Varun Sivaram

Energy, Security, and Climate

CFR experts examine the science and foreign policy surrounding climate change, energy, and nuclear security.

The Real G20 Subsidies News

by Michael Levi Monday, June 28, 2010

The G20, in its final communique (PDF), reaffirmed its agreement of last September (PDF) to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies in the “medium term”. Much is being written about how the Obama administration successfully blocked attempts to refer to each country’s efforts as “voluntary”, which, while not trivial, conveniently ignores the fact that everything agreed to by the G20 is voluntary anyhow. Read more »

Is Drilling a Relief Well in Advance the Answer to Deepwater Blowout Risk?

by Michael Levi Friday, June 18, 2010

There is a lot of buzz over Senator Frank Lautenberg’s suggestion that oil companies be required to drill a relief well at the same time as they drill any deepwater production well. That would allow the company to go in and plug any leak in relatively short order. Kate Mackenzie over at the FT Energy Source flags the most promiment objection, other than cost, as articulated by ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson: Read more »

Responding to the Chamber of Commerce

by Michael Levi Thursday, June 17, 2010

[This post is coauthored with Trevor Houser.]

The Chamber of Commerce has responded to our analysis, published on Tuesday, of the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act using their Energy Security Risk Index. They don’t challenge our basic conclusion: that the bill would improve U.S. energy security as measured by their own index. They do, however, make a host of other claims, to which we respond here. Read more »

What We Don’t Know About Energy Security Scares Me

by Michael Levi Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The phrase “energy security” is on my business card, yet whenever anyone uses it, I scratch my head. About a year ago, I decided to plan a workshop that would try to identify what we actually know about the relationship between oil, gas, and national security. This past April, I hosted 36 experts on subjects including international relations, economics, political science, finance, and science and engineering, from academia, NGOs, government, and industry, to survey the state of knowledge and identify questions that need to be answered. Read more »

Simulating the Effects of Kerry-Lieberman on Energy Security

by Michael Levi Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the Chamber of Commerce’s new Energy Security Risk Index. At the end of the post, I asked a question:

“It will be interesting… to see how various energy and climate bills being debated in Congress score on [the energy security risk index]. Anyone with an economic model want to take up that challenge?” Read more »