Varun Sivaram

Energy, Security, and Climate

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

Would the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Create 250,000 Jobs?

by Michael Levi Thursday, October 27, 2011

I’ve written extensively on this blog about some of the ridiculous new arguments being peddled by opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. I hadn’t seen as much in the way of new and implausible assertions from pipeline proponents – until now. Here’s what I found in my email yesterday courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Read more »

Do Gasoline Based Cars Really Use More Electricity than Electric Vehicles Do?

by Michael Levi Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Business Insider published an interview today with Tesla founder Elon Musk in which Musk makes a striking claim: “You have enough electricity to power all the cars in the country if you stop refining gasoline,” he asserts. “You take an average of 5 kilowatt hours to refine [one gallon of] gasoline, something like the [Tesla] Model S can go 20 miles on 5 kilowatt hours.” Read more »

What the Nobel Prize Tells Us About Oil

by Michael Levi Monday, October 10, 2011

[Dear new readers: Please click here if you’d like to see the rest of this blog, which focuses on energy, security, and climate.]

Do you think that it’s straightforward to figure out whether high oil prices cause recessions? Many people apparently do. The 2011 Nobel Prize in Economics, awarded today to Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims for “empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy”, should make them reconsider. The basic reason is simple: if it was easy to separate cause from effect and thus measure the relationship between stimulus and response, they wouldn’t be awarding Nobel Prizes for related progress. Read more »

Someone is Missing from Romney’s Foreign Policy Team

by Michael Levi Friday, October 7, 2011

Mitt Romney unveiled an impressive list of foreign policy advisers yesterday, establishing what Josh Rogin at The Cable aptly termed a “shadow National Security Council.” Romney has created a working group to match pretty much every piece of NSC terroritory, from AfPak to Counter-Proliferation to Human Rights. There is, however, one glaring omission: unlike at the NSC, which has long had a senior director for energy, no one is responsible for energy affairs. Read more »