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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: Page 6
Feb 10, 2020

The world’s oil and gas supermajors have been managing lots of headwinds these days not only from the market, but also rising social pressures to move more urgently to address the threat of climate change. Some oil majors have been exploring low-carbon sources of energy, expanding their businesses into power and other parts of the energy sector even as most of their capital expenditures remain in their traditional businesses. As such, the role of the oil and gas industry in the energy transition is a timely and increasingly important topic. 

This week on the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Maarten Wetselaar, Director of Integrated Gas & New Energies and Member of the Executive Committee of Royal Dutch Shell. He’s responsible for Shell’s gas business, including its industry-leading liquefied natural gas and gas-to-liquids businesses. He also leads the new energies business, including Shell’s investment in new fuels, new energy carriers, and new business models for a low-carbon future.

Jason and Maarten discuss the role of the oil and gas industry in the energy transition, and prospects for addressing climate change and reducing emissions, while meeting the growing demand for energy. 

Feb 3, 2020

The year 2020 promises to be a tumultuous one in the U.S. for any number of reasons, including a national election, an impeachment of the president and ongoing divisions between Republicans and Democrats over the future course of government. And among the issues that continues to heat up is climate change.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless meets with two of the leading energy and environment reporters in Washington: Steve Mufson of The Washington Post and Amy Harder of Axios.

Steve has worked at The Post since 1989, covering the White House, China, economic policy and diplomacy as well as energy. His current beat is the business of climate change. Earlier, he worked at the Wall Street Journal in New York, London and Johannesburg.

Amy has been with Axios for three years, with her column, the “Harder Line,” a regular feature of the news service. Previously, she was a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and the National Journal.

Sitting down with top energy and environment reporters in January to talk about what’s in store for energy and climate issues in the new year has been a regular feature for Bill for several years now, and Steve and Amy offer a behind-the-scenes look at some of the major stories and trends taking place. 

The program also offers Bill an opportunity to talk about the Energy Journalism Initiative, an annual seminar conducted by the Center on Global Energy Policy to help energy journalists deepen their understanding of complex issues associated with the beat. The deadline for applications is Feb. 16.

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.

Dec 16, 2019

The United Arab Emirates, especially Abu Dhabi, is a crucial player on the global energy stage. The UAE is one of the world’s 10 largest oil producers and a critical member of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. It is also an important player in a critical region of the world that’s been riven by geopolitical tensions of late. The UAE’s hydrocarbon production has supported a dramatic economic expansion that has turned it into an important financial and trading center. The UAE has also diversified its energy investments, focusing on low-carbon options such as solar energy, carbon capture and storage, and other new technologies. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, who sits at the center of many of these developments as the Executive Office Director of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), a company where he has worked for nearly fifteen years. As part of its Executive Management team, he oversees operational and business development activities for the company’s vast oil and gas reserves.

State-run ADNOC is the main oil-producing company in the United Arab Emirates, supplying nearly 3% of global oil demand. Crude oil remains the centerpiece of the company’s operations, and ADNOC has sought to remain competitive in a busy market by improving efficiency, applying cutting edge technology, and reducing extraction costs. The company has recently announced sizeable new oil and gas reserves, and it has announced the goal of making the UAE self-sufficient in gas. It has also expanded its outreach to international investors and to foreign partners.

Jason sat down with Omar on the sidelines of the ADIPEC -- the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference -- in November to discuss ADNOC’s ventures and the state of play of UAE’s oil and gas industry.

Dec 9, 2019

On the global energy scene, oil, gas, and petrochemicals still play a prominent role, even as sustainability concerns become steadily more and more urgent. Investors are pressing for greater efficiency, reduced emissions, and heightened attention to financial discipline, as well as long-term viability. An important player in the energy industry of the Middle East region is the Abu Dhabi State Investment Company, Mubadala Investment. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Mubadala Investment’s Chief Executive Officer for Petroleum & Petrochemicals. Musabbeh Al Kaabi is responsible for a portfolio of more than $40 billion in assets spanning the global oil and gas value chain of the Mubadala Investment Company. Previously he headed Mubadala Petroleum as its CEO -- the company’s wholly-owned exploration and production company, at a time of declining commodity prices. He also spent a number of years with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) -- eventually managing its exploration division. He is a frequent and highly-respected commentator in the world of international energy investing. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geophysical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines and a Master of Sciences in Petroleum Geoscience from Imperial College, London.

Jason sat down with Musabbeh on the sidelines of ADIPEC -- the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, one of the largest energy conferences in the world -- in November. They discussed how Mubadala Investment Company’s investments in the energy sector are playing out, the role of natural gas in the context of the energy transition, how the Middle East will meet its energy demand, the forecast for petrochemicals given sustainability concerns, and much more.

Dec 2, 2019

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, known as FERC, regulates interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity. For decades, FERC has played a key role in energy policy but often labored in obscurity. Today, FERC stands squarely at the heart of some of the biggest energy policy issues that we face in this country: pipeline capacity, cyber attacks, the role of natural gas in the energy transition, and issues of grid reliability and resilience as we transition to a more distributed and lower carbon electricity grid composed of more renewable energy. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Cheryl LaFleur, a nationally recognized energy leader and one of the longest serving commissioners at FERC, having served from 2010 until August of this year. She was appointed by President Obama as chairperson both for 2014-15, and also served as acting chair from 2013-14, and was again named chair in 2017. She is the only person to leave FERC twice, under two different administrations. 

Cheryl joined FERC after a long career in the northeast utility industry, retiring from her role as Executive Vice President and acting CEO of the utility company National Grid, which serves electricity to over 3 million customers. She most recently stepped down from her role at FERC and was elected to the Board of Directors of ISO New England, an independent nonprofit that operates and plans the power system and administers wholesale electricity markets for New England. 

Jason sat down with Cheryl to discuss the changes she saw at FERC during her tenure, the role of natural gas in the energy transition, what FERC can do to address climate change, and much more.

Nov 25, 2019
The world is undergoing remarkable changes in the way energy is supplied, delivered and used, affecting virtually every aspect of our lives. In fact, megatrends are taking shape so quickly that keeping up with them is challenging.
 
In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless is joined by Barbara Humpton, the CEO of Siemens USA, where she guides the German engineering conglomerate’s strategy and engagement in its largest market in the world. Previously, Barbara was president and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies, and before that an executive with Booz Allen Hamilton and Lockheed Martin.
 
Bill sat down with Barbara at Siemens offices in Washington to talk about how megatrends, including digitalization, automation and electrification are driving corporate decisions, not to mention the impact of other phenomena like climate change and urbanization. They also talked about the roles of government policy and regulation in addressing these issues, as well as options for making sure there’s an adequate workforce to keep things running smoothly.
Nov 18, 2019

East Asia and the Pacific is one of the fastest growing regions of the world, a place where the demands for energy are increasing just as rapidly, as are the risks of climate change and other environmental calamities. To one extent or another, nations in that region like China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines recognize the need to provide energy that’s not only accessible, affordable and reliable but also sustainable. And helping them do that is the World Bank.

In today’s edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless is joined by Ranjit Lamech, the regional director of the World Bank’s Infrastructure Department in the East Asia and Pacific region. As such, Ranjit is responsible for overseeing the bank’s loans, grants and other assistance for infrastructure development in the region, including energy development.

Ranjit has spent nearly three decades across the bank’s energy practice, most recently as the manager covering South and Central Europe, Western Balkans and Central Asia. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he led the bank’s energy lending and advisory program in China and Turkey during a transformational period in energy markets.

An Indian citizen, Ranjit began his career with Tata Electric Companies in Bombay.

Bill and Ranjit talked about China and other East Asian and Pacific nations and their challenges and opportunities when it comes to energy and the environment, as well as what the World Bank is doing to help them respond in a sustainable way. They also discussed the roles of governments and state-owned enterprises in adapting to changes in energy supply, what the World Bank looks for in deciding whether to provide assistance, and a recent undertaking in China aimed at helping workers in coal-dependent regions amidst a shift to cleaner forms of energy.

Nov 8, 2019

He’s known as the father of fracking. And while the designation may not be quite right, there’s no doubt that George P. Mitchell set the stage for a revolution in natural gas and oil production in the United States through hydraulic fracturing of shale formations. So, what made this man tick and what lessons might policymakers and industry leaders learn from him today?

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Loren Steffy, the author of a new book from Texas A&M University Press called “George P. Mitchell: Fracking, Sustainability, and an Unorthodox Quest to Save the Planet.” Loren is writer-at-large for Texas Monthly and a former business columnist for the Houston Chronicle. Before that, he was the Dallas bureau chief and senior writer for Bloomberg News.

The book is Loren’s latest of three, including one that explored the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Of the late George P. Mitchell, Loren says, “not since John D. Rockefeller had one single individual in the energy business made a greater public impact.” He tells a story of the son of Greek immigrants who built Mitchell Energy and Development Corporation from a small start-up into a pioneering company that enabled the commercial success of hydraulic fracturing in the U.S.

Bill reached Loren by phone at his home outside Austin, Texas, to discuss this fascinating figure, his contributions to fracking, the financial hardships his company endured to bring them about and the extent to which the government assisted those efforts. They also talked about Mitchell’s strong commitment to sustainable development, which sometimes put him at odds with his peers in the gas and oil industry.

Nov 4, 2019

The U.S. shale revolution has been among the most consequential developments in the global energy sector over the last decade. The U.S. is a large net exporter of gas, and is on the cusp of becoming a net exporter of oil, with significant economic, geopolitical and environmental consequences. The outlook for U.S. oil and gas production is increasingly uncertain, however, as lower oil prices, investor demand for capital discipline, and questions about the pace of the energy transition increasingly impact the sector.   

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Bobby Tudor, Co-Head of the Advisory business of Perella Weinberg Partners and Chairman of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co, a leading energy investment and merchant bank. Prior to joining TPH, Bobby was a partner with Goldman Sachs & Co., and a leader of its worldwide energy practice, and over his 30-year career in investment banking, has worked on many of the defining transactions of the period. In his volunteer work, Bobby is a patron of the arts and a passionate supporter of higher education, having served until recently as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Rice University.

Jason and Bobby discuss the recent decline in the Permian and what's next for the U.S. shale revolution, peak oil demand, the energy transition and more from an investor's perspective. 

Oct 28, 2019

Climate change, or the climate crisis as many would prefer to call it, has risen to the top of the legislative agenda for the U.S. House of Representatives since Democrats took control of the chamber in January. And laying the groundwork for policy options is the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis established by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to place a high priority on the work. So now, months later, what has this special panel accomplished and how has it navigated this controversial issue?

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Representative Kathy Castor, a Florida Democrat who heads the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Now in her seventh two-year term, Chair Castor represents a district that includes Tampa, a city on Florida’s Gulf Coast that’s at risk of sea-level rise. Before her election to Congress, she was a member of the Hillsborough County Commission and chair of the county’s Environmental Protection Commission.

In the House, she’s also a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, where much of the climate legislation will be assembled once the select committee that she heads completes its work.

Bill caught up with Representative Castor in her office on Capitol Hill to talk about what the select committee has done so far, how it will fulfill its mandate to provide legislative recommendations, and how she sees the politics of climate change playing out in Washington. They also talked about some of the options her panel has considered and what she needs to hear from the public before she submits recommendations early next year.

Oct 21, 2019

It’s a small country with big ambitions when it comes to climate change. The new government in Denmark plans to overhaul entirely the way it conducts climate policy, with a goal of reducing emissions by 70 percent by 2030 compared to 1990. And it says it’s doing so based on what science tells us, not what political expedience would suggest.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Dan Jørgensen, Denmark’s Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities since June. Minister Jørgensen was elected to the Danish parliament in 2013 and served as minister for food and agriculture between 2013 and 2015. He was also a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2013, and has taught at universities in Denmark, France and the United States.

Now, he’s in charge of an ambitious climate policy put in place by Denmark’s ruling Social Democrat Party and its three center-left allies.

Bill sat down with Minister Jørgensen during his recent visit to Washington to talk about Denmark’s plans to be among the nations that do the most to combat climate change, and the political climate in Denmark that makes such policies possible now. He walked Bill through some of the initial steps taken by his government and its plans to lock in its policies through a new climate law.

They also talked about Denmark’s plans to promote such policies across Europe and enable financing of green technology around the world.

Finally, the minister outlined a collaboration with Germany and the Netherlands to build an artificial island in the North Sea that could provide 10 to 15 gigawatts of offshore wind power and serve as a source for other forms of energy, like using hydrogen for energy storage.

Oct 14, 2019

China is the world leader in emissions of heat-trapping gases, and the Chinese government is taking many steps to reduce emissions, including policies that have made China the world's leader in renewable energy and electric vehicles. But other Chinese policies are working in the opposite direction, including support for coal-fired power plants. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless is joined by David Sandalow, the inaugural fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy and the author of the 2019 edition of the Center’s Guide to Chinese Climate Policy, a book that helps readers navigate the complexities of China’s response to climate change.

David is the founder and director of the Center’s U.S.- China program and co-director of the Energy and Environment Concentration at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. He’s also been a distinguished visiting professor in the Schwarzman Scholars Program at Tsinghua University.

Before that, he held several senior positions at the White House and the U.S. Departments of State and Energy.

David and Bill got together to talk about the guide, the original version of which was published in 2018. Among the topics they discussed were major commitments that China has made in response to climate change and how the nation is following through on them. They also talked about some contradictory trends in China, such as its simultaneous construction of coal and renewable energy power plants.

And at a time when putting a price on carbon is a hot topic in the U.S. and other countries, David explains what China is doing about it.

Oct 7, 2019

Iraq is one of the world’s largest energy producers, but its people and its economy are hampered by pressures of electricity shortfalls and rising demand. The reliability of electricity services has long been an issue for the country, with violent protests breaking out last summer in the south due to blackouts from high demand. The disruption cost the old electricity minister his job.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Iraq’s new Minister of Electricity, Luay al-Khatteeb, the man responsible for addressing these problems and who, it has been said, has perhaps the toughest job in the Iraqi government, considering the history of challenges in the electricity sector. 

Luay al-Khatteeb was a former non-resident fellow at CGEP as well as the Founder and Director of the Iraq Energy Institute. He’s had a vast career in business and in public policy, with positions at various international oil companies, as well as commercial banks and management consulting firms. He’s been a contributor to the Brookings Institution, Chatham House, the Kennedy School at Harvard, and other organizations. 

Today, questions remain about how to manage power demand and supply, and whether new plans to rehabilitate transmission lines and build up resilience of the grid will pan out in light of security challenges, financing challenges, and international pressures. Jason sat down with Luay in Abu Dhabi at the World Energy Congress to discuss these challenges and much more.

Sep 30, 2019

Today’s unprecedented rate of change leaves many questions about the benefits and risks of new technologies, and how we can best leverage innovation to address our biggest challenges.     

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Lord John Browne to discuss his latest book, Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilization -- which serves up an optimistic look at the benefits engineering, technology, and innovation can bring in solving some of humanity’s greatest challenges, such as disease, climate change, and artificial intelligence.  

Anyone who studies or works in the energy industry knows Lord John Browne. He has been one of the legendary and visionary leaders in the sector for decades. He’s the former Chief Executive of BP, with a career spanning more than 40 years in the company. He rose from apprentice to heading the British multinational oil and gas company, where he notably engineered a merger with rival Amoco, and was a strong proponent of renewables, famously rebranding the BP initials to “Beyond Petroleum.” 

Jason and Lord Browne also discussed his latest endeavor, a merger of Dea and Wintershall to create one of the world’s largest oil and gas independents and other developments in global energy markets and in policy.  

Sep 23, 2019

We know climate change is real. It’s caused by human activity, and primarily by emissions from energy use. But there is a lot of uncertainty and a lot of misunderstanding about just how bad its effects will be. An op-ed last month by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio suggested South Florida should become more resilient and just adapt. On the other hand, maps of the world at 2100 show coastal cities submerged, not to mention a range of other calamities that scientists say may be caused by climate change. Scientists who study climate change often have trouble communicating the risks in ways the public can broadly understand. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by journalist David Wallace-Wells, a fellow at the New America Foundation and a columnist and deputy editor of New York Magazine. He is also the author of a new book, The Uninhabitable Earth, which depicts in meticulous and terrifying detail a future that may await should we continue to add greenhouse gases into the atmosphere unabated. 

As the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit gathers in New York City today, kicking off Climate Week, Jason and David’s conversation about adequately communicating the worst effects of climate change, and what motivates action -- as well as what kind of action is needed to address the crisis -- is timely.   

Sep 16, 2019

Climate change is an urgent challenge. We are nowhere on track to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement in countries around the world. Action depends not just on reducing emissions here at home, but meeting rapid economic growth around the world – China, India, Southeast Asia – while decarbonizing the global energy mix far more quickly than we are today. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Jonathan Pershing. Jonathan has been a key architect of the world’s landmark climate change deals, including securing the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. He served as Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. State Department, was lead U.S. negotiator to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and was a senior advisor to the Secretary of Energy, Secretary of State, and the White House. He’s also worked at leading organizations like the World Resources Institute and the International Energy Agency. 

Jonathan holds a PhD in geology and geophysics; and is now doing innovative work putting the resources of the Hewlett Foundation to work addressing our global environmental and climate challenges. 

Jonathan and Jason sat down to discuss the role of government policy to send market signals, various approaches for addressing the variability of renewables, the practical impact of the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, and much more.

Sep 9, 2019

U.S. waters off the Atlantic coast are shaping up as a bonanza for offshore wind power, with the federal government having approved 15 tracks of water for development and investment flowing in from overseas. But some say projects may be facing a crosswind as the U.S. government takes a closer look at their impact.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Jeff Grybowski, until recently the co-CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind and previously the CEO of Deepwater Wind, the Rhode Island-based company that completed the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., a five-turbine project off Block Island in 2016. Jeff joined Ørsted when the Danish company, a global leader in offshore wind energy, bought Deepwater Wind last year.

Jeff shepherded the Block Island project to completion, drawing on his experience not only in business and law but also as a former state policymaker in Rhode Island. Alex Kuffner, a reporter for the Providence Journal, wrote that Jeff, “by proving that an offshore wind farm could be built in the United States, is arguably more responsible than anyone for ushering in the current rush of development.”

Likewise, Thomas Brostrom, the CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind, told the Journal that Jeff is “one of the pioneers of the offshore wind industry in the U.S.”

Bill and Jeff last met two years ago, when the Block Island turbines had been spinning energy for less than a year. Here, they get together again at Jeff's North Kingston, R.I., home to catch up on this emerging industry, the proliferation of projects and the outlook its expansion in the U.S. 

They also discuss a controversial decision by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to take more time to examine the impact of a project called Vineyard Wind, an 84-turbine project planned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Renewables that would be the first large-scale wind farm in the U.S. That government inquiry has implications not only for Vineyard Wind but also projects planned by Ørsted and other developers off the Atlantic coast.

They touch, too, on the significance of state policies for offshore wind energy as well as federal policies, like a soon-to-expire investment tax credit.

Aug 26, 2019

As we prepare for a busy fall and exciting new episodes, the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast will be on hiatus for the next two weeks. Now is a great time to listen or re-listen to some of our favorite episodes, which we have pulled together on a special #CEEFavorites playlist. Take a listen to Rhiana Gunn-Wright, policy director for New Consensus and one of the architects of the Green New Deal, talk to host Jason Bordoff about the thinking behind the ambitious plan; or Senator Lisa Murkowski talk to host Bill Loveless about the role of regulation in energy development; or Maarten Wetselaar, the Integrated Gas & New Energies Director and Member of the Executive Committee at Royal Dutch Shell, talk to host Jason Bordoff about the outlook for global gas demand.

#CEEFavorites playlist

We encourage you to explore all of our Columbia Energy Exchange episodes and subscribe here today!

Aug 19, 2019

How we communicate about climate change and climate science has been a challenge and a growing concern for decades. 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by one of the pioneers of climate-change reporting, Andy Revkin. Andy is an award-winning science and environmental journalist and one of the most recognized and experienced environmental journalists in the United States. He was one of the first to tackle the issue of climate change in journalism with reporting dating back three decades. 

Andy wrote for the New York Times for more than two decades, was a Strategic Advisor for Science and Journalism at the National Geographic Society, and was a senior reporter for ProPublica. He recently joined Columbia University to launch and head a new initiative on communication and sustainability at the Earth Institute. 

Jason and Andy sat down to discuss how Andy became a climate-change reporter, the current state of climate reporting, what he hopes to achieve with his new initiative at the Earth Institute, and much more.

Aug 12, 2019

For more than three decades, the word Chernobyl has become synonymous with catastrophic failure and with disaster. Its legacy weighed on popular perceptions of nuclear power for years, and it came to symbolize Soviet decline. Chernobyl is now attracting renewed attention these days, with a popular HBO miniseries and a tremendous new book, Midnight in Chernobyl, written by Adam Higginbotham.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Adam Higginbotham to discuss his new book, a thrilling, chilling, and gripping account of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The book holds lessons today, too, as we contemplate the role of nuclear power in trying to achieve a decarbonized world to address the threat of climate change. 

Adam has written extensively on a variety of topics for The New YorkerNew York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, and many more publications. He’s also the former U.S. correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph.

Jason and Adam sat down to discuss Midnight in Chernobyl, the causes and consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, the future of nuclear power, and much more.

Aug 5, 2019

The introduction of a flurry of bills calling for a carbon tax in the U.S. Congress is breathing some new life into a topic that has long been popular among economists but shunned by politicians.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Noah Kaufman, a Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy and economist specializing in carbon pricing, about this burst of activity on Capitol Hill and its implications for policymaking.

Before joining CGEP in 2018, Noah was a Deputy Associate Director of Energy and Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality during the Obama administration. He also worked at the World Resources Institute, where he led projects on carbon pricing, the economic impacts of climate policies and long-term decarbonization strategies.

Previously, he was a senior consultant in the environment practice at NERA Economic Consulting.

Noah and Bill discuss elements of the carbon-tax bills introduced by Democrats and even some Republicans in Congress and the circumstances under which they have cropped up now, as well as whether any of them stand a chance of much consideration as the U.S. approaches the 2020 presidential election year.

Noah also breaks down the thinking behind putting a price on carbon emissions, including the level to set it at and distribution of the revenue a carbon tax would raise.

How other climate policies – like incentives for renewable energy – match up with a federal carbon tax also comes up in the conversation, which Noah and Bill carried out by phone from their locations in New York and Washington, respectively.

A handy complement to this discussion is a new online resource from the Center on Global Energy Policy that illustrates what you need to know about a federal carbon tax in the United States.

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