Restoring electricity in Puerto Rico-an inside look

Hurricane Maria was one of the most devastating storms to ever hit the United States, leaving a path of...

Absent national policy, U.S. climate action takes many forms

Leaders from around the world will gather in San Francisco Sept. 12-14 to celebrate the achievements of states, regions,...

Is $140 oil in the works again?

By Bill Loveless Oil prices, which hit a record $140 a barrel in 2008, could reach that level again...

What lies in store for U.S. LNG exports?

The U.S. is becoming a leader in the global market for liquefied natural gas (LNG), amid record gas production...

Energy Journalists Take Deep Dive to Learn More

The second Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative took place in New York in June with 20 up-and-coming energy journalists from...
Podcast
Restoring electricity in Puerto Rico-an inside look
Climate, Podcast
Absent national policy, U.S. climate action takes many forms
Blog
Is $140 oil in the works again?
Podcast
What lies in store for U.S. LNG exports?
Climate, Energy
Energy Journalists Take Deep Dive to Learn More

About Bill Loveless

An award-winning energy journalist known for his compelling news interviews in print and on the air. A thought-provoking moderator of high-level public events addressing leading energy and environmental issues. An insider with extensive connections with prominent lawmakers, policymakers and business executives. A perceptive writer providing critical insight on issues.

Article, Climate, coal

A long-shot opportunity for coal and carbon capture?

By Bill Loveless New efforts to promote technology to capture carbon-dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and bury them underground or use them to enhance oil production are getting more attention in Washington these days thanks to the Trump administration and its commitment to save the U.S. coal industry. Now, the credit-rating agency Moody’s is cautiously predicting that the technology may be the answer for the declining industry in the long run, though daunting obstacles remain. One thing that could jump start interest in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) would be a spike in the cost of natural gas, whose abundance in the U.S. and low price in recent years have persuaded electric utilities to rely more on gas to fuel their power plants and less on coal, according to a new report from Moody’s. On that score, the agency…

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Energy, Environment, Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Trump on Energy, Environment So Far

President Trump came into office one year ago promising to “Make America Great Again” by turning upside down the policies of his predecessors, including those involving energy and the environment. Some would say he’s been as effective in leaving his mark in these areas as anywhere else. To take stock of the Trump administration effect on energy and environmental policies, I turned to two of the leading journalists covering the topic in Washington: Lisa Friedman of the New York Times and Steve Mufson of the Washington Post. Listen here to this edition of the Columbia Energy Exchange, and let me know what you think!

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Podcast

Columbia Energy Exchange: Mauricio Gutierrez

My first Columbia Energy Exchange podcast of 2018 with one of the new leaders in the U.S. electric power industry. This comes as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission prepares to respond to a Trump administration plan to aid old coal and nuclear plants, and the U.S. power sector faces even more disruption. Mauricio Gutierrez, the CEO of NRG Energy, responds frankly to these developments. I enjoyed the conversation! Listen here.

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Energy, Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Spencer Abraham

America’s energy fortunes have certainly changed over the past dozen years or so. Just that recently, the nation’s ability to satisfy its oil and natural gas appetite at home was uncertain, and reliance on foreign supplies seemed likely to increase. How times have changed! Today, the U.S. is once again a world leader in oil and gas production, even exporting oil for the first time in decades and gas for the first time ever. This turnabout has happened as solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy gain ground in the U.S., as their costs decline. And combined with gas, they are forcing old coal and nuclear power plants to go out of business. What have we learned from this shift in energy fortunes? And has U.S. energy policy kept pace with the changes? In a new Columbia Energy Exchange…

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Climate, Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Senator Maria Cantwell

With the UN climate summit underway in Germany, the latest developments in climate change are receiving fresh attention, including the extent to which global warming contributes to the severity of hurricanes, wild fires and other natural disasters. Heaven knows, we’ve had plenty of reminders recently with the devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, and widespread fires in western states. In this new episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, I talk to Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, about a new report she and Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, just received from the U.S. Government Accountability Office tabulating the astonishing costs of natural disasters in this country, costs which will only escalate sharply if current patterns persist. Tune in, and let me know what you think. And, if you haven’t done so yet, subscribe to this podcast from the Columbia University…

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cyber security, Electricity, Infrastructure, NERC, Podcast

Cyber attacks on U.S grid: How likely?

In the latest Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, I talk with Marcus Sachs, the chief security officer at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, about recent incidents and what they tell us about the vulnerability of the U.S. grid to cyber attacks. Marc describes as well as anyone I know the risks that computer hacks pose for the electricity infrastructure and the steps being taken by the power industry and the government to guard against such attacks. Not surprisingly for someone from the industry, he’s confident in its ability to keep the lights on. But just as significantly, he also makes clear that dealing with such intrusions is no easy task, and one that demands constant vigilance. Please take a listen to our 30-minute discussion, and let me know what you think.

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Blog, Podcast

Columbia Energy Exchange: Jay Faison

With the devastation from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the repercussions of climate change are getting more attention, especially the extent to which global warming may intensify the impact of storms. From a policy standpoint, the question is whether climate change will receive broader consideration in Washington as hurricanes, wild fires and other natural calamities wreak havoc in the U.S. and neighboring nations. In the latest Columbia Energy Exchange podcast, I talk with Jay Faison, the founder and CEO of the ClearPath Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting conservative support for clean energy. Granted, our conversation took place before Harvey and Irma. But even then, Jay claimed growing interest among Republicans in weighing the implications of climate change and eyeing solutions. “We’ve got 20, 30 Republicans out on different caucuses stating the problem,” he told me. “I can tell you behind…

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Article, Climate, Sustainable Energy

On climate, candy maker Mars not so quiet

For a company famously tight-lipped when it comes to most of its business operations, Mars is incredibly outspoken regarding matters like climate change. That’s become even more evident as the company launches a $1 billion plan called “Sustainable in a Generation” which expands on goals set previously by the maker of M&M’s, Snickers and other popular food brands. “Mars has been in business for four generations and intends to be for the next four generations,” Grant Reid, the CEO of the family-owned business with $33 billion in annual net sales and operations in more than 80 countries, said Sept. 5 in announcing the new initiative. But he added, “The only way that will happen is if we do things differently to ensure that the planet is healthy and all people in our extended supply chains have the opportunity to thrive.”…

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Journalism

Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative Class of 2017

I’m proud to be the director of the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative, a program at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy that acquaints up-and-coming energy journalists with disciplines associated with the field, such as finance, markets, policy and technology. Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and others, the program hosted 19 journalists in New York in June, out of more than 80 who applied. My thanks to Jason Bordoff, the founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy, and his staff for including me in this ambitious program. Stay tuned for a new edition in 2018!

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Electricity, Infrastructure, Podcast

Columbia Energy Exchange: Barry Perry

Barry Perry is a chief executive from a remote region of Canada whose company is gradually becoming a major player in North America’s electric power industry. We sat down recently for a discussion on the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast. From St. John’s, Newfoundland, the oldest city in North America, Perry runs Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned utility in Canada. Since 2004, the company’s assets in Canada, the U.S. and the Caribbean have grown ten-fold to $48 billion. Fortis’ most recent acquisition, one that really put it on the map in the U.S., was ITC, the biggest electric transmission company in America, at a price of $11.3 billion. We visited with each other during one of his visits to Washington to talk about the electric and natural gas business in the U.S. and Canada, the different energy policies of the two…

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