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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: 2022
Nov 29, 2022

War. Inflation. Supply shortfalls. The global energy system looks much different than a year ago, thanks to a confluence of disruptive forces for oil and natural gas. Ever-cheaper renewables, electric cars, and stronger climate policies are putting peak fossil fuel consumption in sight. 

How will these competing factors play out in the coming decade and beyond? 

This fall, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published the latest version of its flagship report, the World Energy Outlook (WEO). It examines the state of the global energy system and maps out a variety of decarbonization scenarios for the future. 

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Laura Cozzi. Laura is the chief energy modeler at the IEA . She also serves as the head of the demand outlook division, and is responsible for producing the annual World Energy Outlook. Laura has been with the IEA for more than 20 years and has co-authored multiple editions of the WEO. 

Jason talks with Laura about this year’s analysis – and the various scenarios outlined in the report. They discuss the prospect for a peak in fossil fuel consumption, the impact of increased investments in clean energy, and the long-term impacts of today’s supply crisis.

Nov 22, 2022

The November midterm elections proved better than expected for Democrats, in spite of many predictions of a Republican wave sweeping across the United States.

Regardless of what happens in the Georgia run-off in December, Democrats will hold a majority in the Senate. 

Republicans, however, have taken a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, where they can contest President Biden’s climate and energy agenda. Most notably, they could try to minimize the impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act and other new laws through oversight and investigations into its funding for various agencies. 

How will climate and energy policy shake out over the last two years of President Biden’s term? Will the administration look to regulatory agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission to move the needle on climate action with a split Congress? 

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Rich Powell and Aliya Haq. 

Rich is the CEO of Clear Path and Clear Path Action. Both are DC-based organizations advancing policies that accelerate innovations to reduce emissions in the energy and industrial sectors. He is also the co-chair of the Conservative Climate Foundation.

Aliya is the vice president of U.S. policy and advocacy at Breakthrough Energy. Her team pushes for ambitious climate and clean energy policy to help the U.S. achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Previously, she was the federal climate policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Bill spoke with Rich and Aliya about the election results and how they will impact policy over the next two years. They discussed the possibility of bipartisan action and how a Republican House could influence energy and environmental agencies.

Nov 15, 2022

The spotlight is on Africa at COP27, the UN climate change conference taking place in Egypt.

This year, climate-induced disasters have ravaged the continent. Cyclones and flooding in the south, and a four-year drought in the east have crippled food supplies, increased human suffering, and hurt economic growth. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of Africans still live in energy poverty. With pressure from developed nations to cut emissions at global climate talks, African leaders are hoping to secure billions of dollars to invest in the transition away from fossil fuels and build new energy infrastructure. 

But securing financing to build renewable energy projects isn't enough. For the first time in its history, the COP agenda includes “loss and damage” funds. These are reparations that industrialized countries would pay to developing countries which have suffered the most from climate change. 

What will it take to bring about meaningful energy transitions in Africa? And do the energy developments underway give us some insight on what’s possible?

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Dr. Destenie Nock. Destenie is an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University where she teaches civil and environmental engineering as well as engineering and public policy. She is also newly appointed to Columbia’s Visiting Faculty Program.

Destenie recently co-authored a report about energy poverty in Africa in the journal Nature titled “Africa needs context-relevant evidence to shape its clean energy future.”

Bill and Destenie spoke about her research, and the nuanced energy and climate needs of African nations. They discuss ‘loss and damage’ and the previously unfulfilled promises from wealthy countries to fund climate mitigation projects.

Nov 8, 2022

In 2021, 6.9 million electric vehicles were sold globally. And with 18 of the 20 largest auto manufacturers committed to embracing electrification, sales are expected to reach 55-72 million by 2025

To produce these vehicles, manufacturers need critical minerals like cobalt, lithium, and nickel for their batteries. China is a major player in battery manufacturing because of its capacity for processing these minerals. 

The European Union is close to striking a deal to ban new combustion-engine cars starting in 2035. Earlier this summer, the California Air Resources Board passed a new mandate for EVs, effectively phasing out the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035.

With the United States and Europe both aiming to bolster their domestic supply chains, the contest for critical minerals is also heating up. What will it take to produce these minerals in sufficient quantities? And how can it be done in ways that protect the environment and the mining communities?

This week host Bill Loveless talks with Henry Sanderson, the executive editor at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. From 2014 to 2021, he served as the commodities correspondent for the Financial Times. He also spent seven years in China reporting for Bloomberg and the Associated Press.

In July, Henry published a new book, “Volt Rush: The Winners and Losers in the Race to Go Green”. Volt Rush is about the geopolitics and competition over the commodities needed to build a greener world. 

Bill talks with Henry about the competitive global market of EV battery components and the often overlooked working and environmental conditions in developing countries. They also discuss efforts by the United States and other countries to build domestic supply chains.

Nov 1, 2022

Europe is getting some much-needed relief in the midst of its energy crisis. Although energy prices are still high, a warm October and a surge in liquified gas imports brought spot prices down from record levels and gas storage to near full capacity. A worst-case supply crisis has been averted — for now.

But tensions are still high. Fears over Russian sabotage of North Sea pipelines are causing concerns about cuts to remaining gas supplies. Impending winter weather and a coming embargo on Russian oil are adding uncertainty to an already volatile market. European households and businesses will still see prices for natural gas and electricity well above average. 

Has Europe seen the worst of its energy crisis? What are the options for EU leaders to manage the energy crisis during the frigid winter months? How will further measures to pressure Russia economically affect the European economy?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Anne-Sophie Corbeau and Tatiana Mitrova about the winter outlook and the options for managing the energy supply. This conversation was recorded on October 14, 2022. 

Anne-Sophie is a global research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Tatiana is a research fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy.

Oct 25, 2022

The group of 23 oil-producing countries known as OPEC+ announced a cut in production at its recent meeting in Vienna. The move sparked a sharp backlash from leaders in Washington amid concerns about high energy prices and their impact on the global economy.

OPEC+ countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, defended the decision by pointing to the weak economic outlook depressing oil demand. Others concluded geopolitics may have been at play given the relationship between OPEC+ countries and Russia.   

In Washington, calls for retaliation were immediate. Proposals included a cessation of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, legislation to strip OPEC+ of its immunity from antitrust lawsuits, or new releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 

Was the market in need of a production cut? And how much did geopolitics play a role in OPEC+’s decision?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Amrita Sen

Amrita is the co-founder and chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects. She leads their analysis and forecasting of crude and products markets. Amrita was formerly the chief oil analyst at Barclays Capital. She holds a masters in economics from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in economics from SOAS University of London. 

Amrita’s deep understanding of the complexity of the global energy sector, along with a wealth of industry contacts and experience, gives her a unique perspective on market outlook. Earlier this month, she warned clients that U.S. shale output could peak in 2024. 

Together, Jason and Amrita discuss the rationale behind the OPEC+ cuts and the influence of geopolitics. They also talk about the U.S. response and production outlook for the next few years.

Oct 18, 2022

In the months since Russia invaded Ukraine, world leaders have struggled to implement a global response that punishes Russia for its aggression, while simultaneously minimizing the war’s impact on energy prices. In the United States, the Department of the Treasury has been at the center of this effort. Officials there have been negotiating with international partners over a proposal to implement a price cap on Russian oil. Their goal? To reduce Russia’s energy revenue while keeping vitally needed oil on the market. 

A price cap would allow those transporting Russian oil to use western services if buyers pay below a set price. But some experts are skeptical. Can the United States really punish Russian aggression while protecting the economies of consumer countries? What are the chances of Russian retaliation? And how would a global price cap affect energy prices for American consumers in the months ahead?

This week, we’re airing a conversation between host Jason Bordoff and Wally Adeyemo at the recent Columbia Global Energy Summit.  

As deputy secretary of the Treasury, Wally has been at the center of the Biden Administration’s Covid recovery effort, its response to Russian aggression, and its stewardship of the American economy. 

Prior to taking over as deputy secretary, Wally served as deputy national security adviser for International Economics and deputy director of the National Economic Council for the Obama Administration. He was also the first chief of staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Jason and Wally discuss the price cap proposal, the outlook for energy markets, and how the Department of the Treasury is using its economic policy levers to address the climate crisis.

Oct 12, 2022

We need more energy infrastructure. 

But energy permitting regulations — primarily established through the National Environmental Policy Act — are not matching the pace of the transition needed if we’re to meet our net-zero goals.

Sen. Joe Manchin has been trying to pass permitting reform for more than 20 months, and his most recent proposal catapulted the issue into the national spotlight. Manchin’s bill aims to reform environmental review and permitting processes. Most notably, it would reduce the time it takes to get an energy project approved. 

The bill faces opposition from both the right and the left. Some Democrats have criticized the bill as a sop to big oil. And some conservatives argue that it lacks clear and meaningful implementation requirements.

Since Manchin couldn’t muster enough support for the proposal, it was ultimately pulled. 

Without permitting reform, the U.S. will struggle to build new energy projects, putting climate targets and energy security at risk. What will it take to pass bi-partisian legislation? And how can regulatory review balance environmental protection and infrastructure development? 

This week host Bill Loveless interviews Katie McGinty and Jim Connaughton. 

Katie is the vice president and chief sustainability and external relations officer for Johnson Controls. She was the first woman to serve as chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and as deputy assistant to President Clinton. 

Jim Connaughton is the chairperson of Nautilus Data Technologies. He served as the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality for the George W. Bush administration as well as the director of the White House Office of Environmental Policy. He is a member of the advisory committee for Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy.

Last year, Katie and Jim co-authored a report for the Aspen Institute titled “Building Cleaner, Faster.” It concluded that environmental review and permitting reform were necessary to decarbonize the economy. 

Bill talked with Katie and Jim about permitting reform, Sen. Manchin’s proposed bill, and why new legislation is so important for building new energy infrastructure.

Oct 4, 2022

Europe is in the throes of a severe energy crisis, with oil, gas, electricity, and coal prices skyrocketing this year. As the continent braces for winter, its leaders face difficult questions about whether or not there will be enough energy to heat homes and power the economy into 2023 and beyond. 

Meanwhile Europeans are contending with the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. As they try to pressure Russia economically, they’re attempting to minimize how much they squeeze their own energy sectors. 

This energy crisis is occurring against the backdrop of an unfolding climate crisis. It has taken a toll on Europe this summer, inflicting major heat waves and drought across much of the continent. European governments, which have accelerated their efforts to fight climate change through the European Green Deal, must now balance the need for reducing carbon emissions with the need to meet current fossil fuel demand. 

How can Europe’s leaders find a compromise? How can they meet the current energy demands of their constituents? And what does a long-term energy security plan look like for Europe?

This week we are airing host Jason Bordoff’s recent interview with Frans Timmermans from Columbia’s World Leaders Forum. They sat down for a conversation titled, “Staying the Course in a World of Turmoil.” 

Frans is the executive vice-president of the European Commission for the European Green Deal and the European commissioner for climate action. He has an extensive background in Dutch politics, serving as a member of the House of Representatives, the State Secretary of Foriegn Affairs, and, most recently, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

Jason and Frans talk about how the European Union can balance decarbonization, affordability, and energy security in the upcoming months. They also discuss what this crisis means for energy planning in the long-term. 

Sep 27, 2022

Developing countries face the dual challenge of meeting rapidly growing energy demand while also scaling clean energy to avoid dramatic increases in carbon emissions. But financing all of those clean energy projects can be tough.

Emerging and developing economies need clean energy investments. Researchers estimate that they will need anywhere between $1-2 trillion per year for the next 30 years to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Most of that capital will need to come from the private sector. Multilateral development banks are working to fill the gap and catalyze private finance. But they still have to work through unique financial, policy, and technical challenges in emerging and developing economies.

So what are these barriers? And how do we overcome them to mobilize more capital for clean energy projects across the developing world?

This week, host Jason Bordoff talks with Mafalda Duarte. Mafalda is the CEO of Climate Investment Funds, one of the most ambitious efforts to finance clean energy projects in developing and middle-income countries. 

Since 2015 she’s led efforts all over the world to help countries build climate-resilient economies by innovating ways to mobilize capital. She has extensive experience  managing climate-related portfolios and leading policy projects in more than 30 countries around the world. 

Jason and Mafalda discuss opportunities for financing the clean energy transition in emerging economies—including an ambitious new effort to phase out coal in parts of Africa and Asia.

Sep 20, 2022

Covid and the Russian war in Ukraine have slowed economic development in East Asia and the Pacific. High global commodity prices are stressing countries heavily dependent on energy and food imports. 

Recent heat waves and drought sweeping across the region are adding further economic pain.

In China, coal consumption is climbing as hydropower resources dry up. And it’s not the only major economy in the region heavily reliant on the dirtiest fossil fuel. Across Asia, hundreds of new coal plants and mines are being built.

So how do the countries that are most vulnerable to climate change – and the biggest users of coal –  balance economic development and the energy transition?

This week, Bill Loveless talks with Manuela Ferro, the Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific at the World Bank. Previously, Manuela served as Vice President of Operations Policy and Country Services, where she oversaw the Bank’s crisis response to the coronavirus pandemic. She’s an engineer and economist with a masters in engineering from University of Lisbon, and a Ph.D. in development economics from Stanford University.

Bill talks with Manuela about the World Bank’s recently released economic update on East Asia and the Pacific called Braving the Storm. They also discussed other developments – like the region’s reliance on coal for energy security, and how the World Bank can help the transition to cleaner energy.

Sep 13, 2022

Winter is coming. The energy crisis that is afflicting Europe and other parts of the world is worsening as Russia weaponizes natural gas.

After Putin turned off supply of Russian gas through the Nord Stream pipeline earlier this month, prices across Europe soared – causing severe pain for manufacturers and consumers, and pushing the region closer to recession. European countries are weighing emergency measures, like price caps and rationing.

In addition to the immediate energy crisis, key questions remain about what all of this means for the clean energy transition. The supply of critical materials for clean energy technologies – such as copper, lithium, and cobalt – will also present challenges. A recent report by S&P Global predicted that demand for copper will double by 2035 as a consequence of the energy transition, and it is unclear if the existing supply chains can sustain such an increase. 

How can governments and companies address the energy crisis without sacrificing progress on climate? And how might current and future supply shortages change the geopolitical landscape?

This week, Jason Bordoff talks with Dr. Dan Yergin, an internationally known authority on energy, geopolitics, and economics. He sits on the boards of numerous institutions – including Columbia’s Center of Global Energy Policy.

Dr. Yergin is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power.” And his most recent book, “The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations,” illustrates the greatest issues of geopolitics and energy today. 

He is the Vice Chairman of S&P Global, and was the project Chairman for the report, “The Future of Copper: Will the looming supply gap short-circuit the energy transition?”

Jason spoke with Dr. Yergin about the ongoing energy crisis, the supply of critical materials, and the future of energy superpowers.

Sep 8, 2022

Nuclear fusion seems like something out of science fiction – a reaction created inside a machine that replicates the sun. But the technology behind this process could be inching closer to reality. And with it, new opportunities to harness electricity.  

The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act allocates $280 million for fusion energy science. And experiments in China, the U.K., and California have some scientists feeling hopeful that fusion could play a role in the global energy transition. 

But there’s a problem. At lower temperatures, nuclear fusion requires more energy than it produces. It’s only when the plasma used to combine atoms reaches an extremely high temperature that it sets off a chain reaction and makes the process sustainable. 

There are different approaches to achieving this chain reaction. But are scientists actually getting close to commercialization? And when will nuclear fusion be powering our homes and businesses? 

This week, host Bill Loveless talks with Dr. Dennis Whyte, Hitachi America Professor of Engineering at MIT and director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He also leads the Laboratory for Innovations and Fusion technology, which has energy company sponsorship to explore early-stage, disruptive fusion technologies. 

Dr. Whyte played an integral role in Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a startup out of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center, that recently raised $1.8 billion in funding to commercialize fusion energy. 

Bill talks with Dr. Whyte about the science behind nuclear fusion, his work at MIT, and the efforts to bring this technology to market.

Aug 30, 2022

In 2020, Europe passed a landmark climate package called the Green Deal. It was supposed to mark a new era of climate progress for the region.

Few expected that two years later, Europe would be burning more coal, importing more liquified natural gas, shifting from gas to oil for industry, and spending more money to subsidize fossil fuel consumption. Europe’s energy crisis, many years in the making, has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and the subsequent turmoil in regional and global energy markets.

The past six months have proven how the global energy transition will play out in chaotic and non-linear ways.

So what will today’s energy crisis mean for the energy transition? How will governments around the world react to today’s supply shortages and price spikes? And what does the wild ride for commodities and energy pricing mean for security and climate goals around the world? 

This week, we’re running an episode of the Foreign Affairs Interview podcast featuring our co-host, Jason Bordoff, and Meghan O’Sullivan, a professor of international affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Meghan is the author of “Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America’s Power.” And she served as deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush Administration.

In June, Jason and Meghan joined host Dan Kurtz-Phelan to discuss their recent articles on the ongoing energy crisis. They talked about market volatility, President Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia, and why energy is still so central to geopolitics.

Aug 23, 2022

This summer’s climate bill features an historic investment: $60 billion will be devoted to clean energy projects and climate resilience for disadvantaged communities. It will  also create a green bank to help drive climate investments with explicit equity outcomes.

Environmental justice is getting real attention in policymaking at the federal and state level. So how do we define and measure it? And why is it so crucial to the energy transition?

This week we’re bringing back one of our most popular episodes from last summer – co-host Bill Loveless’s conversation with environmental justice pioneer Dr. Robert Bullard.

Dr. Bullard helped build the environmental justice movement decades ago, and currently serves as distinguished professor of urban planning and environmental policy at Texas Southern University. His advocacy work has focused on everything from air pollution to housing to hurricane relief. 

This conversation on the history and urgency of environmental justice is particularly relevant given America’s recent investments in climate equity through the Inflation Reduction Act.

Aug 16, 2022

America is doubling down on support of electric vehicles. This summer’s historic climate bill extends key tax credits for buyers of EVs, putting them in reach for more drivers. 

 

Those credits also require a high percentage of American-sourced materials – which could be a long-term boon to domestic production, but a potential short-term problem for manufacturers with foreign supply chains.

Electric models make up 5% of EV sales in the U.S. and IHS Markit predicts EVs will represent 30% of sales by the end of the decade. With federal support of electric cars ramping up, what is the pathway for making EVs a mainstream choice?

We’re on a late summer break. So for the next couple of weeks, we’re bringing back some of our most popular interviews. This week features a conversation recorded in front of a live audience earlier this year between our co-host, Jason Bordoff, and two top figures in transportation: Jim Farley and Mary Nichols.

Jim Farley is president and chief executive officer of Ford. Mary Nichols is a long-time environmental champion and chair of the California Air Resources Board. She’s now a distinguished visiting fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy.

Jim and Mary discuss the significant changes taking place in the auto industry given new federal policies promoting electric cars and buses.

Aug 9, 2022

Wildfire season is upon us. With nearly 80% of the Western US in extreme drought, fires have already scorched more than five and a half million acres this year – double the number of acres compared to this time last year. 

Those fires pose an increasing risk to electric utilities. And no utility feels the urgency of that risk more than PG&E.

In 2018, PG&E equipment sparked the most devastating wildfire in California history – and it forced one of America’s largest utilities into bankruptcy protection.

The story isn’t likely to be an anomaly. As journalist Katherine Blunt writes in her new book, California Burning, the story is “a harbinger of challenges to come” as climate change threatens the grid built for a different era.

Katherine joins Bill Loveless on the show this week. She’s a Wall Street Journal reporter who covers the power industry. Her team’s reporting on PG&E was honored with multiple awards for business investigative journalism.

Bill spoke with her about the PG&E saga – and what it tells us about the risks facing utilities and the power grid in a rapidly-warming world.

Aug 2, 2022

Even as prices decline, the tight oil market is once again raising economic and political worries in Washington. 

In July, President Biden traveled to the Middle East to meet with several Arab leaders – including Saudi Arabia’s King and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Expanding oil supply was high on the list of the administration’s diplomatic objectives.

Saudi Arabia says it has limited ability to add extra oil to the market, and it’s not clear whether OPEC+ countries agree on the path forward for oil output. All of this comes at a time of enormous uncertainty in the global outlook for oil, due to fears of a recession and concerns over Russian supply. 

Now all eyes are on OPEC+ in early August. Will Biden’s overtures have any consequential impact on production? 

This week, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Dr. Karen Young and Bob McNally to discuss what’s next for oil markets.

Dr. Young is the newest Senior Research Scholar at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy. She was a Senior Fellow and Founding Director of the Program on Economics and Energy at the Middle East Institute. 

Bob McNally is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy. He’s the author of Crude Volatility: The History and the Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices, published by Columbia University Press. In his full-time capacity he is the founder and President of Rapidan Energy Group, an independent energy consulting and market advisory firm based in the Washington DC area.

In the wake of Biden’s controversial trip to the Middle East, Jason spoke with Karen and Bob about what it tells us about the state of the global oil market in the months ahead.

Jul 26, 2022

Relentless extreme heat is gripping regions around the world. Spring and summer brought numerous crippling heat waves to Europe – smashing temperature records, killing more than a thousand people, and buckling infrastructure. 

India and Pakistan experienced one of the hottest springs ever, with heat waves in March and April hurting crop yields, and putting more than a billion people at risk.

And here in the US, heat waves are scorching large swaths of the country, exacerbating a western megadrought.

Every year, hot, humid conditions that can kill people are getting more likely. And scientists are getting better at attributing specific heat waves to human-caused climate change.

This week, host Bill Loveless talks with Dr. Radley Horton, a Research Professor at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. 

Radley’s research focuses on climate extremes, tail risks, climate impacts, and adaptation. He was a lead author for the Third National Climate Assessment.

Bill spoke with Radley about this year’s brutal conditions that have hit Europe, North America, and Asia over the last few months. They discussed his research into heat-related mortality, where regions are becoming most vulnerable to extreme weather, and what it all means for our ability to adapt.

Jul 19, 2022

Europe’s gas crisis has entered a scary new phase. Last week, the biggest pipeline carrying Russian gas into Germany was closed for maintenance. And many in Europe fear the Russians will keep Nord Stream 1 closed indefinitely – putting further pressure on gas supply in the colder months.

Europeans are burning more coal, scrambling for new sources of gas, and committing to lots of renewable energy in a frantic attempt to slash reliance on Russian fossil fuels. But there are real questions about how quickly those solutions will shift the balance of power. 

Meanwhile, gas prices are soaring in markets around the world – leading to fears about recession and long-lasting economic impacts. What are the possible scenarios that could play out?

This week, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Anne-Sophie Corbeau and Dr. Tatiana Mitrova to explain the state of gas markets. 

Anne-Sophie Corbeau is a Global Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs; Dr. Tatiana Mitrova is a Research Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy. 

Together, they discuss  how deeply the gas shocks will impact Europe, Russia, and the rest of the world.

Jul 12, 2022

In June, Colombia elected a new president: Gustavo Petro. 

Petro is pushing major reforms in this oil-exporting country. He promised to cut Colombia’s reliance on selling oil and extracting raw materials, while also ramping up climate targets. Will Colombia become the first oil exporter to ban new production?

Petro’s win is part of a broader progressive shift in Latin America around climate and energy. How will recent political developments in Colombia and other Latin American countries affect the future of oil and mining on the continent, and what do these shifts mean for the clean energy transition? 

This week, host Bill Loveless sits down with Dr. Mauricio Cárdenas, a visiting senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy.

As Colombia’s finance minister between 2012 and 2018, Dr. Cárdenas served during an oil shock that led to a 40% reduction in Colombia’s exports.

Mauricio and Bill discussed whether the incoming Colombian president can deliver on his campaign promises. They also explore the state of energy and climate policy across Latin America.

Jul 6, 2022

In a 6-3 decision in West Virginia v. EPA, Supreme Court justices determined that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overstepped its authority in regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Since the Thursday decision, several environmental groups have called the monumental ruling devastating to the Biden administration’s efforts to facilitate a clean energy transition. 

For a breakdown of the decision and its implications for climate regulations moving forward, host Bill Loveless spoke with legal experts Michael Gerrard and Jeff Holmstead. 

Michael is founder and director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. He has pioneered innovative legal strategies and teaches courses on environmental law, climate change law and energy regulation. Before his time at Columbia, Michael was the head of the New York law office of Arnold & Porter.

Jeff heads the Environmental Strategies Group at the law firm Bracewell. He previously served as assistant administrator for air and radiation at the EPA under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. During his tenure, he was one of the architects behind the Clean Air Interstate Rule, the Clean Air Diesel Rule and the Mercury Rule for power plants.

The pair discussed precisely how the rule curbs the EPA’s power, where it stops short, and the kind of legal precedence it sets for future cases.

Jun 28, 2022

This week, Columbia Energy Exchange brings you an episode of another podcast called Catalyst. 

It’s a weekly show hosted by climate tech veteran Shayle Kann about the future of decarbonization. Each week, different experts, researchers, and executives come on to unpack the latest hurdles to decarbonization and advancing new climate tech solutions. 

This episode is all about weighing the risks and rewards of solar geoengineering. 

In it, Shayle speaks with a climate modeler named Dan Visioni who conducts research on solar geoengineering at Cornell University’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. 

They explore key questions, including:

  • What do we know about the potential effects on ozone, precipitation and ecosystems? What do we need to research, and what could we learn by testing?
  • Which could scale faster: carbon dioxide removal or solar geoengineering?  
  • Solar geoengineering could cost a tiny fraction of the amount required to scale up carbon dioxide removal. Does that mean it could buy us time to draw down emissions in a less expensive manner? Or would its relative affordability enable a rogue actor to deploy it without international collaboration?
  • And who gets to make the final decision on whether the world should deploy solar geoengineering? Whose hand is on the thermostat, so to speak?

Episodes of Catalyst drop every Thursday. The show is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

Jun 21, 2022

President Biden is heading to Saudi Arabia next month amidst a global energy crisis. The trip is nothing new. For decades when faced with an oil crisis, presidents from both political parties have turned to Saudi Arabia. 

That’s because it’s one of the key players in the global oil market, producing about 10% of the world’s oil. 

For a deep dive into the unique role that Saudi Arabia plays in global oil markets, host Jason Bordoff spoke with Dr. Ibrahim AlMuhanna. He’s the vice chairman of the Saudi Association for Energy Economics and a longtime advisor to the Ministry of Energy for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Between 1989 and 2017, he worked closely with four successive energy ministers, playing a central role in developing Saudi energy policy and communicating it to the outside world. His new book “Oil Leaders: An Insider’s Account of Four Decades of Saudi Arabia and OPEC's Global Energy Policy” is the latest in the Center on Global Energy Policy book series published through Columbia University Press.

The pair discussed Dr. AlMuhanna’s career overseeing consequential energy decisions and the role of Saudi Arabia in global energy markets now and moving forward.

Jun 14, 2022

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continues to influence global energy systems, despite challenges to its unity and market share. Just this year, global leaders called upon OPEC to increase output to bring down oil prices. 

But the organization comes under tremendous scrutiny for many of the decisions it makes, with some arguing that it has not done enough to address oil price spikes and others questioning its role generally. 

For a look at how OPEC is navigating the current oil crisis and the broader clean energy transition, host Jason Bordoff spoke with His Excellency Mohammad Barkindo. 

Barkindo has served as secretary general of OPEC for the last six years, with his term set to end in July. His tenure at OPEC has coincided with major upheavals in the global oil market, including the supply glut of the mid-2010s, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. He previously represented Nigeria at OPEC and held various senior roles at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. 

The pair discussed OPEC’s role amid political turmoil, rapidly fluctuating energy markets, changes within the oil industry, along with Barkindo’s reflections on his time at OPEC’s helm.

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