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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: May, 2021
May 25, 2021

Last week, the Center on Global Energy Policy held its annual Global Energy Summit, which featured an all-star cast of energy leaders, policymakers and experts speaking on the most pressing energy and climate issues we face today. This year, in a virtual setting, speakers hailed from every corner of the world including Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and North America. In the weeks to come, a few of those conversations will be shared in podcast form. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, who discussed key findings from the Agency’s groundbreaking new report on pathways to creating a global net-zero energy economy by 2050.  

Dr. Fatih Birol has served as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency since September 2015, has been at the IEA for a quarter century, and is widely recognized as one of the foremost global figures in the energy world. He is also chair of the World Economic Forum’s Energy Advisory Board and serves on the U.N. Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Sustainable Energy for All. Before the IEA, Dr. Birol worked at the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna. He earned a BSc degree in power engineering from the Technical University of Istanbul and received an MSc and PhD in energy economics from the Technical University of Vienna. 

May 18, 2021

Last week, a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline system forced the shutdown of one of the nation’s most critical pieces of energy infrastructure, spurring price spikes and panicked buying to fill up tanks. While the pipeline is back up and running, the lasting significance of the Colonial outage--the largest attack on the US energy system in history--should not be overlooked. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Bob McNally and Adam Segal, leading experts on energy and cybersecurity, respectively, to examine what happened with the Colonial Pipeline system and what lessons should be drawn about the vulnerability and resilience of critical energy infrastructure. 

Bob McNally is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, and the founder and President of the Rapidan Energy Group. From 2001 to 2003, Bob served as the top international and domestic energy adviser on the White House staff. He is the author of the book Crude Volatility, published through the Center on Global Energy Policy book series.

Adam Segal is the Ira A. Lipman chair in emerging technologies and national security, and director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is the author of the  book The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age. Before coming to CFR, Adam was an arms control analyst for the China Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He has been a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for International Studies, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and Tsinghua University in Beijing. 

May 11, 2021

It’s been quite a tumultuous year for the oil and gas industry, from a historic pandemic that sent oil prices crashing to growing pressure and urgency for companies to align their strategies with the world’s escalating climate ambitions. Occidental Petroleum is one of those companies, which has faced those challenges and more, including how to manage the high profile acquisition of Anadarko shortly before the pandemic struck. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by the person navigating Occidental Petroleum through this period, its CEO, Vicki Hollub, who has been CEO since 2016. Vicki recently said Oxy would become not just an oil company but a carbon management company, and Jason asked her about that and more when they spoke a few days ago in front of a live virtual audience at the annual Climate Science and Investment Conference hosted by the Columbia Climate School and the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School. 

During her 35-year career with Occidental, Vicki has held a variety of management and technical positions on three continents. Vicki started her career working on oil rigs in 1981, after graduating from the University of Alabama. She’s the most senior woman in the oil and gas sector and was the first woman to head a major American oil company. 

May 4, 2021

For years, Washington State has been a battleground over carbon pricing, with advocates of the idea suffering one defeat after another. But that’s no longer the case now that the state legislature has passed a cap-and-trade bill that some supporters say will set the gold standard for addressing climate change in the United States.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless is joined by Mike Stevens, the Washington State director of The Nature Conservancy, a global environmental organization and one of the key players in the passage of the new Climate Commitment Act.

The bill is designed to reduce Washington State’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 through increasingly stringent restrictions on the state’s 100 biggest sources of emissions. They include refiners, gas utilities and Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company.

If Governor Jay Inslee signs the bill as expected, Washington will become the second state after California with a comprehensive cap-and-trade system.

Once it takes effect in 2023, the Washington measure is forecast to raise $460 million in its first full year and at least $580 million annually by 2040, according to a report in the Seattle Times. That’s money that would be spent on a broad range of activities that include restoration of marine and fresh waters, forest health, renewable energy and public transportation. Some would be set aside to assist workers and low-income residents move to a clean-energy economy.

It’s those plans that prompt supporters of the measure to call it “cap and invest” rather than cap and trade.

Mike has headed the Washington State chapter of the organization since 2012. He brings more than 20 years of experience in conservation, sustainable agriculture and field science to his role as state director. Previously, he was a western sheep rancher and land manager.

Mike and Bill talked about the elements of this new law and how they would work, as well as the political dynamics that enabled success for its supporters after so many setbacks. They also delve into some of the features of this bill that distinguish it from other carbon proposals. Among them is a focus on environmental justice.

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