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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: 2018
Jul 9, 2018

Oklahoma is an important state for the US oil and gas industry. Excluding federal offshore areas, Oklahoma was the nation's fifth largest crude oil producing state in 2016. It is one of the top natural gas producing states in the nation, accounting for 7.6% of U.S. gross production and 8.7% of marketed production in 2016. Over the last ten years crude oil production has more than doubled to 533,000 barrels per day. However, the ramp up in oil and gas production has also brought environmental concerns. In 2017, Oklahoma became the second largest producer of wind energy in the U.S., generating around 30% of its net electricity.  

On a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Mike Teague, Oklahoma’s Secretary of Energy, and Environment. Mike Teague, who was appointedto this role in 2013, is responsible for coordinating over 30 state agencies, boards, compacts, and commissions in advancing policies that encourage energy production and environmental stewardship throughout Oklahoma. Prior to his appointment, Mike served in the US Army for 30 years.
 
Mike and Jason caught up recently to talk about the outlook for the oil & gas industry in Oklahoma and the important role that renewables could play in meeting energy demand in the state in the coming years. Mike also touches on his career transition from being a Colonel in the Army to leading Oklahoma’s Office of Energy & Environment. Other topics include environmental issues associated with shale production in Oklahoma, notably seismic activity.

Jul 2, 2018

Private equity groups have been increasingly active in financing energy projects in the US. KKR, a US investment firm, launched its Real Asset’s Energy Platform in 2012. The platform has since become a major player in asset-based oil and gas investing and today manages over $8.5 billion in energy and infrastructure related assets.
 
On a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Claire Farley, who serves as Vice Chair of Energy, advising KKR's Energy Group. Prior to joining KKR in 2011, Ms. Farley was Co-Founder and Co-CEO of RPM Energy LLC, a privately-owned oil and natural gas exploration and development company, which partnered with KKR. Throughout her career, Claire has held numerous roles in the oil and gas industry and started her career at Texaco.
 
Claire and Jason caught up in Houston to discuss her views on the outlook for the energy industry, particularly shale oil and gas, and how private equity investors work around the cyclical nature of the industry.

Other topics include the underrepresentation of women in the oil and gas industry; the role that private capital can play in investing in clean energy and  ‘impact investing’, the role that technology can play in the industry (e.g. artificial intelligence and re-fracking), and the growing demand for low carbon energy sources.

Jun 25, 2018

For the past 67 years, BP has published its Annual Statistical Review of World Energy, a consolidated data set that spans primary energy, countries, and regions. On a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Spencer Dale, who serves as Group Chief Economist at BP, to discuss the key themes and insights from the recently released 2018 report. Prior to joining BP in 2014, Spencer was with the Bank of England, where he was Chief Economist and a Member of the Monetary Policy Committee. 

One of Spencer’s key takeaways from the report was that while last year (2017) was an exceptional year for renewables, little progress has been made to reduce coal consumption. In fact, coal continues to demand 38% of the total fuel share mix, the same percentage as 30 years go. As a result, Spencer highlights the importance of targeting efficiencies in the power sector to reduce the consumption of high-carbon energy sources. Spencer and Jason also discussed interesting trends such as the fall in energy intensity and the pivotal roles that China and India will continue to play in the global energy market in the years ahead.
 
Other topics discussed include Spencer’s thoughts on peak oil demand and what peak oil means for oil majors like BP; the role that EV’s will play in the transportation sector; and the role of sources like natural gas and nuclear power in the energy transition.

Jun 18, 2018

The resilience of the U.S. electric grid in the face of threats from cyber and physical attacks, not to mention natural disasters, continues to stir up concerns in Washington, D.C. and across the country. Among the questions is how big of a role the government should play in responding to these risks.

In this edition of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, host Bill Loveless interviews Bruce Walker, the assistant secretary for electricity at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), whose office is responsible for developing electricity policy, including that pertaining to the reliability and resilience of the grid.

Bill met Bruce at DOE headquarters to talk about the Trump Administration’s rationale in addressing the grid’s ability to recover from a disaster, and how its approach differs from past policies. Among other topics, they discuss: steps DOE has already taken on behalf of grid resilience, including a new office to better respond to cyber, physical and natural threats to electric infrastructure; lessons learned from the devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico; and a recent Administration memo reported in the press that lays out a plan some view as unnecessary support for coal and nuclear plants.

Jun 11, 2018

On a special episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, guest host Dan Yergin and Ryan Lance discuss the state of the oil and gas industry. Dan is the Vice Chair of IHS Markit. He is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Prize and a member of the Center on Global Energy Policy's advisory board. Ryan is the Chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips and has more than 32 years of experience in the oil and natural gas industry. Ryan is a petroleum engineer and has served across a wide range of executive assignments at ConocoPhillips including responsibility for international exploration and production, technology, downstream strategy, integration, and regional responsibilities in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North America. 

Dan and Ryan sat down in front of a live audience in April at CGEP's 5th annual Global Energy Summit. They discussed opportunities and challenges facing the oil and gas industry including, the outlook for global oil supply, regulation in the U.S., climate change and geopolitical risk across the world.

Jun 4, 2018

India is one of the most compelling and complex stories in the world when it comes to energy and the environment. With an economy that has doubled in size since 2010 and a population on track to overtake China’s in the next 10 years, India is challenged to meet its growing demand for energy, and to do so in a sustainable way. 

On a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless sits down with Ajay Mathur, the director general of The Energy & Resources Institute, a New Delhi-based think tank, and a member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. Ajay served as director general of India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency, and head of the climate change team at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. He has been a key climate change negotiator for India, and was the nation's spokesperson at the climate negotiations in Paris in 2015.

Ajay and Bill caught up outside the Center on Global Energy Policy’s recent 2018 summit in New York to talk about the outlook for energy supply and demand in India, including the critical role that a combination of solar energy and storage could play in his country in coming years. 

They also touched on some of the striking energy contrasts in India, a country where many go without access to affordable electricity despite the nation’s abundant installed electric capacity. Among other topics, they discussed India’s ongoing heavy dependence on coal for electricity, the outlook for nuclear energy, and India’s goals for reducing emissions under the Paris agreement. 

May 28, 2018

On this episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Richard Rhodes, a Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author, and author of newly released book, Energy: A Human History, to discuss what history can tell us about our current energy transition. 

In the book, Richard takes us on a journey through the history behind energy transitions over time—from wood to coal to oil to electricity and beyond – by looking back on five centuries of progress, through such influential figures as Queen Elizabeth I, Benjamin Franklin, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and others. 

Richard and Jason discuss this history and more, including the successes and failures that led to various energy innovations, the threat of climate change, and how to provide affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for a growing global population.

May 21, 2018

The list of controversial energy issues in Washington is a long one. But none may be as complicated to understand and difficult to resolve as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a U.S. mandate that gasoline and diesel fuel contain specified amounts of ethanol and other biofuels.

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless sits down with Dr. Jim Stock to discuss this complex policy and its future. Jim is the Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University, a former chair of the Harvard Economics Department and a non-resident fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy. Jim also served on the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2013 to 2014, where his portfolio included the RFS.

Bill and Jim spoke just days after a May 8 meeting at the White House where President Trump, senators from Iowa, Texas and Pennsylvania, and the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture reached a tentative deal that would resolve a longstanding dispute between oil refiners and the biofuels industry, especially producers of corn-based ethanol. But the devil’s in the details, as Jim says on the podcast. And as Bill and Jim met, the Trump administration had not yet explained how it would follow up on the meeting. 


***

For related reading, we invite you to check out Jim's recent paper, “Reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard”, published in February 2018 with the Center on Global Energy Policy.

May 14, 2018

On a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), to discuss key issues influencing the global energy sector.

Dr. Birol previously served as Chief Economist and Director of Global Energy Economics at IEA. He also spent the early part of his career as an oil market analyst at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna. He is the Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s (Davos) Energy Advisory Board and serves as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on ‘Sustainable Energy for All.’ Forbes Magazine has named him one of the most powerful people influencing the world’s energy scene today.

Fatih and Jason spoke in front of a live audience at CGEP's 5th annual Global Energy Summit in New York City. Among many topics they discuss, several include:

  • Decarbonization efforts around the world
  • Peak oil demand and the role of electric vehicles
  • China's push to shift away from coal
  • The outlook for natural gas
May 7, 2018

On a special episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, Jason Bordoff and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, Dan Brouillette, discuss energy policy under the Trump Administration. This conversation took place in front of a live audience at the Center on Global Energy Policy's fifth annual Global Energy Summit in April. 

Deputy Secretary Brouillette has three decades of experience in the public and private sectors. He served as Senior Vice President and head of public policy for USAA, and Vice President at Ford Motor Company where he led the automaker’s domestic policy teams and served on its North American Operating Committee. He served as Chief of Staff to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, and he was Assistant Secretary of Energy for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs in the George W. Bush administration. He is also an Army veteran.

Jason and Deputy Secretary Brouillette covered a range of topics including the outlook for nuclear energy, shifts in natural gas markets and U.S. energy exports, as well as what "energy dominance" and "energy realism" mean to this administration and how they are guiding policy.

Apr 30, 2018

U.S. oil production from shale will reach nearly 7 million barrels a day in May – roughly the same amount as the entire U.S. production of oil five years ago. Nearly half of this shale output will come from the Permian Basin, the stretch of shale in west Texas and southeast New Mexico.

To understand how the shale revolution is impacting the U.S. energy industry and what's in store for the future, host Bill Loveless sits down with Scott Sheffield on a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange. Scott is the chairman and former CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, a Texas-based independent and a leader in shale development in the Permian Basin. He is also an advisory board member at the Center on Global Energy Policy.

Scott and Bill discuss the phenomenal growth in the Permian and other shale regions, capital discipline among independent producers, and the challenges they face in terms of insufficient pipeline capacity and rising costs. They also touch on U.S. energy policy, including the Trump administration’s efforts to deregulate aspects of the oil industry and efforts to expand production offshore and on federal lands.

Apr 23, 2018

Last week, in a move that took some by surprise, a leading designer and maker of solar products, SunPower, announced plans to buy SolarWorld Americas and its factory in Oregon, and build a domestic manufacturing presence. This move came after the Trump administration's decision earlier this year to impose a 30% tariff on most solar imports into the United States. 

To discuss whether the Trump Administration's trade policy is working when it comes to solar manufacturing, and what an acquisition of SolarWorld would mean for the industry, host Bill Loveless speaks with Tom Werner, president and CEO of SunPower, on a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange.

Tom and Bill discuss whether the tariffs are likely to trigger a revival in U.S.-based production, the outlook for solar power in the U.S. and government policies that support it.

Apr 16, 2018

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics are just a few of the digital trends that are poised to disrupt the energy system in the coming decades. These developments have the potential to improve productivity, safety and sustainability, but they also raise important questions about privacy and security. 

To understand how digitalization is re-shaping the energy system and what this means for policy, markets, business, consumers, and the environment, host Jason Bordoff sits down with David Turk on a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange. Dave is Acting Director for the Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks Directorate and the Head of the Energy Environment Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA). 

Prior to his time at IEA, Dave served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Climate and Technology at the U.S. Department of Energy where he helped coordinate international climate change and clean energy efforts. He served as Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State, and he was Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and the Senior Director for Congressional Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council. 

Among many topics Dave and Jason discuss, several include: the impact of digital innovation on the transport sector and decarbonization efforts; the opportunities and challenges of digital technology to energy deployment in the  developing world; and the role of privacy, cyber security and economic disruption in the energy sector.

Apr 9, 2018

Energy efficiency is one important component in the larger playbook to reduce carbon emissions and ward off the damaging effects of climate change. It is also an essential element of a reliable and affordable energy system.

On a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks with Kateri Callahan, the president of the Alliance to Save Energy, one of the leading advocates of policies that promote energy efficiency in the U.S.

The Alliance, founded by Senators Charles Percy and Hubert Humphrey in 1977 following the oil embargo of that decade, has supported various programs to save energy, including efficiency standards for appliances and motor vehicles, building codes for construction, and government funding for energy-saving technologies.

Bill met with Kateri days before she stepped down as president of the Alliance after heading the organization for 14 years. They talked about the past year in Washington – one that Kateri said was like no other in her tenure at the alliance – and how energy efficient the U.S. has become over the past 40 years.

They also discussed the political climate for energy efficiency now with the Trump administration and Congress; new campaigns by the Alliance to promote energy efficiency in transportation and electric power; and public awareness of the potential for saving energy.

Apr 2, 2018

To address the threat of climate change and reduce carbon emissions, many business leaders, economists, and policymakers--including prominent Republicans--have pushed for a carbon tax in the United States. 

On a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff sits down with Glenn Hubbard, the Dean of Columbia Business School, to understand how a carbon tax might be designed and what effects it would have on the U.S. economy and business. Glenn and Jason also discuss the outlook for the U.S. economy, President Trump's tax reforms and tariffs on solar, steel and aluminum, as well as the role of business to mitigate climate change and how companies will address their exposure to climate risk.
 
Glenn has been a Columbia faculty member since 1988. In addition to his role as Dean, he currently serves as Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics. He was previously Chairman of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush where he was instrumental in drafting President Bush’s tax plan. Glenn has also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and he chaired the Economic Policy Committee of the OECD. 

Mar 26, 2018
Host Bill Loveless speaks with Dan Whittle, the Senior Director of the Cuba Program at the Environmental Defense Fund. Bill and Dan were among some 90 individuals from the U.S. and Cuba who attended a recent conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called “The Florida Straits: A Model for International Cooperation.”

Among the topics Bill and Dan discuss are: relations between the U.S. and Cuba on energy and environmental issues, including under the Trump and Obama administrations; Cuba’s energy needs; what’s at stake for Cuba’s environment; and lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the U.S Gulf of Mexico.
Mar 19, 2018

The outlook for global oil demand has changed dramatically over the last decade. New technologies and policy have energy experts forecasting that demand for oil will peak. Many tie this outlook to the advent of electric vehicles, but given that cars account for only one-fourth of world oil demand today, others factors will play an important role in peak oil, including the electrification of the transport sector and large vehicles, including trucks and buses.

To understand the outlook for electrification of the U.S. transport sector, host Jason Bordoff speaks with Ryan Popple, President and CEO of Proterra, a U.S. company that designs and manufactures fleets of electric powered buses, on a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange.

Prior to joining Proterra, Ryan was a partner at Kleiner Perkins and one of the first 200 employees at Tesla Motors, where he was senior director of finance. He serves on the board of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and he previously served in the U.S. Army. 

Among the topics that Ryan and Jason discuss are: The economics of electrifying bus fleets and impacts of volatile oil prices; The outlook for battery technology; Electric bus performance today and in the future; The link between energy policy and electrification of the transport sector; and the outlook for electric vehicles outside the United States.

Mar 12, 2018

U.S. climate and energy policy has shifted course under the Trump Administration. From the decision to leave the Paris Agreement, to promises to prop up the coal industry, to a push for "energy dominance" and now a new "energy realism," much has changed from the Obama era.

To better understand the strategy behind these shifts, host Jason Bordoff sits down with George David ("Dave") Banks on a new episode of Columbia Energy Exchange. Dave served as special assistant to the President and as Senior Director at the National Economic Council (NEC) and National Security Council (NSC) until February 2018. 

Before working as Special Assistant at the NEC and NSC, Dave served as executive vice president at the American Council for Capital Formation, as a senior adviser to President George W. Bush on international climate change, and as Republican deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He was deputy director of the nuclear energy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. State Department diplomat, and an analyst at the CIA.

Among the topics that Dave and Jason discuss are: The Trump Administration's rationale to leave the Paris Agreement; Insights into the conservative approach to climate change; Opportunities for a carbon tax in the United States; The administration's approach to international energy issues including the crisis in Venezuela, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the Nordstream 2 pipeline.

Mar 5, 2018

Discussions about U.S. energy policy typically focus on Washington, where the White House, Congress and agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dominate the headlines. This makes it easy to overlook the roles played by state regulators, whose vital decisions affect the flow of energy locally and how much consumers pay for electricity and natural gas.

With that in mind, host Bill Loveless sat down with John “Jack” Betkoski III, the new president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), to talk about challenges facing state regulators at a time when innovative technology, a changing climate and shifting public attitudes are disrupting traditional energy markets.

As Jack notes in the podcast, “We’re the ones in the trenches. We’re the ones who deal with utilities on a regular basis.”

Jack, the vice chairman of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, and Bill met outside NARUC’s 2018 Winter Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., where more than 1,000 state regulators and others gathered.

Among the topics that Bill and Jack discussed are: The energy-water nexus—the primary theme of Jack’s NARUC presidency; Recent actions by FERC on electricity resilience and reliability; Public opposition to new gas pipeline construction; Concerns over the volatility of recent storms; The outlook for renewable energy, nuclear energy.

Feb 26, 2018

Host Jason Bordoff speaks with Patrick Pouyanné, the Chairman and CEO of Total, the fourth largest international oil and gas company, on new developments in the global energy landscape.

Among many topics Jason and Patrick discuss, several include: U.S. energy policy actions, including the Trump Administration’s proposal to open up most federal waters to offshore drilling, U.S. tariffs on solar imports, and President Trump’s threat to reimpose oil sanctions against Iran; the outlook for oil markets amid geopolitical tensions in the Mid-East; and the role of oil and gas majors in a clean energy transition.

 

Feb 19, 2018

Host Bill Loveless speaks with Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo, the U.S. Representative for Florida's 26th congressional district and a co-founder of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group with the mission to explore policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of the changing climate.

Bill and Congressman Curbelo discuss: what makes climate change an urgent issue to address; the grassroots effort to enlist; Republicans as well as Democrats in climate actions; the role of market-based innovation to address climate change; and prospects for future debate about a nation-wide carbon tax.

Feb 12, 2018

Host Jason Bordoff sits down with FERC Commissioner, Neil Chatterjee, to discuss these developments and what's in store for U.S. electricity markets. 

Among many topics Jason and Commissioner Chatterjee discuss, several include: FERC's decision to reject the Department of Energy's NOPR ensuring full cost recovery for power plants with a 90-day supply of fuel on hand; the future of US grid reliability and resilience; state and local government's role in energy policy; top issues facing FERC today including cyber security, battery storage and baseload power.

Feb 5, 2018

Host Jason Bordoff sits down with Dr. Paul Joskow to discuss the history and outlook for power markets in the United States. Joskow, a leading scholar in energy and environmental economics, utility markets and regulation, recently stepped down as President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is back at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he has served as a member of the faculty since 1972. 

Among many topics Jason and Paul discuss, several include: the history and outlook for competitive power markets; whether or not renewable energy can accomplish deep decarbonization goals; the connection between resilience, reliability and the rise of natural gas and renewable energy sources; and the role of philanthropic organizations in research and advocacy on climate change.

Jan 29, 2018

Host Bill Loveless sits down with Senator Murkowski, one of the leading voices in the debate to expanded U.S. drilling, to discuss new developments in the sector as well as other energy and environment policy under the Trump administration.

Bill and Senator Murkowski discuss: Congressional approval to offer oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; the role of regulation in energy development; the Trump Administration’s stance on to climate change; prospects for new energy policy legislation; and how to promote cooperation on energy issues in an increasingly fractured government.

Jan 22, 2018

Host Bill Loveless sits down with Lisa Friedman of The New York Times and Steve Mufson of The Washington Post to discuss the impact of President Trump's first year in office on energy and environment policy in the United States, and what may lie in store this year. 

Among many topics Bill, Lisa and Steve discuss, several include: how effective the administration has been in implementing its energy and environment agenda; prospects for U.S. carbon regulation and the Paris climate agreement; how change has occurred at the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Energy and Interior; what new policies may mean for the oil, natural gas, coal, renewable energy and other energy sectors; actions by the newly constituted Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and what it takes to effectively cover complex issues like energy and the environment.

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