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Columbia Energy Exchange

Columbia Energy Exchange features in-depth conversations with the world’s top energy and climate leaders from government, business, academia and civil society. The program explores today’s most pressing opportunities and challenges across energy sources, financial markets, geopolitics and climate change as well as their implications for both the U.S. and the world.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 26, 2016

On October 13, the Center on Global Energy Policy was honored to welcome Dr. Ernest J. Moniz as a guest speaker at our annual Energy Leaders Forum in New York City. Secretary Moniz offered reflections on the Department of Energy's role in key international efforts to ensure America’s national security and advance low-carbon economies globally under the Obama Administration. Following the Secretary's remarks, Center Director Jason Bordoff moderated a discussion with questions submitted from the audience.

Dec 19, 2016

Jason Bordoff sits down with David Fyfe, Chief Economist at the Gunvor Group, a global commodities trading house in Geneva Switzerland, to talk about the future of oil markets. David, who has more than 20 years of experience in oil and energy markets, previously was Manager of the International Energy Agency’s Oil Industry and Markets Division as well as editor of the IEA’s monthly Oil Market Report. They discuss: OPEC's November deal to curb production; the realities of peak oil demand; natural gas spot price markets; and the role of U.S. shale in response to an oil price increase. 

Dec 12, 2016

Host Jason Bordoff sits down with Frances Beinecke, the former President of the Natural Resources Defense Council, to discuss the outlook for U.S. energy and environment policy following the election of Donald Trump. Frances, a recipient of The National Audubon Society's prestigious Rachel Carson Award, is a member of the U.S. Secretary of Energy's advisory board and she serves on the boards of the MIT Energy Initiative, the National Academies of Science and the World Resources Institute. They discuss: Why climate change was not a central issue in the 2016 U.S. election; Strategies environmental NGOs will employ under Trump; The role of natural gas as the world strives for a zero carbon economy; How states and local governments can address environment and climate issues.

 

Dec 5, 2016

To achieve the Paris Agreement goals, public and private actors need to either deploy far more energy that is zero carbon like wind and solar, or develop technologies that remove greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS). Host Jason Bordoff speaks with Stephen Bull, a Senior Vice President for Wind and Carbon Capture and Storage in Statoil's New Energy Solutions business about: The revolution of offshore wind energy and declining costs; CCS research and financing; The impact of the Paris Agreement on wind and CCS technologies; Development and implementation challenges for both wind and CCS.

Nov 28, 2016

The geopolitics of energy is playing a growing role in American foreign policy. As the United States ushers in a new president who has signaled a sharp shift in approach to energy and the environment, the new Administration must examine how these changes will impact relations with the rest of the world. Host Jason Bordoff speaks with Carlos Pascual, a non-resident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy and Senior Vice President at IHS, about the role of geopolitics and foreign policy priorities for the new Administration. Prior to his current position, Carlos served as U.S. Ambassador in Mexico and Ukraine, as the State Department's Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs where he established and directed the Energy Resources Bureau and as senior advisor to the Secretary of State on global energy diplomacy. They discuss: Energy and foreign policy priorities and challenges for the new president including Russia, the Middle East and Asia; the link between energy, international security and international development; how the reduction of hydrocarbon demand as a result of climate change initiatives will influence geopolitics.

Nov 21, 2016

Following COP22 in Marrakech where global leaders were overcome with uncertainly about the United States' commitment to greenhouse gas reduction under a new Trump Administration, host Bill Loveless speaks with Carl Pope, former executive director and chairman of The Sierra Club, about the path forward against climate change through both international and local initiatives. Pope is also a senior climate adviser to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the U.N. Secretary General’s special envoy for cities and climate change. They discuss: Reactions to Donald Trump’s election and other challenges and opportunities coming out of the Marrakech Climate Summit; The heightened roles for cities, states, investors and business in providing U.S. direction for climate initiatives; A sneak peek at the upcoming book by Carl and Michael Bloomberg called, “Overheated: How Cooler Heads Can Cool the World” that seeks to reset the conversation about climate change.

Nov 14, 2016

India's energy challenges are diverse and compounded by a growing global commitment to climate change, which has serious implications for India’s reliance on cheap coal to power its cities and villages alike. On this episode, host Jason Bordoff talks with Sunita Narain, Director General of the Center for Science and Environment, one of India’s leading environment NGOs based in Delhi, and one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People for her work on climate change and the poor. They discuss: The role energy access and energy poverty play in India's energy narrative; How to prevent fossil-fuel addiction among India's citizens; The challenge of transitioning India off of cheap coal and the role of natural gas in the developing world; The need for smart fuel subsidies; Whether the Paris Agreement is a good deal for India and other developing nations.

Nov 7, 2016

For many years, the petroleum industry has had the reputation of being a male club. With far more men than women occupying jobs and running the business, the sector faces the challenge of bridging the gender gap. On this episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless speaks with Hosnia Hashim, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait's Petrochemical Industries Company, who has more than 25 years of experience in the sector. Their conversation followed a Women in Energy event at the Center on Global Energy Policy in New York where Hashim was a guest speaker. Among the topics they discussed include: How Hashim arrived in Kuwait's petroleum industry and her path through the ranks; Opportunities for women in Kuwait's petroleum sector compared to other Middle East nations; Steps taken by Kuwait's government to promote education of women in science,  technology, engineering and math; Hashim's advice for women interested in entering the petroleum industry; Changes in Kuwait's oil and gas industry.

Oct 31, 2016

Next week governments from around the world will convene in Marrakech, Morocco for the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In this episode Sir David King, the U.K. Foreign Secretary's Special Representative for Climate Change, sits down with Columbia Energy Exchange host David Sandalow, Inaugural Fellow at the Center, to discuss the role of clean energy technologies in fighting climate change. Previously, Sir David served as Chief Scientific Adviser to the U.K. Government, Founding Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at Oxford and head of the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge University.  He has published over 500 papers on science and policy and holds 22 Honorary Degrees from universities around the world.

Their conversation, recorded at the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum in Tokyo this month, includes discussion on topics including Mission Innovation and clean energy innovation, new technologies shaping the energy transition, the need for intelligent smart grid systems, how to achieve net zero emissions and the implications of Brexit for climate change commitments in the U.K.

Oct 24, 2016

The 2016 elections come at a transformative time for energy and the environment, with major decisions faced by the next president and Congress having far-reaching implications for the world. In the second episode of a two part series on the elections and what they mean for energy and environment policy, host Bill Loveless sits down with former Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan who spent 30 years in the U.S. House and Senate representing North Dakota. During their talk, Bill and Byron discussed: Priority energy and environmental issues facing the new president and Congress; Prospects for changes in Congress that will make it possible to reach bipartisan agreement on energy and environmental legislation; The inherent conflicts between the need to curb emissions and to promote development of oil and natural gas resources in the U.S.; Differences between a Clinton and Trump presidency when it comes to energy and the environment; Who to look to for leadership in Congress on energy issues.

Oct 17, 2016

In the first episode of a two part series with former U.S. senators on the challenges an opportunities when it comes to energy and the environment for the next president of the United States, host Bill Loveless sits down with Trent Lott, a former U.S. Senate Majority Leader who served his home state of Mississippi in both the House and Senate from 1973 to 2007. They talk about: the breakdown in relations between Republicans and Democrats and whether Congress can work on a bipartisan basis to legislate on energy and the environment; energy challenges since the 1970s, and how Congress dealt with them; how a Clinton and Trump presidency would differ on energy and climate policies.

 
Oct 10, 2016

Officials from around the world will soon gather in Morocco, a country that is increasingly investing in renewable energy technologies, to discuss implementation of the newly ratified climate agreement reached in Paris last December. On this episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange host Bill Loveless talks with Said Mouline, director general of Morocco’s national agency for the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and a member of Morocco’s steering committee. They discussed: What to expect at COP22 in Marrakech and to what extent renewable energy can help address the goals of the Paris agreement; Morocco's development of the world's largest concentrated solar plant, the Noor complex; How Morocco might serve as a model for other nations, especially within Africa, to integrate renewables into their energy mix; The role of public-private partnerships in meeting Morocco’s renewable energy goals and the challenges posed by this model

Oct 3, 2016

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries took many by surprise last week with its decision to consider making cuts in crude oil production to help lift prices and rebalance the market. Now the world will wait to see if a firm decision is made at OPEC’s next regular meeting in November. Host Bill Loveless sits down with one of our Fellows at the Center on Global Energy Policy, Jamie Webster, to discuss OPEC’s decision, a change in course from the last two years of free-flowing oil.

Sep 26, 2016

Innovation is changing the energy sector. Advances in solar power, energy storage and oil and gas production are disrupting established industries and business models. What changes in these and other energy technologies lie ahead?

In the latest episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange, Inaugural Fellow David Sandalow sits down with Steven Chu, the 12th and longest serving U.S. Secretary of Energy, to discuss new and emerging technologies that are revolutionizing the energy sector.  They discuss: Advances in solar and storage technologies; Changes in oil and gas production from hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling and other technologies; Extending the lifetime of existing nuclear plants and cutting the cost of building new ones; The role of big data and computer simulation in energy innovations.

Sep 19, 2016

The political debate over U.S. energy policy has grown more polarized in recent years, making consensus difficult to reach and leaving the country with an uncertain roadmap for supply and demand. Former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, who served as Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and gained a reputation on Capitol Hill as a centrist who worked with Republicans on energy and other national priorities, sits down with host Bill Loveless to talk about why it's time for the U.S. to take an entirely new approach to making those decisions. Landrieu weighs in on: The differences among regions of the U.S. over energy production and demand; How Democrats and Republicans managed to strike deals and enact major new energy legislation in the past; Fundamental changes in the political parties that have deepened divisions between lawmakers and made legislating more difficult; The opportunities for energy security in the U.S. as production of oil, natural gas and renewable energy increase; Her plans for a new approach to energy policymaking that she says could overcome the gridlock in Washington.

Sep 12, 2016

The Great White Fleet, dispatched by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 and a milestone in U.S. Navy history, is today becoming the Great Green Fleet. Admiral Dennis McGinn, the Navy’s assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment as well as a retired rear admiral and former commander of the Third Fleet, sits down in his Pentagon office with host Bill Loveless to discuss the Navy’s commitment to sustainable and green energy in order to cut the service’s energy costs, reduce its emissions and make its fuel supplies more secure.


Sep 6, 2016

In 1976, Amory Lovins wrote a 10,000-word essay in Foreign Affairs that proposed a radically different path for America's energy future. Rather than continuing to rely on nuclear and fossil fuels, Lovins suggested what he called the “soft energy path” – one of efficiency and renewable energy. It has been 40 years since Lovins, now Co-founder & Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, wrote his seminal article. CGEP Director Jason Bordoff sits down with Amory to discuss the evolution of hard and soft energy paths and the choices now facing the US and the world. 

Aug 16, 2016

The changes in U.S. oil and natural gas markets over the past 10 years have been among the most dramatic in the energy world. The development of technologies that have allowed U.S. companies to produce oil and gas directly from source rocks transformed the energy narrative of the U.S. from a major importer to, increasingly, an energy exporter. Along the way the shale boom provided a boost to the domestic economy, altered geopolitical relationships and raised serious and important environmental and climate questions. 

On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange our guest is Rusty Braziel, President and Principle Energy Markets Consultant for RBN Energy, LLC and author of The Domino Effect: How the Shale Revolution Is Transforming Energy Markets, Industries, and Economies. Almost two years into an oil price collapse that has hit the U.S. shale industry hard, Braziel and host Jason Bordoff discuss the current state of oil and gas markets in the U.S. as well as future expectations for domestic production, transportation, storage and demand and their influence on physical markets. Among the items they discuss:  

  • The response of U.S. shale production to the global oil price collapse, including factors that have dramatically improved well productivity;
  • What the future holds for oil and gas prices and the factors that will drive price movements;
  • How global geopolitical events, such as a supply contraction in Venezuela or the Middle East, might impact the oil market;
  • The relative market influence of U.S. shale production compared to the Middle East;
  • The impact that electric vehicles might have on the oil market and demand growth in the long term;
  • And many more.
Aug 8, 2016

Electric power companies across the U.S. are going through a period of unprecedented change. Low-cost natural gas, new technology, rapid expansion of renewables, and initiatives to reduce carbon emissions are some of the major factors shaking up the electricity sector. Moreover, for some power companies, keeping their nuclear power plants alive is another big challenge.

On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, we welcome Chris Crane, the president and CEO of Exelon Corp., a Fortune 100 energy company with the most utility customers in the U.S., and the nation’s leading operator of nuclear reactors.

Crane talks with host Bill Loveless about the ways in which he is piloting his company through this transformation. And on a timely note, they discuss a new clean energy standard in New York that would keep Exelon's nuclear plants in the Empire State running, and perhaps set a standard for other states to follow. Other topics include:

  • How Exelon distinguishes between trends and fads in a changing market;
  • Whether more acquisitions of regulated utility companies are on Exelon’s agenda;
  • The future of Exelon’s nuclear fleet and what it would take for Exelon to build another nuclear plant;
  • Efforts by state regulators to balance the interests of rooftop solar homes and power companies;
  • And many more. 
Aug 1, 2016

Turning on a light or filling a glass with water from the kitchen tap are two of the simple conveniences we often take for granted. While energy and water are essential resources, the ways in which they are interconnected is generally not well understood. If a country or region lacks one of these resources, that can limit its ability to access supplies of the other. Producing energy can impact water supply and quality. And producing useable water where its needed takes a lot of energy. Population and economic growth, climate change, government policies, and much more can all further strain access to water and energy, which is becoming ever more critical as developing economies seek access to them for their citizens. 
 
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Dr. Michael Webber, Deputy Director of the Energy Institute and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, to discuss the energy-water nexus, which is the topic of his recent book, Thirst for Power: Energy, Water, and Human Survival.  Among the topics of they cover: 

  1. How are our energy and water systems connected? In what ways is water used in energy production, transportation and consumption? And how is energy used in the lifecycle of water used by society?
  2. What role does policy play in the energy-water nexus? What should policy do to address potential vulnerabilities--from energy production to climate impacts to aging infrastructure?
  3. Are there parallels to be drawn from designs for carbon pricing? How should we differentiate between water used for basic survival vs. luxury purposes?
  4. How can we manage the impacts of energy production on water quality and supply, specifically from shale oil and gas production?
  5. How can new technologies enhance protection of water quality, improve efficiency of water use in energy systems, and reduce energy intensity of water systems?
  6. How will the impacts of climate change affect the energy-water nexus?
  7. And many more.
Jul 25, 2016

The National Academy of Engineering has called the American power grid the “supreme engineering achievement of the 20th century.” A network of generation, transmission and distribution, the grid brings reliable and affordable electricity virtually all the time to virtually all Americans, providing a service essential to the nation’s economy, security and wellbeing. But the structure and management of the grid are both changing rapidly. Information technology and increasingly networked systems, distributed generation and more intermittent energy sources, smart grids and new technologies that link our appliances, cars, and smartphones to the grid, provide great benefits but also pose potential risks. Threats of cybersecurity, physical security, natural disasters must be addressed, as well as local opposition to new infrastructure and simply aging infrastructure and limited resources. All of these make maintaining the reliability and affordability of electricity services a daunting challenge.
 
On this episode of Columbia energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Cheryl LaFleur, Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the grid today. Among the topics of they address: 

  1. What is the state of the US electric grid today?
  2. What is the role of FERC and the federal system in terms of electricity regulation?
  3. How do changes in information technology and networked systems impact cybersecurity risks? What role is FERC playing to improve the security of a digital grid?
  4. How is the penetration of renewable energy in the resource mix changing the economics of electricity?
  5. Are there new or different reliability issues as a result of the increased use of natural gas in the power sector?
  6. What role can or should the Federal government play to mitigate physical risks to the grid, whether from natural disasters, extreme weather or simply aging infrastructure?
  7. And many more.

 

Jul 18, 2016
China is the world’s largest energy producer, energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter. Many analysts believe that this year, China will surpass the US to become the world’s largest oil importer. China has the world’s largest shale gas resource and leads the world in the deployment of solar panels. 
 
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host David Sandalow sits down with Fu Chengdu, who recently retired as Chair of Sinopec, a Chinese state-owned oil and gas company and the second largest company in the world according to Fortune Magazine. Among the topics they discussed: 
  • What impact will China have on global oil markets in the months ahead?
  • Can China develop its enormous shale gas resource?
  • What steps is China taking to clean the air in its cities and address climate change?
  • And many more.

 

This conversation was originally recorded on July 1, 2016.

Jul 14, 2016

One year ago, the United States and its partners concluded their negotiations with Iran on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement intended to reduce the threat from Iran's nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief. Implementation of the agreement began in January 2016. Richard Nephew, program director for economic statecraft, sanctions and energy markets at the Center on Global Energy Policy, who was the lead sanctions negotiator for the United States from 2013-2014, has written a report on six months' implementation of the nuclear deal, particularly with respect to sanctions relief. He concludes that sanctions relief has been stalled as much by concerns over residual sanctions as domestic regulatory factors and low oil prices globally.

On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless sits down with Nephew to discuss his report and the status of the Iran agreement's implementation at 6 months. Among the topics they discuss are:

  • Is the agreement delivering to all sides the benefits it provided for?
  • How has Iran’s oil sector responded to the lifting of nuclear sanctions?
  • What impediments face oil companies looking for business opportunities in Iran?
  • What’s in store for the next president when it comes to the Iran agreement?

 

 

Jul 11, 2016

U.S. energy policy has gone through many twists and turns over the past 40 years, as the nation transitioned from gasoline lines to an abundance of oil, natural gas and renewable energy. No one has been more involved in shaping and analyzing energy policy than Phil Sharp, having spent 20 years as one of the leading lawmakers on the topic and the last 11 as the President of Resources for the Future, Washington D.C.’s oldest think tank devoted exclusively to analysis of energy and the environment. Sharp recently joined the Center on Global Energy Policy as a Fellow.

On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Sharp about his time as a lawmaker in D.C., when Congress worked on a bipartisan basis to enact policies addressing concerns over the production of energy and how we consume it. During the conversation Sharp recalls some of the biggest battles over energy policy on Capitol Hill, the dramatic changes in U.S. energy fortunes, and what we can learn from these experiences, including:

  • The oil shortages of the 1970s, and how they drove the development of legislation;
  • The politics of energy, and how regions, more than party identify, influenced votes;
  • His close relationship with former Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), one of the most powerful figures in energy policy; and
  • How the landscape for energy has changed in the U.S., with less concern over supply and more focus on the environment.
  • And more.
Jul 5, 2016

Global energy markets are in the midst of a historic transition, from the Paris climate agreement and rapidly falling renewable energy costs to the collapse of oil prices and the US shale boom. The changing dynamics highlight why collecting and analyzing the fundamentals of the global energy market is critical for developing sound energy and economic policy. This task has only become more difficult with the pace of technological change in the energy sector, growing climate policy efforts, and the shifting dynamics of geopolitics.
 
On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Adam Sieminski, Administrator of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), to discuss future trends in energy and the way EIA collects and analyzes data. Among the topics they discussed:

  1. What will oil and gas production and price volatility look like in the short- and medium-term? What is the role of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve in terms of energy security concerns in the oil market today?
  2. Why hasn't the US experienced a significant economic benefit from low oil prices?
  3. Has the alleged “golden age of gas” been stalled and does it make sense to consider natural gas as a bridge toward a cleaner energy system?
  4. How does EIA incorporate technological innovation and changing cost structures in its projections?
  5. How important is policy – e.g. the Clean Power Plan — to the outlook of the US energy mix compared to market fundamentals?
  6. What are the key highlights of EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016?
  7. And many more.

 

This podcast was originally recorded on June 9, 2016. 

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