Publications

The Center’s research agenda emphasizes an economic and geostrategic approach to key energy policy areas. Current research programs encompass a wide variety of specific studies and topics, focused both on U.S. policy and specific regions around the world. Below is a list of research reports and working papers authored by Center staff and Fellows, ordered by most recent publication date.

Report

A.J. Goulding

As U.S. policy makers and utility stakeholders prepare for the utility of the future, comparisons are often made to the transformation of the telecommunications industry due to wireless technologies. However, a new report by A.J. Goulding, Faculty Affiliate at the Center on Global Energy Policy, indicates that the near-death and subsequent rejuvenation of the U.S. rail system over nearly two centuries also offers lessons for the power sector as it adapts its strategies and regulatory philosophies while planning for the utility of the future.

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...

Report

Center on Global Energy Policy

Gonzalo Escribano outlines the degenerating security conditions in Northern Africa, raising concerns about the ability of Algeria, an OPEC nation, to weather the resulting economic, political and security shocks, and inviting comparisons between the current situation and the catastrophic events experienced by the country during the 1986-1988 oil price collapse and its aftermath. The report discusses the extent to which low oil prices could foster an environment for economic and political reforms, and the benefits that the international community, specifically Europe, could derive from taking advantage of this moment in time to press for new energy policies that improve both supply and overall security.

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.

Report

Richard Nephew

In a new report by the Center on Global Energy Policy, authors Richard Nephew, program director for Economic Statecraft, Sanctions, and Energy Markets at the Center on Global Energy Policy, and David Mortlock, partner and Chair of the Government Relations Group at the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, outline implications of the UK's decision to withdraw from the European Union in relation to the view and execution of economic sanctions policies in both regions. The paper reviews the legal and political history of EU and UK sanctions policies since the Lisbon Treaty came into effect in 2009 as well as three cases of sanctions policymaking and enforcement – against Iran, Russia, and terrorists – to identify common interests and themes, as well as differences in how the UK and EU perceived sanctions enforcement. The report concludes by offering up three observations concerning how the UK and EU will move forward in their respective sanctions policies and two recommendations for how these two entities, along with the United States, should work together to preserve the benefits that existed prior to BREXIT.

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.

Report

Luisa Palacios

Venezuela is facing profound social and political crises, creating the circumstance of a potential catastrophe to come. Beyond the humanitarian concerns that exist, Venezuela has become a supply risk for oil markets, not only because of the multiple operational challenges it has recently faced but also due to the spiraling impact of the steep oil production declines already suffered this year. An important supplier of oil to the United States and China, Venezuela’s oil production declined by almost 230,000 barrels per day during the first six months of 2016. In this new report, author Luisa Palacios, a senior managing director at Medley Global Advisors, head of Latin America Macro and Energy Research and a Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy, explores the increasing risks posed by the troubles in this OPEC nation’s oil patch and the unprecedented economic, social and political crisis. The report notes that while the decline in production has yet to translate into a significant fall in oil exports, the most severe threats to the oil market from Venezuela are likely yet to come.

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