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Where is US energy policy going?

Where is US energy policy going?

States are going against the green energy wave and reverting back to the status quo: fossil fuels. In Wyoming, elected officials are mulling a legislation to add a tax to wind farms. In Vermont, the state senate voted to shut down a 38-year old nuclear power plant that is receiving a 20-year extension to operate. […]

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Green tech leaders complain about lack of funding, but it is not just money

Green tech leaders complain about lack of funding, but it is not just money

Green tech leaders meeting this week in Las Vegas at the National Clean Energy Summit conference sponsored by Democratic Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid used the opportunity to complain about the lack of government support. Despite recent announcements from the Obama Administration that some initiatives are moving, the money is not going out the door […]

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The dangerous intersection of energy, politics and business

The dangerous intersection of energy, politics and business

Australian Foreign Minister Steven Smith stated today that Stern Hu, General Manager of Rio Tinto China, was detained on espionage charges earlier this week. Hu’s firm, Rio Tinto, is a major Australian supplier of iron ore (a necessary ingredient for making steel). The company is currently negotiating annual contracts with China that dictate pricing terms […]

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Speculation about commodity speculation

In a lightly publicized event over the weekend, a trader in London at PVM Oil Futures, the largest oil trading firm, made “unauthorized” purchases of oil contracts at 2 am. The trades pushed the price of Brent crude up to $73.50/bbl on Tuesday, the highest price this year, before dropping to $66 by the end […]

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Russian president’s assurances fail to mask resource ambition

Russian president’s assurances fail to mask resource ambition

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attempted to allay global fears that Moscow is trying to amass access to natural resources this week during a trip through Egypt, Nigeria, Namibia and Angola as he signed billion dollar energy deals providing Russia a greater foothold in Africa . In Angola, Medvedev emphasized that these resource contracts were important […]

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Russia's energy quest moves to Africa

Russia's energy quest moves to Africa

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is on a 4-nation tour this week through Africa to push his expansive international energy policy. Today, his former company, Russian gas giant Gazprom, signed a $2.5 bln deal with its counterpart in Nigeria to build infrastructure including refineries, pipelines and gas power stations. The deal gives access to Nigeria’s resources […]

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The gas conflicts of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia: Fears of a long cold winter in Europe

The gas conflicts of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia: Fears of a long cold winter in Europe

The European Union plans to announce today that it sees possible disruptions for its gas supplies from Russia via Ukraine, a liklihood we identified earlier this year. What’s worse, Gazprom is now demanding $230 in debt payments from Belarus, another key gas transit route to western Europe. The payments from Belarus may stem from a […]

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Another day in DC, another battle lost for oil companies.

Today the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted for an amendment, as part of a comprehensive energy bill, which would give the Secretary of the Interior Department flexibility in suspending mandatory royalty payments to companies for the production of oil and gas. The incentives, originally part of the 2005 Energy Bill, allow oil companies […]

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Offshore drilling: Democrats revising a Bush era decision to allow more

Offshore drilling: Democrats revising a Bush era decision to allow more

The Democratic-led Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee supported legislation today that would allow for oil and gas exploration off the coast of Florida. In an ironic twist, this includes an area that Republican President George W. Bush took off limits in 2002. Far more Congressional action is needed before the legislation is past, but […]

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Prediction of a steady price rise for carbon allowances in EU's cap and trade system, but is it accurate?

The consulting and market research company Point Carbon predicts that “Phase 3 of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme [from 2013] (EU ETS) could see the price of an EU Allowance rise from €30/ton in 2013 to €40/t in 2016.” ETS allowances fell to nearly €8/t this year and have recovered slightly since. Firms sold […]

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Goldman sanguine on high oil prices; Industry execs, not so much

Oil prices rose yesterday as Goldman Sachs stated it expects prices to reach $85 by the end of the year from its current level just below $70. Its analysts believe the recent price increase is the first stage of a longer sustained rally. They are right to see oil price rise over the long-term as […]

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Oil prices rise but is there fundamental support?

Oil prices rise but is there fundamental support?

Oil has finished higher during 16 of the last 20 trading sessions and seven straight as it continues to rise from lows in February. Although it looks set to close lower today as traders cash in on recent gains, the price has increased over 110% over the past four months. But the fundamental drivers over […]

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Biden on tour boasts about green job creation, but is all green all good

Biden on tour boasts about green job creation, but is all green all good

Vice President Joe Biden is on a victory tour, swinging through the country exulting the $787 billion stimulus package as a green job creator. In Denver, he boasted about the $11 billion for improving the electricity grid as well as the estimated 450,000 new jobs the bill will create. Despite the difficulty in defining a […]

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Increased violence in Nigeria highlights supply concerns but has little immediate impact on oil prices

Increased violence in Nigeria highlights supply concerns but has little immediate impact on oil prices

Nigerian militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) claimed to attack several pipelines of oil companies including Chevron yesterday, shitting in 100,000 barrels of crude a day. The attacks come in response as Nigerian forces over the past two weeks began a major operation against the rebel group. MEND claims […]

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Is California changing its tune on offshore drilling?

In a move that went widely unreported last week, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a plan that would allow additional drilling within state waters in an attempt to help ease California’s fiscal troubles. California had banned new exploration activity within state waters (an area that roughly extends nine miles from the coast) since the 1969 […]

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About the Author

David Abraham

David S Abraham has expertise in the analysis of geopolitical and economic risk as well in energy issues. At the White House Office of Management and Budget, his work included overseeing natural resource and foreign assistance programs, and serving on the interagency trade policy committee. In his previous role as a sovereign risk analyst with Lehman Brothers, subsequently, Barclays Capital, he advised the firm on geopolitical and economic risks in developing countries. He has also consulted for a variety of organizations including the United Nations Support Facility for Indonesian Recovery, RBS Sempra Commodities, ClearWater Initiative and a small German consultancy. David earned degrees from Boston College and The Fletcher School at Tufts University and proudly served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His written work has appeared in a variety of publications, most recently in The New York Times, The Providence Journal, and CFR.org. He speaks Lithuanian and is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Area of Focus
Geopolitics; Economic Risk; Energy Issues

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