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In a new paper for the Center on Global Energy Policy, Dr. Johannes Urpelainen, Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and a Faculty Affiliate at the Center, and his co-authors examine the impact of low oil prices on global fuel subsidies across a number of dimensions. First, the paper explains the benefits of fuel subsidy removal and how low oil prices can enable action. Second, it summarizes key lessons about political obstacles to reform based on original research and the existing literature. Finally, it offers action-oriented recommendations for national and international policymakers, as well as social scientists.

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In a new paper for the Center on Global Energy Policy, Fellow Adrian Lajous, who served as CEO of PEMEX from 1994 to 1999, explains why it is critical that Mexico’s government take time to examine the lessons that can be gleaned from the experience of its first two bidding rounds and move carefully in the bidding process for oil fields open to foreign participation. Critically, he argues the Mexican government must be highly selective in the acreage that it will bid out in the coming months, cautiously sequence and pace tenders, and carefully consider a number of deferrals.

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The dramatic fall in oil prices since mid-2014 has raised questions about whether the availability of cheap crude could derail the movement toward lower carbon energy sources, which has been gathering momentum in the last decade and is important to the stabilization of the world’s climate. In a new paper for the Center on Global Energy Policy, Dr. Geoffrey Heal, Donald C. Waite III Professor of Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, and his co-author Karoline Hallmeyer explore the ways in which oil competes with renewable fuels and examine the impact a lower oil price environment may have on them.

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In this paper, Ambassador Carlos Pascual, non-resident Fellow and former Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the US Department of State, provides a new analytic foundation to assess how investment decisions and government policy will influence national security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.

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In a new paper for the Center on Global Energy Policy, author Francisco Monaldi, Baker Institute Fellow in Latin American Energy Policy and Adjunct Professor of Energy Economics at Rice University, provides an examination of the difficulties facing Venezuela in light of its dependence on revenues from oil exports and the issues facing the energy sector, which have become more acute in the lower price environment seen over the past year.

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In this paper, author Keith Benes, non-resident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, provides background on how the existing global and regional trade regime applies to energy for policy-makers and US-EU negotiators working on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

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Sanctions have become part of the Russian economic landscape since the crisis in Ukraine broke out in December 2013. They have had an impact on the Russian economy, but have yet to change the situation in Ukraine. One possible area for new sanctions is in the field of oil exports. In this issue brief, Richard Nephew, a fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy and program director for economic statecraft, sanctions and energy markets, examines the possible role that an oil export reduction strategy could play in Russia. In noting the pitfalls and complications, he argues that such a strategy could be part of the overall approach to Russia, but that both different sanctions measures and a holistic approach to Russia-Ukraine policy are necessary for any effort to be successful.

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In light of pending negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 we thought you would be interested in the latest issue brief from the Center on Global Energy Policy on the relative impact of low oil prices compared to sanctions on Iran's economy. In it, co-authors Richard Nephew, the Center's Program Director for Economic Statecraft, Sanctions and Energy Markets, and Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Professor of Economics at Virginia Tech, find that sanctions relief is essential to Iranian economic recovery, even more so than a rebound in the price of oil.

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The United States currently maintains an asymmetric advantage in the application of economic pressure on partners and adversaries to achieve its national goals, based on its immense economy and position in the middle of the world’s economic activity. But, it is not certain that this advantage will persist in the future or that it will be as strong, as other countries expand and develop economically. This issue brief, authored by Richard Nephew, Program Director for Economic Statecraft, Sanctions and Energy Markets at the Center on Global Energy Policy, argues that the United States should consider the possibility and implications of such a global environment and adjust its sanctions policies accordingly. Nephew is a former director for Iran at the U.S. National Security Council and was a member of the U.S. nuclear negotiating team with Iran from August 2013 to December 2014. The views expressed here are his own.

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Today the Center on Global Energy Policy released a new study, The Renewable Fuel Standard: A Path Forward, authored by Dr. James Stock, a former Member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and now a Harvard economist and non-resident Fellow at the Center.

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