Varun Sivaram

Energy, Security, and Climate

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

Why We Fail to Correctly Project Renewable Energy Growth

by Michael Levi Monday, July 23, 2012

There’s an interesting discussion going on in the blogosphere over why energy experts “failed to predict” massive growth in renewable energy over the past decade. David Roberts speculates that it’s because renewable energy is technologically dynamic and often distributed – two things that, he says, we’re bad at modeling. Paul Krugman sees something much uglier at work: capture (“both crude and subtle”) of energy experts by fossil fuel interests. Read more »

Rebutting the IECA Attack on My Natural Gas Exports Study

by Michael Levi Friday, July 20, 2012

Last month, The Hamilton Project published my in-depth study assessing the costs and benefits of allowing U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Earlier this week, the IECA, a trade association that lobbies for large industrial consumers of natural gas, hit back hard in a four-page letter attacking the study. I gather from several journalists’ enquiries that the letter, which identifies seven specific points of disagreement, is making the rounds. This post will explain, point-by-point, why the IECA letter is wrong, and then offer some summary observations. Read more »

The New, Old World of U.S. Oil Policy

by Blake Clayton Friday, July 13, 2012

Yesterday, the New America Foundation hosted a televised summit to discuss the enormous changes taking place in U.S. oil production and what it might mean for national politics and the presidential election, the economy, and energy security. Steve LeVine and his colleagues deserve a lot of credit for putting together a top-notch panel and thought-provoking discussion. For anyone looking to get a handle on the big issues raised by the American oil and natural gas boom, I can’t think of a better place to start than watching the discussion here. Read more »

Guest Post: Energy Reform in Mexico

by Michael Levi Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mexico’s recent elections made headlines around the world. In this guest post, my colleague Shannon O’Neil examines Mexico’s President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto’s promises to reform the oil industry, and the likelihood that Peña Nieto will be able to accomplish what his predecessor could not. Check out her blog, Latin America’s Moment, to read more about Mexico’s recent elections or its energy sector. Read more »

The State Dept.’s Pascual on Iran Sanctions

by Blake Clayton Friday, July 6, 2012

Energy Compass, an industry news source, published a wide-ranging interview today with Carlos Pascual, the State Department’s Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, that’s worth a read. Pascual shares his thoughts of the state of the oil market as well as his work as head of the department’s new Bureau of Energy Resources. Read more »

What the Higgs Boson Tells Us About Climate Skeptics

by Michael Levi Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scientists around the world are celebrating the discovery of the Higgs boson. Last December, researchers announced that they might have glimpsed the elusive particle, but refrained from declaring victory, since there was a one percent chance that their result was a fluke. Now they’re confident: the odds of error in the new calculations are less than one in three million. Read more »

Guest Post: Michael Wara on the Environmental Consequences of the Supreme Court Health Care Decision

by Michael Levi Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Since the Supreme Court ruled last week on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there has been a stream of speculation that the ruling will deeply undermine future federal efforts to strengthen environmental regulation. I asked Michael Wara, an associate professor of law at Stanford University and one of the most thoughtful environmental law experts around, for his take:
Read more »