Category: Essays, Blogs, and Stories

Lebanon Energy Crisis: Time to Reform 3/7/2022

Lebanon Energy Crisis: Time to Reform

Payne Institute Fellow Jamal Saghir, Communications Specialist Brooke Bowser, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the attention of the world’s energy sector is clearly focused on Russia and Ukraine, but the ongoing crisis in Lebanon warrants our collective attention.  The situation is horrifying. Lebanon is being battered by a confluence of crises engulfing national security, politics and government, integrity in public office, the economy and banking sector, social unrest, energy instability and environmental degradation. Each is feeding off the others to create a storm rooted in Lebanon’s failed economic, social, environmental policies.  March 7, 2022.  

Oil Industry Exits Point to Medium Term Supply Challenges and Incremental Renewable Investment 3/3/2022

Oil Industry Exits Point to Medium Term Supply Challenges and Incremental Renewable Investment

Payne Institute Program Manager, Sustainable Finance Lab, and Researcher Brad Handler looks at the energy majors’ exit from Russian relationships seems likely to put pressure on peers and the major Western service companies to follow suit. Such a broad exit points to eventual, and enduring declines in Russian oil production as well as lower Russian gas exports. Higher resulting oil and gas prices should further incentivize clean energy investments in the OECD and beyond.  March 3, 2022.

Lithium Is in Short Supply — But Probably Not for Long 1/27/2022

Lithium Is in Short Supply — But Probably Not for Long

Payne Institute Fellow Liam Denning, with contributions by Payne Director Morgan Bazilian, writes about how given the demand from electric-car makers, suppliers and governments are bound to mine more of it.  When it comes to electric vehicles, there is more concern now that the electric age will fizzle for a lack of lithium.  January 26, 2022.  

Critical Minerals: America’s Achilles Heel? 1/19/2022

Critical Minerals: America’s Achilles Heel?

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributes to this article about how the U.S. lacks minerals and metals and is import-dependent.  The Biden administration has made securing rare earth minerals a priority in its effort to decarbonize the U.S. economy. Texas-based USA Rare Earth LLC is planning to produce half of the rare earth elements crucial to the administration’s projects at this Texas Round Top mining operation. The U.S. Geological Survey is proposing to expand the current list of minerals crucial to the economy and to national defense from 30 to 50.  January 19, 2022.

Will broken supply chains stop Santa Claus? 11/2/2021

Will broken supply chains stop Santa Claus?

Payne Institute Communications Associate Elsa Barron and Program Manager Jordy Lee write about how with supply chains still disrupted by the pandemic, it’s unclear whether your gifts will come on time. What lies at the root of this problem? A lack of knowledge and transparency around supply chains.  November 2, 2021.

Make the climate talks boring 10/19/2021

Make the climate talks boring

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian writes this opinion piece in the Financial Times newsletter on next month’s UN climate conference in Glasgow and how to make the 26th Conference of the Parties actually do something to help fix the climate crisis?  October 19, 2021.

Climate impacts: After the devastating fires, come dangerous mudslidesm 8/18/2021

Climate impacts: After the devastating fires, come dangerous mudslides

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Paul Santi writes an opinion piece about how after the three largest wildfires in Colorado’s history in 2020, we are experiencing an unfortunately well-known consequence: frequent and dramatic mudslides.  One of our two interstate highways, I-70, has been closed repeatedly over the past two months due to about 20 different mudslides — scientifically known as “debris flows.” These debris flows and closures are expensive, inconvenient and dangerous.  So, how did we get to this place? And more importantly, how can we get out of it?  August 18, 2021.

New US climate pledge: Cut emissions 50% this decade, but can Biden make it happen? 4/22/2021

New US climate pledge: Cut emissions 50% this decade, but can Biden make it happen?

Payne Institute Advisory Board Member David Victor and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how President Joe Biden announced an ambitious new national climate target at a livestreamed summit of world leaders on April 22, 2021: He pledged to cut U.S. carbon emissions in half by the end of this decade and aim for net zero emissions by 2050. The new goal is a big deal because it formally brings together the many different ideas on infrastructure, the budget, federal regulatory policy, and disparate actions in the states and industry for transforming the U.S. economy into a highly competitive, yet very green giant. April 22, 2021.

The Climate Debates: Can America Break Its Natural Gas Addiction? 4/16/2021

The Climate Debates: Can America Break Its Natural Gas Addiction?

Payne Institute Fellow Arvind Ravikumar participates in this discussion about how to wean the U.S. off of natural gas.  As more and more people have come to understand the urgency of the climate crisis in recent years, and Americans have elected a president in Joe Biden who has pledged to make addressing climate the centerpiece of his administration, but there is much debate about exactly how we should go about confronting our collective climate challenge.  April 16, 2021.

Biden can decarbonize electricity with these quick wins 4/15/2021

Biden can decarbonize electricity with these quick wins

Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Greer Gosnell, Director Morgan Bazilian, and Clark Miller write about how bold goals to address climate change are emerging globally, and the U.S. will undoubtedly announce its own shortly. The technical pathways to meet net-zero emissions goals demonstrate an accelerating role for renewable energy, thanks to tremendous recent cost declines. April 15, 2021.