Transcript: Nightly Business Report – September 10, 2019

ANNOUNCER:  This is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT with Bill Griffeth and Sue Herera.  


SUE HERERA, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  In the spotlight.  Apple  (NASDAQ:AAPL) hosts one of its biggest events of the year.  But it`s not  the new iPhone that`s getting all of the buzz.  It`s Apple`s services  business.  


BILL GRIFFETH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR:  New menu.  McDonald`s  (NYSE:MCD) is making major changes but it has nothing to do with fast food.  


HERERA:  Bigger targets.  State attorneys general are setting their sights  on one of America`s richest families, as they take aim at the opioid  epidemic.  
Those stories and more tonight on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT for Tuesday,  September 10th.  


GRIFFETH:  And we do bid you a good evening, everybody.  And welcome.  
Things are definitely changing at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).  That was apparent  at the company`s annual showcase today.  Yes, the iPhone is still its  flagship product and yes, three new versions of the smartphone got a lot of  attention.  


But, clearly, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is looking for new areas of growth now.   And just as it transformed the phone and music industries, it`s now betting  it do the same with streaming.  Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) today announced a start  date for its Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Plus service.  It also announced how much  it`s going to cost consumers.  And that news sent shares of competitors  like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Roku lower.  
Julia Boorstin takes a look at Apple`s shifting strategy for us tonight.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


JULIA BOORSTIN, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Hardware, software  and services, that`s what Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook says the tech  giant is focused on.  And Cook revealed key details about the services they  first announced back in March.  Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV Plus will cost  $49.99 a month.  The first shows will launch November 1st with more shows  added monthly.  


And the first year will be free for those who purchase an iPhone, iPad,  Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV or MacBook.  


TIM COOK, APPLE CEO:  Our mission for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV Plus is to  bring you the most original stories from the most creative minds in  television and film.  Stories that help you find inspiration, that are  grounded in emotion, truly stories to believe in, stories with purpose.  


BOORSTIN:  That $5 a month price tag coming in at just half of what some  analysts projected Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV Plus would cost.  Now, the  service won`t have the same kind of library as other streaming services.   But from a price point, it will be less expensive, compares to $13 a month  for Netflix`s most popular streaming service and $7 a month for Disney  (NYSE:DIS) Plus.  


WALTER PIECYK, LIGHTSHED PARTNERS:  This is the new era for Apple  (NASDAQ:AAPL) where they`re trying to move from being an equipment company  into more recurring revenue business, whether it`s 5 bucks a month or 10  bucks a month.  This is part of the new story of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).  


BOORSTIN:  Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) also announcing details of its Apple  (NASDAQ:AAPL) arcade streaming game service, $4.99 for unlimited access to  100 exclusive games, launching September 19th in over 150 countries, as  Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) looks to lure more people to services.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Julia Boorstin in Cupertino, California.  
(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA: On Wall Street, stocks finished mixed and they`re weighed down by  decline in tech shares.  Bond yields were higher, oil price just a bit  lower.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 73 points to 26,909.  The  Nasdaq fell 3, and the S&P 500 up a fraction.  


GRIFFETH:  As the trade war with China drags on and more tariffs are  introduced, two new reports out of the country today show that its economy  may now have a pricing problem.  
Eunice Yoon is in Beijing for us tonight.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


EUNICE YOON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  Beijing got two bits  of bad news on prices today.  
First, China has a pork problem.  Pork is seen as a staple in the diet and  social stability issue.  The government is highly sensitive to dramatic  changes in pork prices, which it got today.  Prices for August jumped by 47  percent.  


Beijing has announced new measures to fight African swine fever, which has  devastated China`s pig population.  It released emergency pork from the  strategic reserve and just today, a state paper posted a headline that  appears to be attempting to convince Chinese that they don`t need their  beloved meat, saying, “eating less pork is good for you”, and on social  media, “your wallet and body will thank you.”


However, the worst news for policymakers is on the producer price side.   The PPI fell at its fastest pace in three years.  Manufacturers are  struggling because of the trade conflict with the U.S. and weak demand.   Most economists believe that even with the surge in pork prices, that the  authorities here are going to want to prioritize battling the deflationary  risks and will press ahead with stimulus, possibly interest rates cuts this  year.  


For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Eunice Yoon in Beijing.  
(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA:  And it`s not just a trade deal with China that investors are  monitoring, but also one with Canada and Mexico.  And it`s now crunch time  for the administration to get the renegotiated NAFTA deal, now known as  USMCA done.  
Kayla Tausche is in Washington.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


KAYLA TAUSCHE, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  This week, the White  House revved up its push to get Congress to pass USMCA, a deal it says has  bigger impact than ongoing talks with China.  


PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISER:  We actually export close to five  times more product to Mexico and Canada than we do to China.  So, USMCA  really is the big deal.  We`re hoping to get this thing done within the  next 30 to 60 days.  


TAUSCHE:  The deal needs Democrats onboard.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  will determine if and when a vote comes to the floor, depending on whether  top trade officials make some changes.  In negotiations, Democrats have  prioritized making sure Mexico is implementing new labor reforms, enforcing  environmental protections they say NAFTA overlooked and assuring that any  changes for pharmaceutical companies won`t raise drug prices.  


Business and farming groups are descending on Capitol Hill to push for the  deal`s passage.  Pork producers say Canada and Mexico make up 40 percent of  their export market.  Automakers want certainty on their supply chain.  
North Dakota rancher Shelly Ziesch would like clearer labeling on American  beef but says even without that, it`s better than no deal.  


SHELLY ZIESCH, NATIONAL FARMERS UNION MEMBER:  It`s difficult to sell the  product when there is nobody available to purchase it.  You know, when  there is tariffs that raise their prices so high they can`t — they can`t  afford it.  


TAUSCHE:  More than nine months after the three countries sign the deal,  Mexico is the only one to have ratified it.  Elections in Canada next month  have held up passage there.  
In Washington, the White House and Republicans say they already have the  votes.  Democrats say they they`re not there yet.  U.S. Trade  Representative Robert Lighthizer has yet to start the official countdown  lock on the deal until he is absolutely sure they have the support.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kayla Tausche in Washington.  
(END VIDEOTAPE)


GRIFFETH:  Job openings fell for a second straight month in July.   According to the Labor Department this morning, openings dropped to 7.2  million.  That`s down from the all-time high of 7.6 million which was hit  late last year.  That report also showed a rise in the so-called quit rate.   That`s a sign of worker confidence in the job market.  


HERERA:  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will reportedly release an ambitious  plan on drug pricing.  A draft summary shows that the proposal would allow  the federal government to negotiate drug prices on up to 250 Medicare- covered medicines with few competitors.  It would also require  manufacturers to offer the agreed upon prices to private insurers.   Reaction was mixed with Merck (NYSE:MRK) falling and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and  Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) rising.  


GRIFFETH:  Well, there are still a lot of questions about what opioid maker  Purdue Pharma is going to do next.  There`s still a change that it could  settle with state attorneys general or it could file for bankruptcy.  And  if it does that, the Sackler family that owns Purdue will find itself in  unwelcome spotlight.  
Meg Tirrell explains.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


MEG TIRRELL, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  They are among  America`s richest families, the Sackler name adorns institutions from  universities to art museums.  The source of their wealth?  Purdue Pharma  and the blockbuster opioid painkiller OxyContin.  
And as Purdue is now at the center of thousands of lawsuits from states,  cities and others over the toll of the opioid epidemic, the Sacklers are  becoming a bigger target.  


KEITH ELLISON, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL:  We have evidence that Richard  Sackler and other members of the family are directly involved in sales  conversations, marketing, planning.  They accompanied sales representatives  on calls.  They are part of the entire enterprise in a way that is  generally not normal just for people who have owned a share of the company.  


TIRRELL:  Ahead of the first federal trial in the opioid lawsuit scheduled  for October, Purdue and the Sackler family have been in settlement  discussion with state attorneys general and others.  But according to  several of those state A.G.s the two sides aren`t on the same page.  And  the company has reportedly threatened to file imminently for bankruptcy if  the settlement isn`t reached this month.  


JEFF LANDRY, LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Going into a freefall bankruptcy  is going to problematic for the litigation and for the attorney generals.  


TIRRELL:  The states want to see more money guaranteed from the Sackler  family.  But in addition, they say if Purdue files for bankruptcy, their  attention will turn directly to individual Sackler family members.  


JOSH STEIN, NORTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY GENERAL:  If we come to terms, there is  no need to sue the Sacklers individually.  If we fail and the company goes  into bankruptcy, but the Sacklers do not then — at that point, I will have  no choice but to sue them individually.  


TIRRELL:  The Sacklers are already named in several state suits and it  wouldn`t be the first time the family has been involved in litigation.  A  just unsealed deposition video obtained by STAT News and ProPublica reveals  questioning of Richard Sackler, former chairman of Purdue.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Do you believe that any of Purdue`s conduct has led to  an increase in people being addicted in the Commonwealth of Kentucky?  


RICHARD SACKLER, PURDUE PHARMA FORMER CHAIRMAN:  No.  
TIRRELL:  Purdue agreed in 2015 to settle that case with the state of  Kentucky for $24 million.  States now are looking for a lot more.  
STEIN:  They extracted billions and billions and billions and billions and  billions of dollars from this company over the last decade.  
TIRRELL:  A spokeswoman for Purdue Pharma declined to comment, while  representatives for the Sackler family didn`t immediately respond.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Meg Tirrell.
(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA:  It is time to take a look at some of today`s “Upgrades and  Downgrades”.
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) downgraded to neutral from buy at UBS.  The analyst  cites the potential for lower interest rates to eat into net interest  income.  The price target is $49.  The shares fell a fraction to $48.31.  
Dollar General (NYSE:DG) was downgraded to market perform from outperform  at Bernstein.  The analyst cites less certainty when it comes to future  sales and earnings growth.  The price target is $145.  The stock fell 2  percent to $157.09.  


Altria was downgraded to neutral from overweight at Piper Jaffray.  The  analyst cites increasing regulatory scrutiny of Juul as well its potential  merger with Phillip Morris.  The price target is $49.  Despite the  downgrade, the stock was up a fraction to $44.24.  
GRIFFETH:  Still ahead, holiday hiring.  Companies need workers but where  will they find them?  
(MUSIC)


GRIFFETH:  For years, the growth engine of the fast food industry has been  its food.  But now, you can add artificial intelligence and voice  technology, which is what McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) is doing.  Today the burger  chain made a new high-tech investment.  But its shares fell about 3-1/2  percent.  
Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG) has more.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


KATE ROGERS, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD)  may be a fast food giant.  But it`s leaning ever more into technology.  The  company is acquiring Apprente, a voice technology startup that uses  artificial intelligence to understand drive-thru orders.  Eventually, the  technology may be applied to McDonald`s mobile app and self-order kiosks. 


This is McDonald`s third technology deal this year.  The move comes after  its acquisition of Dynamic Yield, for $300 million in March, the company`s  largest acquisition in 20 years.  Dynamic Yield`s technology is being used  in more than 8,000 drive-thrus across the U.S. to personalize the  experience with food displays based on time of day, weather traffic in the  restaurant and more.  


McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) also invested in Plexure, a mobile app vendor to  continue development of its global mobile app.  
Its fast food competition ramps up with apps, delivery deals and menu wars,  McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) is relying on technology to help improve service  speed, and the overall customer experience.  


RJ HOTTOVY, MORNINGSTAR ANALYST:  I think the important thing here too is  that McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) could be building something down the road.  You  see the potential for an experience of the future 2.0 with all the  technology initiatives they`ve been making, which potentially could unlock  new formats or new business models for this company down the road.  


ROGERS:  CEO Steve Easterbrook who`s been at the helm for about four years  said his initial focus was on turning around the business with restaurant  upgrades.  Now, Easterbrook says the focus is on new opportunities to drive  growth.  


STEVE EASTERBROOK, MCDONALD`S CEO:  How can we help continue to elevate the  experience of the customers?  So, you know, with this pace of change in the  world and with different technology and, you know, different innovations  around, whether it`s around food, technology design, we are seeing  opportunities that we think need to make the experience more fun, more  enjoyable, or smoother for commerce.  And if we can find that, we`re going  to go hard at it.  


ROGERS:  As McDonald`s ramps up its tech investment, it`s also expecting to  expand its footprint in Silicon Valley.  The Apprente team will be the  founding member of a new part of McDonald`s global technology team called  MCD Labs.  McDonald`s says over time, they will add more data scientists  and engineers, shaping a fast food future that`s very different from its  past.  
For NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, I`m Kate Rogers (NYSE:ROG).  
(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA:  Wendy`s says it`s making a different kind of investment.  That  company is investing $20 million into expanding its breakfast offerings  nationwide by next year.  As part of that expansion, it will also hire  about 20,000 workers.  That investment caused Wendy`s to revise its outlook  lower and the stock slipped 10 percent in trading today.  


GRIFFETH:  So McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) is betting on new technology.  Wendy`s  is betting on new menu items.  Which will provide the fast food industry  with the fastest growth in the future?  
Joining us to talk about it, Gil Luria is director of research at D.A.  Davidson.  
Good to see you.  Welcome back.  


GIL LURIA, D.A. DAVIDSON DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH:  Thanks for having me.  


GRIFFETH:  I mean, clearly, McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) betting on technology for  ordering, for payment, delivery when Wendy`s is betting on food.  Who has  it right at this point do you think?  


LURIA:  McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) really needs this technology in order to be  successful.  The efficiency gains they can get by implementing technology  properly are going to be immense.  Every five seconds they shave of the  drive thru line, they get more customers through the door and drive growth  that way.  


On the other hand, Wendy has tried to introduce breakfast in the past with  little success and that was a negative reaction today to the share price  was that people are concerned that there will again not be successful.  


HERERA:  Well, they`re also up against McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD), which is a  juggernaut in breakfast.  But there is a big difference in scale, is there  not between a McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) and a Wendy`s?  


LURIA:  That`s right.  McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD) is considerably bigger, which  is why they can afford to invest so much in technology.  When they get  these incremental gains in throughput, it creates immense growth in value  for McDonald`s (NYSE:MCD).  Where the smaller chains have a harder time  investing in technology and getting those types of gains.  


GRIFFETH:  So, in your view, who are some of the winners and losers going  forward depending on their strategies right now?  


LURIA:  Whoever gets technology right will be a winner.  The best examples  of that are Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), which has leveraged its mobile app and  loyalty program to direct significant growth.  Even companies like dominos  whose product wouldn`t stand out on its merits, because they have the best  app they`ve been able to outgrow their competitors.  So, technology is  going to be very important going forward for all these fast food and  delivery type restaurants.  


HERERA:  OK.  Those are the winners.  Who is behind in this game?  
LURIA:  The ones that don`t catch up.  The subscale fast food restaurants,  they`re going to continue to lose share to quick service and fast casual  restaurants.  It`s a crowded field.  We mentioned Wendy`s breakfast.  
There is a lot of other fast food breakfast options out there.  It`s very  competitive and the competition comes from other sources.  A lot of the  conversation this week has been about chicken sandwiches.  Popeyes chicken  sandwiches, Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches, that`s where a lot of the  competition is coming.  


GRIFFETH:  And, of course, fake meat as well.
Gil Luria with D.A. Davidson, again, thanks for joining us tonight.  
LURIA:  Thank you.


HERERA:  Boeing (NYSE:BA) delivers fewer planes in August.  And that`s  where we begin tonight`s “Market Focus”.  


The company delivered 18 aircraft last month, which was down from 64 during  the same period last year.  As the grounding of the 737 MAX enters its  seventh month, Boeing (NYSE:BA) says it expects to receive certification  from the FAA by next month to put the planes back in the air.  Shares rose  about 3 percent to $369.49.  


New York City is suing Chipotle for alleged labor law violations.  The  lawsuit claims Chipotle failed to provide estimates of work schedules as  well as not paying premiums for last-minute scheduled changes.  The city is  seeking at least $1 million in compensation.  Shares fell more than 6  percent to $787.98.  


After the bell, the home furnishings company RH easily topped expectations  and raised its full year outlook.  RH also said it does not expect the  current China tariffs to impact its business goals.  Shares were volatile  in the after-hours trading and closed the regular session up about 3.5  percent to $158.88.  


GRIFFETH:  Moody`s downgraded Ford`s debt rating to junk status after  concluding that the automaker faces a lengthy and costly restructure with  weaker cash flow.  Separately, Ford says it`s going to be introducing eight  electric vehicles in Europe this year.  The plan there is for the majority  of Ford sales in Europe to eventually come from electric vehicles by the  end of 2022.  Shares fell more than 1 percent today to $9.42.  


Uber is laying off more than 400 technical workers or about 8 percent of  its product and engineering staff only weeks after laying off a similar  number from its marketing division.  The company has been under intense  pressure since its IPO in May.  It lost more than $5 billion in its most  recent quarter.  Uber shares rose about 4 percent today to $33.51.  


And Target (NYSE:TGT) is gearing up for the holiday shopping season.  They  are planning to hire more than 130,000 seasonal workers.  That`s about  10,000 more than last year and the retailer says it`s going to pay those  holiday workers a starting wage of $13 an hour.  Target (NYSE:TGT) shares  rose a fraction today to $108.83.  


HERERA:  So, what does the increase in temporary workers for this holiday  season mean for the economy?  
Mark Hamrick joins us, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, and he`s going  to tell us exactly that.  
Welcome, Mark.  Nice to have you here.  


MARK HAMRICK, BANKRATE SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST:  Good to be with you, Sue.  


HERERA: This is also coming at a record tight labor market.  So the  retailers and the shippers may want to add all the seasonal workers.  But  where are they going to get them and how much are they going to pay them?  


HAMRICK:  Well, you referenced at the top, they may just have to pay people  more money, you know?  And that`s part of the equation here.  It`s  interesting, Sue, and, Bill, though.  We got the job openings numbers as  you referenced earlier today.  


And the number of job openings in retail in this latest month is down some  15 percent from a year ago and is even more dramatic decline in the  wholesale trade.  That number is down almost 30 percent.  So, I think that  overall we`ll probably see you know flattish numbers in seasonal hiring  while consumer spending is up more than 5 percent year over year.


We know that job cut announcements have been running hot in the retail  trade.  Among other things, some of these retailers are going to be able to  find displaced workers.  But also find people who may be drawn into the  workforce as we saw in that August employment report.  


GRIFFETH:  Flattish compared to last year.  But still, when you think about  it, I mean, just in the last few days, the back of the envelope numbers  tell us there are 280,000 job openings when you talk about UPS hiring,  Target`s hiring, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is hiring, now Wendy`s hiring another  20,000 workers.  I mean, that still sounds like a pretty strong labor  market right now clearly.  


HAMRICK:  Well, I think, Bill, over the last previous four years, we`ve  actually been seeing the number of seasonal hires decline in retail.  So,  we`ll see whether this year marks a strong uptick there.  


Let`s remember also in the context of the broader labor market, there are  still millions of workers who are working part time that would like to have  full-time work.  And we still do think that we can have increased labor  market participation.  We know that some enterprising have been changing  what they`re willing to, quote/unquote, accept with respect to workers,  doing things like allowing people to be employed who might have some  criminal past or even unable to pass a drug test, not necessarily optimal.   But, you know, they`re having to shake things up a bit.  


GRIFFETH:  Right.  
HERERA:  And as you mentioned, they may have to pay people more.  If that  is the case, even though it may be a seasonal or transitional period,  what`s the economic impact of that?  


HAMRICK:  Obviously, it weighs on profit margins.  And, you know, in a way,  you have to feel for retailers right now because they are hit by a virtual  tsunami.  Obviously, they`re having to manage through the tariffs and trade  disputes impact.  The uncertainty that is beginning to weigh on consumers  somewhat and then obviously higher costs are reflected in both labor costs  as well as the goods they are importing right now.  


HERERA:  Mark Hamrick with bankrate.com, thanks so much.  
HAMRICK:  Thank you.  
HERERA:  Coming up, going off the grid.  
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


PHIL LEBEAU, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT:  When it comes to  energy efficiency, solar power gets a lot of attention.  But increasingly,  utilities and homeowners are turning to energy storage units.  
I`m Phil LeBeau.  That story coming up on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT.
(END VIDEO CLIP)


(MUSIC)


GRIFFETH:  Here is what we are watching tomorrow.  It should be a busy day.  
We`re going to find out if inflation pressures are building in the economy.   The producer price index will be released.  
Boeing (NYSE:BA) CEO is scheduled to speak at a Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)  conference, assuming we get an update on the 737 MAX.  
And Kantor Fitzgerald will host its charity day on the 18th anniversary of  9/11 attacks.  


That`s what we`re watching for on Wednesday.
HERERA:  The number of uninsured American is higher for the first time in  nearly a decade.  According the Census Bureau, the uninsured rate rose from  to 8.5 percent last year from 7.9 the year before.  That translates into  roughly 27.5 million people who didn`t have health insurance at any point  in 2018.  The Census Bureau also reports that median household income  showed no growth last year at roughly $63,000, and that the poverty rate  dropped further last year to nearly 12 percent.  


GRIFFETH:  Finally tonight, a reminder that Tesla is more than just  electric cars.  Elon Musk`s company has quietly been charging up the energy  storage business.  But will that be enough to overcome questions about its  solar power operations?
Phil LeBeau takes us to beautiful Brattleboro, Vermont, tonight.  
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)


LEBEAU:  The Capy house looks like any other charming home in rural  Vermont.  But Ellen Capy is all about being energy efficient, from plugging  her Tesla model 3, to the massive solar panels providing more than enough  power for her home and nearby business.  


ELLEN CAPY, TESLA ENERGY STORAGE CONSUMER:  We like the idea that we have,  you know, that we can be prepared — prepared for whatever, and prepared  for the future, and also to be a part of the future.  


LEBEAU:  Even generating their own power, the Capy`s are still tied in to  their local utility.  So they`ve been installed two Tesla power walls to  store energy and keep them powered up even when there`s a blackout.  


CAPY:  We got the power wall on February 7th.  And on February 8th, we lost  power.  And we didn`t even notice.  
It was seamless.  Absolutely seamless.  You don`t see the lights even  flicker in the house, the changeover is that good.  


LEBEAU:  Tesla`s energy storage business charged up this spring, jumping 81  percent.  Meanwhile, Vermont`s largest utility is planning to expand power  wall installations and offer energy storage units to all customers. 

 
MARY POWELL, MOUNTAIN POWER CEO:  It is a cost saving device for the grid.   It`s cost-saving for the planet in terms of carbon.  And it`s cost saving  for the grid because we use it during peak times.  


LEBEAU:  Despite some of the glowing reviews much the Tesla power wall,  critics say there are only a limited number of people in the U.S. who truly  need energy storage to deal with a blackout or a drop in electrical  service.  


JOE OSHA, JMP SECURITIES:  All other things being equal in your average  rural area in the United States at this point, it`s pretty hard to make  residential storage work.  There has to be some special incentives and  economics to make it make sense.  


LEBEAU:  But for the Capys, storing their energy has empowered them to feel  like they can ride out the next blackout in the area.  
Phil LeBeau, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, Brattleboro, Vermont.  
(END VIDEOTAPE)


HERERA:  And that is NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT tonight.  I`m Sue Herera.   Thanks for joining us.  


GRIFFETH:  I`m Bill Griffeth.  Have a great evening.  We`ll see you  tomorrow.  


END


Nightly Business Report transcripts and video are available on-line post  broadcast at http://nbr.com. The program is transcribed by ASC Services II  Media, LLC. Updates may be posted at a later date. The views of our guests  and commentators are their own and do not necessarily represent the views  of Nightly Business Report, or CNBC, Inc. Information presented on Nightly  Business Report is not and should not be considered as investment advice.  (c) 2019 CNBC, Inc.


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