office indicates, the transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California's carbon pollution, 80% of smog-forming pollution and 95% of toxic diesel emissions…After the order, the California Air Resource Board will develop regulations that will mandate 100% of sales of passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035.” However, there are several questions that arise from the mandate. Most importantly, what does zero-emission mean, is this requirement even possible, and does the public want to go in this direction?
Over this past weekend, the parent company of 7-Eleven announced that they had come to a deal purchasing the Speedway gas station chain from Marathon Petroleum for $21 billion. According to CNN, “It's one of the biggest acquisitions in the world to be announced since the coronavirus pandemic hit earlier this year. Japanese retail giant Seven & i Holdings (SVNDF) — which owns 7-Eleven and other outlets, including supermarket chain Ito-Yokado and the Sogo and Seibu department stores — says it is the largest in the company's history…With this deal, 7-Eleven would have a presence in 47 of the top 50 most populated metro areas in the United States.” The purchase of the 7-11 chain, was made in large part to increase market share within North America. According to Reuters, “The deal boosts its 7-Eleven store count in the United States and Canada to about 14,000, adding to a portfolio fattened three years ago with a $3.3 billion purchase from Sunoco LP (SUN.N) - furthering its convenience store lead over Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc (ATDb.TO).” According to Marathon Petroleum, “The largest U.S. oil refiner by volume also said the deal includes a 15-year fuel supply agreement for about 7.7 billion gallons a year associated with the Speedway business.” The supply contract should help the refining company retain its output without control over their own retail assets. Although the deal has been said to be finalized, it is unclear whether the Speedway logo and offerings will remain the same.
During last week’s OPEC + meeting the group agreed to keep production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day until the end of July. This effort has helped bolster oil prices to levels of almost double the values in April. The prior OPEC + meeting brought forth the creation of a new advisory group, the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee. According to Reuters, “To step up consultations on the effectiveness of the agreement, OPEC+ also agreed that a panel called the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee or JMMC, will meet monthly until the end of 2020. Its first such meeting is on Thursday next week… “It’s an advisory committee that can make recommendations,” one of the OPEC+ sources said of the JMMC’s role, declining to be identified by name.” The member nations that compose the JMMC are Algeria, Kuwait, Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, plus non-OPEC countries Russia and Kazakhstan.
On April 14th Apple announced that it had developed a program to capture user location data in an effort to track the spread of COVID-19. As part of that announcement Apple also mentioned it had this data already, and users were aware that Apple has been tracking location data when they agreed to their terms and conditions. It is no surprise to anyone, that the data conclusively showed a dramatic decrease in the use of public transport, motor vehicles, and mobility in general since the outbreak of the virus. The graph below illustrates the massive drop in March in the United States.