Building coalitions for energy stimulus

Governments around the world are consumed now with the challenge of responding effectively to the coronavirus pandemic, including providing adequate healthcare and alleviating the economic impact of the crisis. But policymakers in Washington and other capitals will eventually need to find ways to stimulate a recovery of their economies to put back to work the legions of people who are now unemployed. In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Bill Loveless talks to Ernest Moniz about the role that energy sectors can play in reinvigorating the U.S. economy, especially those sectors responsible for the early stages of a low-carbon transition that’s taken place over the last decade, and the importance of building coalitions to support such options. Moniz is well known to listeners as a former U.S. secretary of energy during the Obama administration and a key architect of…

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Climate, Energy

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 the U.S. and five other countries. Among the media outlets represented were Argus, Bloomberg, Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call, E&E News, Financial Times, Greentech Media, Quartz, S&P Global, Thomson Reuters and the Washington Examiner. I’m pleased to direct this innovative program at the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy, where reporters can take time off the beat to learn more about markets, policy, science and other topics associated with today’s energy and environmental issues. It’s a rare opportunity for journalists in today’s fast-paced world of reporting. Thanks to CGEP Founding Director Jason Bordoff for hosting this innovative program and to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and CGEP Advisory Board Members Jim Rogers and Reid Hoffman for their generous financial support. It’s a…

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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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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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Article, Energy, Government and Politics

Trump may not be able to reverse coal industry’s slump. Here’s why

Coal may make a political comeback in Washington, where President Trump is eager to make good on his promise to revive the sagging industry. But politics aside, it’s the greener forms of energy that are changing substantially the way the USA produces, uses and even saves energy, particularly when it comes to electricity. The trends are detailed in a new report from the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) that provides 163 pages of data on the impact of renewable energy, natural gas and energy efficiency on the U.S. economy. (read more)

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Energy, Government and Politics, Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Mary Landrieu

The political debate over U.S. energy policy has grown more polarized in recent years, making consensus difficult to reach and leaving the country with an uncertain roadmap for supply and demand. Former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, who served as Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and gained a reputation on Capitol Hill as a centrist who worked with Republicans on energy and other national priorities, sits down with host Bill Loveless to talk about why it’s time for the U.S. to take an entirely new approach to making those decisions. Landrieu weighs in on: The differences among regions of the U.S. over energy production and demand; How Democrats and Republicans managed to strike deals and enact major new energy legislation in the past; Fundamental changes in the political parties that have deepened divisions between lawmakers and made legislating more difficult; The opportunities for…

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Article, Economy / Finance, Energy, Government and Politics, International

Venezuela turmoil may alter region’s energy landscape

With Venezuela on the brink of economic collapse and oil prices low, Caribbean and Central American countries have an opportunity to cut their reliance on Caracas for oil and switch to low-carbon alternatives. The turmoil in Venezuela is only worsening, with President Nicolás Maduro having just reduced his country’s workweek to two days in the midst of an energy crisis. It comes as officials from Caribbean and Central American nations prepare to attend an energy summit in Washington where expanding international cooperation and improving energy security in the region will top the agenda. Vice President Joe Biden will preside over the May 3-4 meeting. (Read more)

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Article, Corporations, Defense, Energy

Lockheed sharpens its energy-tech efforts

Lockheed Martin has developed and sold energy technology for years but never made a concentrated push into that market, until now. The defense giant announced the other day the consolidation of its various energy businesses into a new entity called Lockheed Martin Energy, one that aims to take advantage of sweeping changes in energy, particularly in electric power. “For decades, we have been investing in smart, natural and safe energy technologies,” Frank Armijo, the newly appointed vice president of Lockheed Martin Energy, said in a statement from the Bethesda, Md.-based corporation. (Read more)

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