Session Three in the New Geopolitics of Petroleum and Natural Gas Series
The development of abundant, low-cost natural gas supplies in the United States has facilitated a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. But there are concerns that natural gas will crowd out investments in other low carbon energy technologies, such as renewables, carbon capture and storage and nuclear energy. Debate ensues as to whether natural gas is a transition or a destination fuel, largely based on estimates of the cost of incentives to develop and commercialize the next generation of low carbon energy technologies.
The Bipartisan Policy Center held the third session in the New Geopolitics of Petroleum and Natural Gas series. This session, hosted by former Senator Pete Domenici, examined whether natural gas and low carbon energy technologies can play complementary roles in transitioning the global economy to a cleaner, more sustainable trajectory. We considered the scientific and technological prospects for natural gas and other low carbon energy technologies, their respective near- and long-term impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, the economic (and politically practical) alternatives for deploying them, and policy lessons from abroad. David Goldwyn of Goldwyn Global Strategies, LLC, former State Department Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, moderated the event.
8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast available
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction
- Senator Pete V. Domenici (Ret.), BPC Senior Fellow
- Margot Anderson, Executive Director, BPC Energy Project
Series Moderator: David Goldwyn, Goldwyn Global Strategies, LLC
9:10 a.m. Panel 1: The Scientific and Technological State of Play
Abundant unconventional natural gas has dramatically reshaped energy markets, with natural gas gaining significant market share in the electric power sector in particular. Panelists will discuss the impact of the boom in unconventional natural gas on the portfolio of low carbon energy technologies, both in the near term and in the long term. In addition, panelists will address the emissions implications of current trends, near-term opportunities to improve the environmental performance of the current system, and the technology pathways for and economics of long-term greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Finally, panelists will consider politics and the role of smart climate and energy policies, as they attempt to answer the question “Can we get there from here?”
- The Honorable David Garman, Principal, Decker Garman Sullivan and Associates, LLC
- Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
- Joseph Aldy, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University
10:30 a.m. Coffee Break
10:45 a.m. Panel 2: Leveraging Comparative Advantages to Deploy Low Carbon Energy Technologies
Given the range of indigenous energy resources among countries throughout the globe, there will likely be different optimal approaches to deploying low carbon energy technologies among countries with like-minded energy and climate policy goals. Panelists will discuss which technologies are likely to be deployed in different regions given differences in energy endowments, as well as how strategies to deploy low carbon energy technologies will vary depending on geopolitics, natural resources, and politics.
- William Ramsay, Senior Advisor of the Center for Energy, Ifri
- Jason Bordoff, Director, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
- The Honorable William Reilly, Senior Advisor, TPG Capital, LP
12:00 p.m. Adjourn