Like most operations, the Columbia Energy Exchange has shifted to be entirely remote, with hosts Jason Bordoff and Bill Loveless continuing to make podcast episodes from home. Given the unprecedented circumstances we are all living through and the uncertainty and questions that follow, Jason and Bill will try whenever possible to bring insights into the energy and climate related aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To that end, there has been much talk in recent weeks about how to think about using emergency economic relief and stimulus funding from Washington, D.C. to not only address the immediate economic fallout from COVID-19, which has resulted in many parts of the economy being shut down, but also to make progress on some of our more urgent longer-term challenges, mainly, climate change. Climate scientists, environmental groups, certain industries and others have been urging lawmakers to jumpstart the economic recovery through a green stimulus package. Ideas range from clean energy tax credits, to requirements that bailed-out airlines commit to decarbonize, to building green infrastructure, and many more ideas.
In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Dr. Joe Aldy to gain insight into design of stimulus and how climate policy could factor into it. Joe is a leading environmental economist, currently a Professor of the Practice of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research focuses on climate change policy, energy policy, and more. From 2009 to 2010, he served as the Special Assistant to President Obama for Energy and Environment. It was in that role, and on the presidential transition that preceded it that he was a key White House staffer, that Joe negotiated with Capitol Hill on the Recovery Act that included $90 billion for green goals.
Joe was previously a Fellow at Resources for the Future and served on the staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
India has laid out an ambitious agenda to expand energy access to all its people, reduce air pollution, increase energy security, and reduce carbon emissions intensity. It has made tremendous progress providing access to electricity and clean cooking to its people. It rapidly increased the deployment of renewables even as coal still supplies two thirds of its electricity mix. The country’s oil consumption is expected to grow faster than any other major economy, as are its CO2 emissions. In short, with a population of 1.4 billion people, and rapidly rising energy demand, India will be a key country, perhaps the key country, for energy markets and climate change in the decades to come.
In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff is joined by Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General of The Energy & Resources Institute in New Delhi, to discuss the energy outlook in India. Ajay was in New York City in February to attend a workshop hosted by the Center on Global Energy Policy on engaging state-owned enterprises in climate action, based on a recent report from the Center.
Ajay is a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change. He served as Director General of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the Indian government from 2006 until 2016, and previously headed the Climate Change Team at the World Bank, as well as the interim Secretariat of the Green Climate Fund.
The global oil market is in free fall, following the collapse of a meeting last week of OPEC and non-OPEC producers. Saudi Arabia decided to surge its output, sending oil prices tumbling. This historic oil price crash is weighing on stock markets already reeling from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Low oil prices raise questions about the future of U.S. shale production, OPEC’s credibility and effectiveness, the geopolitical motivations and the fallout for Saudi Arabia and Russia, the fiscal impacts on key oil-producing countries, the implications for the battle against climate change, and much more.
In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, Jason Bordoff is joined by three experts who study energy markets, geopolitics, and policy to delve into these complex issues: Helima Croft, Amy Myers Jaffe, and Bob McNally.
Helima Croft is a Managing Director and the Head of Global Commodity Strategy and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Research at RBC Capital Markets. She is a CNBC contributor, she started her career at the CIA after earning her PhD from Princeton University.
Amy Myers Jaffe is the David M. Rubenstein Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment and Director of the Program on Energy Security and Climate Change at the Council on Foreign Relations. Amy previously served as Executive Director for Energy and Sustainability at the University of California, Davis, as Founding Director of The Energy Forum at Rice University’s Baker Institute, and she is also the Co-Chair of the Center on Global Energy Policy’s Women in Energy Steering Committee.
Bob McNally is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, and Founder and President of The Rapidan Energy Group, a consulting firm based in Washington DC. From 2001 to 2003, Bob served as the top international and domestic energy adviser on the White House staff, holding the posts of Special Assistant to the President on the National Economic Council and, in 2003, Senior Director for International Energy on the staff of the National Security Council. He is also the author of Crude Volatility, a history of oil markets and efforts to manage them, published through the Center on Global Energy Policy’s book series with the Columbia University Press.
Capturing carbon emissions, storing them and even using them in novel ways are getting a lot more attention now than they did a few years ago, as policymakers, business leaders, scientists and others look more urgently for ways of addressing climate change.
In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless catches up with Julio Friedmann, a senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy and the director of the center’s Carbon Management Research Initiative. He’s one of the most widely known and authoritative experts in the U.S. in this field with expertise in technology, policy and operations.
Julio served as a principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Energy Department during the Obama administration and has held positions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. With Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Southern California, he also worked for five years as a senior research scientist at ExxonMobil.
Their conversation is timely as Congress considers new legislation that would expand government incentives promoting carbon capture technologies as concerns over the risks of climate change and commitments to address the phenomenon grow. Julio also breaks down the challenges of financing these technologies.
And by the way, keep an eye out for an upcoming paper from Julio and the Center on Global Energy Policy that will examine which policies might work to stimulate investment in carbon capture technology in the U.S. power sector.