Commentary

The Center fosters dissemination of research on energy policy within Columbia and in the broader academic, business, professional, and public policy communities. While much of the research produced by scholars affiliated with the Center ultimately appears in scholarly books and professional journals, we also publish interesting, rigorous, and topical papers directly. All research produced through the Center is available for free via download on our website.

Commentary

Jason Bordoff

Director Jason Bordoff writes in The Wall Street Journal that the transition to a low carbon economy brings many positives for the environment and energy security, but will also result in new risks such as cybersecurity.

Commentary

Robert M. Hallman

Last month marked the four-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated communities along the Northeastern coast of the United States and caused significant power, fuel and transportation disruptions to millions of families and businesses in the Tri-State region. In a new commentary, non-resident Fellow Robert Hallman writes that since the storm, considerable progress has been made to improve the resilience of the electric grid and prioritize power restoration to critical fuel supply infrastructure; however, as Hallman outlined in a CGEP report this summer, there is still an urgent need for local governments to do more.

Commentary

Richard Nephew

In a new commentary from the Center on Global Energy Policy, Economic Statecraft, Sanctions and Energy Markets program director, Richard Nephew, questions what will happen to the Iran nuclear deal under a Donald Trump Administration. He indicates that, based on Trump’s rhetoric throughout the campaign season and the realities of what’s needed to maintain the deal, the JCPOA has a high chance of failing.

Commentary

Jason Bordoff

Director Jason Bordoff writes on the path of America's energy policy from independence to interdependence in CIRSD's Horizon's magazine.

Commentary

Jason Bordoff

Director Jason Bordoff writes on how we can look to the Montreal Protocol as a framework to curbing global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2016/10/16/how-agriculture-can-reduce-green...

Commentary

Antoine Halff

In a new commentary, Program Director Antoine Halff reflects on OPEC’s agreement in Algiers on September 28, the cartel’s first attempt in eight years to manage the oil market through supply cuts. Halff notes that in appearance the deal could indeed be seen as a triumph of self-reassertion and regained market power, but on closer inspection it shows how formidable the challenges facing the organization remain – and how increasingly ill-equipped OPEC appears in its efforts to address them. He details how shifts of deep significance have taken place on at least three fronts: in the oil market; within OPEC itself and in the balance of power between its members; and inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Given the magnitude of these changes, the real question is not whether OPEC can execute its proposed cuts but whether opening up its old toolkit can really solve its problems.

Commentary

Center on Global Energy Policy

In his latest commentary piece, Fellow Luay Al Khatteeb writes about the state of the Iraq economic and energy situation. Khatteeb indicates that, on the face of it, the advances made in 2016 by Iraqi forces in central and western Iraq against ISIS are great news for the country's oil and gas production. The retreat of ISIS is also a chance for the deadlocked Iraqi Council of Representatives (CoR) to refocus on much needed economic reform.

Yet ISIS’s retreat raises new challenges. Low prices have kept hydrocarbon revenues at a fraction of their 2014 highs, leaving momentum of production growth in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the oil-rich south difficult. Reconstructing the economies of ISIS-devastated territories will come at enormous cost and the coalition of Kurdish, Shia and Sunni forces that had united in a common fight against ISIS will come under renewed pressure.

In order to unlock the billions of dollars in oil revenues necessary for dealing with 3 million of Internally Displaced People (IDP), both Baghdad and the KRG must work, more than ever before, towards a new constitutional framework and form new arrangements in Basra and Anbar Provinces, home to the northern and southern oil fields, allowing for national level strategic planning to maximize Iraq’s broken “energy value chain.” Without this, rebuilding the freed territories will be mired in political deadlock.

Commentary

Richard Nephew

Fellow Richard Nephew argues that far from only imposing sanctions or sanctions-like authorities when U.S. interests are directly impinged, sanctions are increasingly being used as a substitute for more effective action, to avoid taking more risky (but probably necessary) action, and to address domestic political needs in the United States. Sanctions are a powerful tool but, like all instruments of statecraft, should be handled carefully to preserve their utility for future generations of American policymakers and legislators. Richard Nephew uses the example of bill H.R. 5461, or the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act, which is to be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives, as one example of when the United States should choose not to act (i.e. not pass the bill). He argues that while the purpose of the bill is noble and reasonable, it has a number of logical flaws and inconsistencies that argue against its passage, including: A public U.S. government report on Iranian leadership assets will not facilitate anti-corruption efforts inside of Iran; A comprehensive report will endanger U.S. intelligence collection; a thin report will prompt allegations of misconduct; This report will be a nightmare to draft, absorbing real work hours from people who are stretched; The reporting requirement is duplicative of other authorities and mandates in some ways, while confusing those lines in others.

Commentary

Richard Nephew, Matthew Robinson

There is any number of reasons why Washington lawmakers could decide to seek a ramping up of pressure against Venezuela, particularly during an election year. But, argue Matt Robinson and Richard Nephew, an even more compelling case can be made that the appropriate strategic choice was not to act and to instead permit the situation in Venezuela unravel on its own. In this, the United States has demonstrated a considered approach to statecraft by avoiding the temptation to involve itself in the situation in Caracas.

Commentary

Dr. Luay al-Khatteeb

Writing in the National Interest, Fellow Luay Al-Khatteeb writes about the folly of lobbying to carve up Iraq.

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