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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: January, 2020
Jan 27, 2020

The past decade has been a turbulent one for the London-based oil and gas major BP, from the serious Deepwater Horizon accident that brought the company to the brink, to navigating its troubled relations with Russia and the oil price collapse of 2014, to charting a path forward - now toward a lower-carbon world to address the challenge of climate change. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by BP’s chief executive, Bob Dudley, who has been at the helm of BP for the past decade, and is the first American to head the company. He started his career in the oil and gas industry forty years ago with Amoco Corporation as a chemical engineer. Amoco was then acquired by BP, and Bob took on a number of roles, including working for Lord John Browne, managing BP’s alternative energy business around the time that its Beyond Petroleum Initiative was launched, heading the unique Russian joint oil venture called TNK-BP, and leading American and Asian activities. 

Bob is credited for stabilizing, and indeed saving, the company at a pivotal time. Nearly a decade on, BP has emerged as a much stronger company, trying to navigate a rapidly-changing energy landscape, and deal with new pressures, including diversifying into clean energies and figuring out how an oil and gas company responds to climate change. 

Bob Dudley steps down as CEO next week, and Jason sat down with him at BP’s London Headquarters to reflect back on his career, and to look ahead on where the company, and the energy industry, may be going.  

Jan 20, 2020

After going on for nearly two years, the Trump administration’s trade war with China has taken a new turn with a so-called phase-one agreement. Among the terms of the deal is China’s pledge to buy about $200 billion more in U.S. goods over the next two years, including $52.4 billion in U. S. energy goods. Now, as the ink dries on the document, some ask if those energy sales are likely to happen.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless visits with Dr. Erica Downs, a Senior Research Scholar at the Center who specializes in Chinese energy markets and geopolitics. Erica is a former Senior Research Scientist in the China Studies division of the CNA Corp. Among her other credentials, she was an Analyst at the Eurasia Group, the Brookings Institution and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Bill caught up with Erica soon after President Trump signed the agreement with China at the White House to get her take on its implications, especially as it relates to U.S.- China energy trade, which had looked promising until trade troubles between Washington and Beijing erupted. She also provides fascinating insight on China’s oil and gas industry, which has recently made self-reliance a major commitment, and explains why Russia has a lot to gain now as an oil and gas supplier to China.

In preparing for the conversation, Bill found very helpful a paper Erica wrote for the Center on Global Energy Policy in the fall called “High Anxiety: The Trade War and China’s Oil and Gas Supply Security.” If you have a minute, download it from the center’s website. It’s worth a look.

Jan 11, 2020

On January 2, the United States carried out an attack in Baghdad against a convoy of vehicles that killed Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian general and head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force. Iran retaliated for the attacks, launching ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. The next morning, both sides indicated a desire to deescalate the conflict. 

Yet, while Iran and the U.S. have seemingly stepped back from the brink, it is far from clear Iran is done retaliating for Soleimani’s death, and a broader military conflict certainly remains a possibility, along with further attacks that may affect energy infrastructure.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by CGEP's Richard Nephew and Antoine Halff, who explain what led to this escalation with Iran, and what may happen next. Richard is a Senior Research Scholar at CGEP and the former Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the U.S. Department of State. In his prior role, Richard was instrumental in designing the sanctions regime against Iran, as well as the deal that lifted them, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which the Trump Administration has pulled out of. Antoine is an Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at CGEP, and former Chief Oil Analyst at the International Energy Agency. One of the leading oil market experts in the world, Antoine served as editor of IEA's flagship publication, the Oil Market Report. Before that he was Lead Industry Economist at the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Jason sat down with Richard and Antoine yesterday to discuss the attack on Solemani, Iran’s response, and the potential impacts on geopolitics, energy markets, oil prices, energy security, and more.

Jan 6, 2020

Happy New Year! And welcome back to Columbia Energy Exchange, a weekly podcast from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

The year 2020 promises to be an important one for energy and environmental issues in the U.S., with significant debates in Congress over policy options and a national election in which climate change may be a decisive issue for many voters.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless is joined by Ralph Izzo, a well-known leader in the U.S. utility sector and in the public-policy arena.

Ralph is the Chairman and Chief Executive of Public Service Enterprise Group, a diversified energy company in New Jersey that includes Public Service Electric and Gas Company, the largest investor-owned utility in the state.

He joined the utility in 1992 and has since held several executive positions within PSEG’s family of companies.  

You will often find him testifying before Congress or speaking before groups on some of the most pressing energy and environmental issues of the day.

But what you may not know is Ralph’s career began in science as a researcher at a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory after earning his Ph.D. in applied physics at Columbia University. It’s a professional foundation that’s influenced his business approach for decades.

At Columbia, he also received his bachelor of science and master of science degrees in mechanical engineering, and later went to Rutgers Graduate School of Management for his master of business administration degree.

Host Bill Loveless sat down with Ralph during one of his recent visits to Washington to talk about his increasing concerns over climate change and what he sees as a disparate approach to the crisis when it comes to national and state policies. While he notes that much is being done to reduce emissions in the U.S., including in the electric-power sector, he worries that the advances are likely to fall short of what’s needed to keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius.

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