Foreign Policy Blogs

Energy

Can a Solar Tariff Spark a Trade War?

Can a Solar Tariff Spark a Trade War?

  The struggle for positioning in the solar energy marketplace took another turn. On June 4 Karel de Gucht, the European Commissioner for Trade, announced a new 11.8 percent tariff to be applied to imported Chinese made solar panels, and photovoltaic cells and polysilicon wafers, two system components. To avoid an additional increase escalating to […]

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Will Ghana Overcome its New Energy Challenge?

Will Ghana Overcome its New Energy Challenge?

Ghana has been forced to cope with increased energy shortages as a result of damages to the West African Gas Pipeline, dating back to Aug. 28, 2012. The $1 billion, 650 kilometer long pipeline, built to carry gas from Nigeria to Benin, Togo and Ghana, was severely damaged during an incident between a Togolese Navy […]

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U.K. Energy Shortage: A Cautionary Tale

U.K. Energy Shortage: A Cautionary Tale

Britain is suffering its worst winter in 50 years. Everyone is grumbling about their fuel bills and wondering what has happened to spring. Soccer and rugby matches and horse-racing fixtures have been canceled. The government has warned that if the weather persists like this for another couple of weeks, rationing may be necessary. While Prime […]

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State Department Says XL Pipeline Won’t Affect Oil Sands Development

State Department Says XL Pipeline Won’t Affect Oil Sands Development

The Department of State has released a 2000-page draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement regarding the XL Keystone Pipeline. In the words of the executive summary, the report “concludes that approval or denial of the proposed Project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands, or on the […]

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EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement – Why the American Push Forward Now?

EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement – Why the American Push Forward Now?

  Not too long ago President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address in February the start of free trade negotiations with the European Union (EU). These negotiations are expected to take at least two years while any deal would have to be approved by the European Parliament. On the surface, that […]

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American Energy Independence Might Not Change Things Much

American Energy Independence Might Not Change Things Much

Thanks to fracking and the oil rush in North Dakota, many analysts predict energy independence for North America, and even for the U.S. itself. The most recent high-profile prediction came from Citigroup’ s global commodities research team, headed by Edward Morse. They issued an 85-page report, which sadly is not available for free, on the […]

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Inching Towards Real North American Energy Security

Inching Towards Real North American Energy Security

In 2011, President Obama instructed the U.S. State Department to try to find a new route for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline citing environmental concerns. The concerns were especially related to a potential contamination of the Ogallala aquifer. This is an important groundwater source and therefore it makes sense to bypass the most sensitive areas […]

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Iran Admits Sanctions Hurt Revenue

Iran Admits Sanctions Hurt Revenue

Iran’s revenue from oil exports is off by 40% thanks to the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and EU over the Iranian nuclear program.  Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told the budget commission of the Iranian parliament, “There has been a 40 percent decrease in oil sales and a 45 percent decrease in repatriating oil money.” […]

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A More Inclusive Global Energy Paradigm

A More Inclusive Global Energy Paradigm

As part of the European Union’s support for the U.N.’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, E.U. Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs announced with visiting Djibouti Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita that the E.U. would provide funding for a combined renewable energy and water desalinization plant. The plant, to be built near Djibouti City, is to provide water […]

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THE LAND OF THE RISING “NUCLEAR” SUN – AGAIN!

THE LAND OF THE RISING “NUCLEAR” SUN – AGAIN!

  The experiment is over. Japanese voters went to the polls just yesterday on December 16 to elect a new parliament and overwhelmingly voted incumbent Japanese Prime Minister Noda from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) out of office. Yoshihiko Noda, a former finance minister who wanted to curb Japan’s immense public debt, had only become Japan’s […]

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The Nexus between the Keystone XL Pipeline and Bending the CO2 Emissions Curve Downwards in the Long Term

The Nexus between the Keystone XL Pipeline and Bending the CO2 Emissions Curve Downwards in the Long Term

I spent the last week on a tour of the Canadian oil sands in Alberta talking to oil sands industry representatives, Government of Alberta officials – the regulator – and environmental think tanks. I am now back in New York with interesting insights, a far better understanding of “everything oil sands” and many thoughts I would […]

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General Wesley Clark on Energy and National Security 

General Wesley Clark on Energy and National Security 

After a panel discussion at New York University shortly before November’s election, General Wesley Clark (ret.) was kind enough to answer some questions regarding the national security dimension of America’s energy situation. This piece originally appeared in the Kensington Review. Q: What security threats bother you most when it comes to energy issues? General Clark: Over four decades, […]

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U.S. to Overtake Saudi Arabia in Oil Production by 2020 — Not So Fast…

U.S. to Overtake Saudi Arabia in Oil Production by 2020 — Not So Fast…

    In a recent report by the Paris-based IEA, it was forecasted that the United States would become the largest global oil producer, thereby overtaking Saudi Arabia, by around 2020. Not so fast! As Jen Alic of Oilprice.com rightly points out: “We cannot compare total combined liquid hydrocarbons produced by the U.S. with Saudi Arabia’s strictly crude […]

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Britain Announces Energy Efficiency Strategy

Britain Announces Energy Efficiency Strategy

In the field of energy, conservation is about the least sexy topic out there. However, it is also the one area that can affect the picture immediately, and for that reason, we ought to be paying greater attention to it. For its part, the British government has just released its first Energy Efficiency Strategy. I […]

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President Obama Re-elected and Keystone XL Pipeline Revisited

President Obama Re-elected and Keystone XL Pipeline Revisited

    The Foreign Policy Association has recently released results of its 2012 National Opinion Survey with some interesting insights regarding the geopolitics of energy. Among other things, the survey finds that a total of 57 percent of the balloters believe that constructing the Keystone XL pipeline is in the U.S. national interest. This seems to […]

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