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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, 2022
May 31, 2022

Oil refiners are currently seeing a big boom in business – but how long will it last? 

The process of turning crude into usable products has been plagued for years by low profitability and overcapacity, and the pandemic took a toll on many refineries which in some cases shut their doors permanently.

And now climate action, the potential for an economic slump and global fuel shortages are raising new questions about whether refiners should continue to invest or cash out. 

For answers to these big questions surrounding oil refining, host Bill Loveless spoke with Robin Mills, chief executive at Qamar Energy in Dubai. The company provides regionally-based insight and consulting across the oil and gas, renewable, hydrogen and carbon management sectors in the Middle East. 

Prior to this, Robin led major consulting assignments for the European Union in Iraq and for a variety of international oil companies. Robin previously worked for Shell, developing new business in the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries and for Dubai Holding and the Emirates National Oil Company.

He is the author of two books: “The Myth of the Oil Crisis” and “Capturing Carbon.”

The pair discuss the current landscape for oil refining, the impact of the pandemic, and the role policymakers and government leaders can play in alleviating market disruptions.

May 24, 2022
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for safeguarding U.S.  nuclear infrastructure, maintaining energy security, fostering technology innovation, and guiding the country towards a green energy transition. 

Today, the DOE is facing converging crises: climate change, global supply chains still impacted by the pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So, what can the federal government do to sustainably shore up the country's energy sector? 

To answer that question, host Jason Bordoff speaks with David Turk, deputy secretary of energy at the DOE and former deputy executive director of the International Energy Agency.

Jason and David discuss the war in Ukraine, the future of clean energy technology, and what energy security looks like in a decarbonizing world.

May 17, 2022
Europe is at a crossroads over nuclear power. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed Europe to reconsider its energy mix.  Migrating away from Russian supply chains has become a priority, and Europe is looking at nuclear as one possible alternative. But opinions about nuclear energy vary throughout the European Union, where a quarter of all electricity comes from often aging reactors in a dozen countries.

For insight into how the pressures of energy security and climate change could affect the future of nuclear energy on the continent, host Bill Loveless spoke with Mark Hibbs, a nonresident senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

Based in Germany, Mark focuses on international nuclear trade and nonproliferation as well as policy concerning the generation of nuclear power. Before joining Carnegie in 2010, he spent more than 20 years as an accomplished editor and senior correspondent with Nucleonics Week and other nuclear energy publications at S&P Global Platts.

Bill and Mark spoke about the outlook for nuclear energy in Europe as the war persists, the potential of new reactors as an alternative to Russian oil and natural gas, and the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear reactors amid the war. 

May 10, 2022

Despite some setbacks, Europe is considering a ban on Russian oil, a major step toward energy independence from Russia. Meanwhile, Russia’s demand that buyers pay for its natural gas in rubles has put European consumers in a tough spot and has led Russia to cut off gas exports to Bulgaria and Poland. 

All of this puts Europe in the middle of an energy crisis – with no clear end in sight. 

For a look at whether Europe can stand against Russia without compromising its own energy supply and continue to make progress on its clean energy goals, host Jason Bordoff speaks with Kadri Simson. She’s the European Commissioner for Energy and works to ensure Europe has affordable, sustainable, and secure sources of energy. 

Before joining the European Commission in 2019, she was Estonia’s Minister for Economic Affairs and has held various other positions in the Estonian government. 

During her recent visit to Columbia University, Commissioner Simson and Jason discussed various aspects of the European energy market including Europe’s natural gas demand, the importance of Russia’s diesel and refined products, and the continent’s nuclear future.

May 3, 2022
A rocky pandemic recovery, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and increasing social and consumer pressure to move away from Russian commodities have led to a spike in  oil, natural gas, and even coal prices.  

For a look at  how commodities should be regulated and how policymakers think about energy supplies in a fractious geopolitical environment, host Jason Bordoff spoke with Javier Blas from Bloomberg News. He’s a leading energy columnist and commodities expert with a renowned career at top media outlets like the BBC and the Financial Times. 

He’s also the author of a new book: “The World for Sale: Money, Power, and the Traders Who Barter the Earth's Resources,” co-authored with senior Bloomberg News reporter Jack Farchy. 

The pair have been on the show previously to discuss the book in detail, which you can listen to here. They also participated in a recent event with Maria Jelscu Dreyfus, CEO and Founder of Ardinall Investment Management which you can watch here

In this discussion, Javier focuses on the implications of the current war for commodities markets and the global clean energy transition. 

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