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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: March, 2018
Mar 26, 2018
Host Bill Loveless speaks with Dan Whittle, the Senior Director of the Cuba Program at the Environmental Defense Fund. Bill and Dan were among some 90 individuals from the U.S. and Cuba who attended a recent conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called “The Florida Straits: A Model for International Cooperation.”

Among the topics Bill and Dan discuss are: relations between the U.S. and Cuba on energy and environmental issues, including under the Trump and Obama administrations; Cuba’s energy needs; what’s at stake for Cuba’s environment; and lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the U.S Gulf of Mexico.
Mar 19, 2018

The outlook for global oil demand has changed dramatically over the last decade. New technologies and policy have energy experts forecasting that demand for oil will peak. Many tie this outlook to the advent of electric vehicles, but given that cars account for only one-fourth of world oil demand today, others factors will play an important role in peak oil, including the electrification of the transport sector and large vehicles, including trucks and buses.

To understand the outlook for electrification of the U.S. transport sector, host Jason Bordoff speaks with Ryan Popple, President and CEO of Proterra, a U.S. company that designs and manufactures fleets of electric powered buses, on a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange.

Prior to joining Proterra, Ryan was a partner at Kleiner Perkins and one of the first 200 employees at Tesla Motors, where he was senior director of finance. He serves on the board of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and he previously served in the U.S. Army. 

Among the topics that Ryan and Jason discuss are: The economics of electrifying bus fleets and impacts of volatile oil prices; The outlook for battery technology; Electric bus performance today and in the future; The link between energy policy and electrification of the transport sector; and the outlook for electric vehicles outside the United States.

Mar 12, 2018

U.S. climate and energy policy has shifted course under the Trump Administration. From the decision to leave the Paris Agreement, to promises to prop up the coal industry, to a push for "energy dominance" and now a new "energy realism," much has changed from the Obama era.

To better understand the strategy behind these shifts, host Jason Bordoff sits down with George David ("Dave") Banks on a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange. Dave served as special assistant to the President and as Senior Director at the National Economic Council (NEC) and National Security Council (NSC) until February 2018. 

Before working as Special Assistant at the NEC and NSC, Dave served as executive vice president at the American Council for Capital Formation, as a senior adviser to President George W. Bush on international climate change, and as Republican deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He was deputy director of the nuclear energy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. State Department diplomat, and an analyst at the CIA.

Among the topics that Dave and Jason discuss are: The Trump Administration's rationale to leave the Paris Agreement; Insights into the conservative approach to climate change; Opportunities for a carbon tax in the United States; The administration's approach to international energy issues including the crisis in Venezuela, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the Nordstream 2 pipeline.

Mar 5, 2018

Discussions about U.S. energy policy typically focus on Washington, where the White House, Congress and agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dominate the headlines. This makes it easy to overlook the roles played by state regulators, whose vital decisions affect the flow of energy locally and how much consumers pay for electricity and natural gas.

With that in mind, host Bill Loveless sat down with John “Jack” Betkoski III, the new president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), to talk about challenges facing state regulators at a time when innovative technology, a changing climate and shifting public attitudes are disrupting traditional energy markets.

As Jack notes in the podcast, “We’re the ones in the trenches. We’re the ones who deal with utilities on a regular basis.”

Jack, the vice chairman of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, and Bill met outside NARUC’s 2018 Winter Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., where more than 1,000 state regulators and others gathered.

Among the topics that Bill and Jack discussed are: The energy-water nexus—the primary theme of Jack’s NARUC presidency; Recent actions by FERC on electricity resilience and reliability; Public opposition to new gas pipeline construction; Concerns over the volatility of recent storms; The outlook for renewable energy, nuclear energy.

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