Fellow Tim Boersma and Steve Griffiths explore reforming electricity, water, and fuel subsidies in the United Arab Emirates in a report for the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies. The report is part of a larger Oxford Energy Forum issue focusing on MENA price reforms.
The large-scale disruption of fuel supplies caused by Superstorm Sandy brought the vulnerabilities of the New York Tri-state fuel supply system into sharp relief. In the three and one-half years since the storm, concerns about extreme weather and overall energy security have only grown, leading policymakers at all levels, fuel suppliers to the region and related power providers to examine how this system can be strengthened against future risks. This report puts forward a series of recommendations to improve communications and overall situational awareness between the private and public sectors to facilitate effective response to fuel emergencies. The report concludes that the current voluntary system of information sharing is inadequate to the needs of the public sector and recommends creating mandatory requirements at various levels to address fuel crises.
Fuel economy standards lie at the center of US efforts to reduce oil consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions. A new report published today by the Center on Global Energy Policy examines the effect low gasoline prices are having on this policy lever. Co-authored by Benjamin Leard, Joshua Linn, and Virginia McConnell of Resources for the Future, the report finds that, during the study period from June 2014 to August 2015, low fuel prices had only a modest effect on meeting the federally required level of fuel economy. If that finding continues beyond the study period, the authors conclude, then low fuel prices will not have a substantial effect on the average fuel economy of new light duty vehicles sales. However, the report cautions that low fuel prices may cause consumers to choose more powerful cars than if fuel prices were higher. Automakers would have to make up the difference if so, which raises the cost of complying with the regulations.
By the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) reckoning, some 5.5 million barrels of oil — 6% of world demand — get burned daily as bunker fuel on the high seas. Those bunkers are the world’s last big sink for high sulfur residual fuel oil (HSFO), the "bottom of the barrel,” as air-emission rules for ships have to date remained relatively loose. Tighter sulfur regulations may soon change that, with far-reaching impacts for the shipping industry, energy markets and air emissions from ships.