Updated Oct 11, 2022 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on global energy reliability

On Tuesday, October 11th, Axios climate and energy reporter Andrew Freedman, energy reporter Ben Geman and Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo led conversations unpacking potential solutions to restore stability and reliability in the global energy market in response to supply shortages and risks posed by climate change. Guests included former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair Neil Chatterjee, Resources for the Future president and CEO Richard G. Newell, and U.S. Department of Energy deputy secretary David M. Turk.

Neil Chatterjee discussed how the European energy crisis is affecting the rest of the world and the increasing recognition of the necessity of factoring energy security into domestic policy.

  • On the global strain of Europe’s energy crisis: “I think western Europe writ large was viewing natural gas as a bridge to a clean energy future, and Vladimir Putin blew up the bridge. And that is now wreaking havoc not just in Europe but around the world. I think one of the under told stories of this crisis isn’t just the strain on Europe. Europe is in a position they can afford to pay exorbitantly high prices for natural gas for the time being, but that’s leading to such tight supplies that it’s really harming poorer countries around the world that are also dependent on the gas.”
  • On growing attention to the importance of energy reliability and security: “I think there’s increased recognition that we need to factor in energy security in our domestic policy. And I think that in many ways, seeing this example in Europe has caused us to revisit how, in our focus on decarbonization, have we somewhat taken our eyes off of reliability and energy security?”

Richard G. Newell described how to factor long-term climate change concerns into shorter term energy security issues and how the Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions address national priorities beyond just climate change.

  • On climate change and energy security: “The climate crisis is something that is impacting us now. Climate change is already affecting us, but it’s something that will play out over the course of decades, even centuries. And so how do we keep our eye on that long term problem? Because the emissions we have today accumulate and will persist for decades and centuries. And so really what we need to do is identify, to the extent we can, solutions to the current energy crisis that also advance the ball on carbon mitigation, on the climate crisis, not set us back, because really long term, the long term energy system is nothing more than the accumulation of short term decisions.”
  • On the Inflation Reduction Act: “We’re seeing climate legislation that’s maybe different than many of us had anticipated, particularly if you look back ten years, it’s climate related legislation that’s also addressing other key national concerns, both in terms of energy security and also economic well-being.”

David M. Turk explained the consequences of the recent OPEC Plus decision to scale back oil production and how to balance the need for more clean energy deployment while maintaining energy reliability on the grid.

  • On the consequences of OPEC Plus cutting oil production: “We have seen the prices at the pump, unfortunately, tick up in recent weeks. And of course, with the Opec Plus decision, which was disappointing from this administration’s perspective, I think disappointing to consumers, not just here in the U.S. but one thing I think that’s lost…it’s low and middle income countries that are bearing the brunt. All of us are bearing the brunt of this misguided decision by Opec Plus.”
  • On maintaining energy reliability while deploying clean energy quickly: “So I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive. In fact, I think the quicker we deploy a diverse range of clean energy technologies, renewables, storage, hydrogen, you name it, geothermal, the better off we’re going to be not only from a climate perspective…but I actually think it also improves energy security and improves energy affordability as well.”

In the View from the Top segment, EQT president and chief executive officer Toby Rice highlighted the challenges standing in the way of a more reliable global energy supply.

  • “The biggest thing that’s prevented us from adding more supply to meet the growing demand for world energy, it’s real simple. It’s pipeline infrastructure. That is the one thing that we need, and with infrastructure we can begin to start adding the supply and meet world demand. I think the key to getting this infrastructure, though, is we need to start raising awareness. We need to let people know that we have a real solution. The most impactful thing that we can do can start here in the United States and we can end this energy crisis.”

Thank you The Partnership to Address Global Emissions & EQT for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper