Varun Sivaram

Energy, Security, and Climate

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

You’re Invited: DNC Energy Events

by Michael Levi Thursday, August 30, 2012

I’ll be in Charlotte for part of next week to speak at a couple events at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Both are open to the public – come by if you’re in town.

On September 4, I’ll be part of a Washington Post / Bipartsan Policy Center panel on “The Next Energy Market”. We’ll be talking about the roles of different energy sources and the right way for government to shape the future of energy. The full event runs from 8-10am; my panel will be from 8:30-9:10.  Other speakers included Ed Markey, Brian Schweitzer, Mary Landrieu, and Mark Begich. Register here. Read more »

How to Stop Natural Gas Exports

by Michael Levi Monday, August 27, 2012

The ongoing debate over whether to allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports has featured a recurrent theme: people insist that the gas would be better used within the United States. “We will go down,” T. Boone Pickens has written, “as the dumbest generation ever if we export our clean, cheap, abundant supplies of natural gas in favor of dirtier, more expensive OPEC oil.” In a letter to the editor today responding to my op-ed on the subject of a couple weeks ago, Bob Bailey writes, “We finally have an alternative to foreign oil in the form of natural gas, and Mr. Levi wants to ship it overseas. I’m confused. Why don’t we keep this resource here? Use it here?” Read more »

Assessing the Romney Energy Plan

by Michael Levi Friday, August 24, 2012

Mitt Romney released his energy plan yesterday. I critique it in a new piece in Foreign Policy. Here’s the kicker:

“There are many good reasons to embrace rising U.S. oil and gas production and to reform the way government regulates their development. The Romney strategy for fossil-fuel development has some reasonable proposals on both fronts. But when it comes to comprehensively exploiting energy opportunities and confronting energy-related risks, the strategy falls woefully short.” Read more »

The Climate Change Limits of U.S. Natural Gas

by Michael Levi Monday, August 20, 2012

The Associated Press reported last week that U.S. greenhouse gas carbon dioxide emissions have dropped to a twenty-year low on the back of abundant natural gas. “The question,” it correctly observed, “is whether the shift is just one bright spot in a big, gloomy [climate change] picture, or a potentially larger trend.” Read more »

Why Allowing Natural Gas Exports Is Probably Good for Climate Change

by Michael Levi Friday, August 17, 2012

I argued in a New York Times op-ed yesterday that the United States should allow LNG exports while guarding against downside risks to the local environment and low-income consumers. Joe Romm at the Center for American Progress has now published a 1,100-word attack on the piece. I’d normally not respond at length, but his critique hits on multiple fronts, and our two blogs have many readers in common. This post will go line-by-line through his critique and explain why it’s wrong. Read more »

The IEA on Sudan and South Sudan

by Blake Clayton Friday, August 10, 2012

In today’s monthly Oil Market Report (OMR), the International Energy Agency (IEA) weighed in on how it sees the recent hostilities and pipeline tariff deal between Sudan and South Sudan affecting oil production there through 2013. This is hardly an academic question. The loss of South Sudan’s oil has been one force putting upward pressure on global prices this year, and oil is critical to the economy and stability of both countries.  The IEA’s bottom line? Don’t hold your breath for things to get much better, at least in terms of oil production, despite last weekend’s encouraging developments. And plenty can still go wrong. Read more »

Peering Into the Energy Market’s Crystal Ball

by Blake Clayton Thursday, August 9, 2012

The U.S. Energy Information Adminstration (EIA) published its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday. This report is one of three official monthly sources of data and forecasts that energy analysts often look to in order to understand market conditions. (The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) release similar reports with their own numbers.) Read more »