Today trade representatives from Canada, Mexico and the United States are meeting in Washington DC to begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Everyone is focused on jobs, competitiveness and modernizing the agreement. Few people are tuned into the environmenal side of things at this time, but they should be because of the environmental benefits. [node:read-more:link]
Recently the FERC held a technical conference on Natural Gas Indices. Back in March 2017, I was asked by the the Natural Gas & Electricity Journal to write about natural gas indices. I hope the article below will provide a good overview of the issues and stimulate discussion.
There is a great deal at stake in modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While many news outlets have focused on factory jobs leaving the U.S., I wanted to take a closer look at the growing exports of natural gas to Mexico and how natural gas and electric power infrastructure investments in both countries could be affected if NAFTA is repealed or negotiations go poorly.
Besides energy investments, I also touch upon how U.S. Disrespect disrespect and truculence from President Trump regarding immigration and "the Wall" can influence Mexico's 2018 Presidential Election and lead to a "lose-lose" situation for both countries. The consequences can be dire and may affect the ability of the U.S. to compete in the global market place.
The University of Colorado Denver's Institute for International Business/CIBER and Global Energy Management Program was kind enough to extend me an invitation to speak on the matter on March 29, 2017. While it's impossible to share all aspects of our discussion, I still wanted to share the presentation [PDF} with you and welcome comments and questions on the subject.
Note: These ideas are my own and I am not representing any organization or government. Nor I am I being paid to write this post. [node:read-more:link]
The following post was co-authored by Tom Russo and Kleinschmidt Principal, Kelly Schaeffer.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) could play a lead role in increasing the number of hydropower projects licensed at its navigation and flood control dams. The biggest challenge to realizing this is not the lack of legislation or new regulations, but rather the lack of experience and familiarity with the review of hydropower project proposals. The Trump Administration’s penchant for results over process may provide added incentives to both the Corps and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to cooperate and facilitate more hydropower development at Corps dams. Successfully implementing a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between these two agencies is the key to success. [node:read-more:link]
Someone asked me why the North American Oil and Shale Gas Revolution didn't stall given declining oil and natural gas prices. What came to emy mind was resilency and seven other factors which taken together can explain why OPEC and Russia did not get their wish.
The most important factor is that Oil and Natural Gas can't just be looked at as a single commodity. The fact is, depending on where you drill a hole in North America's onshore shale basins, you will probably get oil and associated natural gas, natural gas and natura gas liquids (NGLs) or just natural gas. So a producer can rely on multiple revenue streams from all or a combination of these commodities or a portfolio of assets. Fortunately, each commodity's price is different and not exactly related. It also helps to have th infrastructure to process and refine these commodities and move them to markets in North America and abroad. [node:read-more:link]
The National Capital Area Chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics (NCAC-USAEE) featured Tom Russo, Founding Partner of Russo on Energy LLC in its July 2016 newsletter. Tom spoke about key economic/policy issues facing the energy industry and why the NCAC-USAEE is a great place to network in Washington DC.
Several friends and colleagues recently asked me for suggestions on what energy books to read this summer. They were planning vacations at the beach, the mountains and a few were venturing overseas. Two books came to mind that I thought would fascinate them and at the same time give them an edge in engaging new friends who always seem to want to discuss U.S. energy policy and environmental matters. Should you read both books? Given that the power sector is becoming a large consumer of gas it would be wise to read The Green and the Black first and then follow it with The Domino Effect. Reading both books is like eating "Mac and Cheeze." They are an unbeatable combination. [node:read-more:link]
Recently, a colleague doing work for the United Nations Development Programme in Russia requested me to send her the best guidance available on planning international hydropower projects. She was attempting to minimize impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. While I have been away from Hydropower for a while, I was really hard pressed to find current documents that would help her. Most reports were too general and few, if any, talked about planning and regulating hydropower projects, which can last 50 years or longer. I found this difficult to understand despite the wealth of experience in the U.S. and Canada in siting and regulating hydropower.
I quickly realized that in the hydro arena, we were still grappling with environmental, regulatory and social issues. The same is true for siting natural gas and renewable energy. However, the stakes are higher today since the World Bank Group and the Asian Infrastructure Bank are investing in hydropower in to spur economic development, address Climate Change and move countries away from fossil fuels. So I dusted off three publications below that should help both developing and developed countries to better plan and manage their hydropower and other energy projects. Here's a short explanation of each:
Tom Russo, who founded energy consultancy Russo on Energy after spending 30 years at FERC, spoke to Bloomberg's Christopher Long about the state of pipeline build-out in the U.S, and the future of the U.S. natural gas market. The interview also appears in Bloomberg Brief- Power & Gas. [node:read-more:link]