Varun Sivaram

Energy, Security, and Climate

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

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Showing posts for "Finance"

Peering Into the Energy Market’s Crystal Ball

by Blake Clayton

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 »

An Anti-Speculative Frenzy

by Blake Clayton

I was worried that my defense of speculation in the oil market, published this week on, was late to the game, but my timing turned out to be right on. Just yesterday, an op-ed appeared in the New York Times by Joseph P. Kennedy arguing that “pure” speculators should be “banned from the world’s commodity exchanges.” Read more »

Guest Post: IHS Author Defends Study on the Volcker Rule

by Michael Levi

In a post last Thursday, I identified four reasons for skepticism about a new IHS report that estimated the impact on energy markets of the currently proposed implementation of the Volcker rule. Kurt Barrow, Vice President of IHS Purvin & Gertz and lead author of the IHS report, has graciously penned the following guest post addressing the questions I raised. I may comment further on a few of the points below in another post. Read more »

Will the Volcker Rule Crush American Energy?

by Michael Levi

A new study out yesterday claims that the Volcker rule, intended to push proprietary trading out of the banks, could end up slamming the U.S. energy sector, slashing two billion cubic feet a day off natural gas production and costing two hundred thousand jobs. The alarming report, commissioned by Morgan Stanley and written by the consultancy IHS, is making waves. I am, to put it mildly, not convinced. Read more »

Revisiting High Oil Prices and the U.S. Economy

by Daniel P. Ahn

Given how oil is back in the media spotlight and as oil markets brace for the implementation of the Iranian oil embargo, it seems as good a time as any to revisit the question of high oil prices and their impact on the U.S. economy (as well as revitalize my hitherto moribund blog output), discussed at length in this post. Read more »

Energy Innovation Isn’t Just About Technology

by Michael Levi

For many people, innovation is pretty much synonymous with technology. But when it comes to dealing with our energy and climate problems, we’re going to need innovation on other fronts. In particular, we’re going to need new business models that fit with clean energy. One key part of that that I keep coming back to in my thinking is finance. Read more »

Hard Times Ahead for US Climate Diplomacy

by Michael Levi

I have a short piece up at on the international implications of the climate bill collapse. Here’s the conclusion:

“The United States spent the better part of the last decade being pilloried for its lack of action on climate. The last year and a half has seen a new attitude from much of the rest of the world. International observers have watched the U.S. political debate with growing skepticism over whether Washington could ever deliver cap-and-trade, but they have still held out hope. The sharp setback to the Senate’s cap-and-trade efforts on July 22 means that the honeymoon for U.S. climate diplomacy is over.” Read more »

Report from London

by Michael Levi

I’ve been in London since Sunday, talking to people about climate policy (and about the Iranian nuclear program). One topic that’s come up repeatedly is the UK’s annual Budget, which was announced today, with a new Green Bank as a centerpiece. The politics of climate policy here are a world apart from those in the United States – I’ve been meeting with senior people from government, the (Conservative) opposition, and NGOs, and I’m struck by the fact that everyone claims that the idea is theirs. Read more »