Economics & Global Affairs

20 Items

Orvis State natural gas flare

Tim Evanson/Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Saving Natural Gas Through Regulation

| Mar. 31, 2019

An unprecedented change in U.S. electricity generation is taking place as natural gas is replacing oil and coal, and in some instances, nuclear power. The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts U.S. natural gas production approaching thirty-three trillion cubic feet in 2019 and fueling approximately 36 percent of electricity generation. This is a huge change from just ten years ago. Furthermore, this growth level has occurred with prices hovering around $3.00 per thousand cubic feet, substantially below the price experts predicted.

In 2011, science advisors to the presidents of China and the United States, Wan Gang and John P. Holdren, hold a photo of the historic 1979 U.S.-China agreement on science and engineering.

USDA

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Center's Energy Work Wields Impact and Influence Around the World

| Fall/Winter 2016-2017

The Belfer Center began researching energy technology issues in the late 1990s. Its mission was “to determine and promote the adoption of effective strategies for developing and deploying cleaner and more efficient energy technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and stress on water resources, and improve economic development.”

In this issue, we look at the history and influence of the Center’s energy innovation efforts in the past two decades by focusing primarily on ETIP’s work in the U.S. and China.

teaser image

News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Divestment Debate: Should Harvard Divest from Fossil Fuels?

| May 8, 2015

Should Harvard divest its financial holdings in fossil fuel companies to help address the climate change crisis? In the first Kennedy School public debate on this controversial issue, two prominent Harvard professors recently addressed that question, presenting arguments for and against joining the global divestment campaign.

Discussion Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Falling Short: A Reality Check for Global LNG Exports

| December 19, 2014

In 2012, when many energy experts argued that oil production had peaked, Leonardo Maugeri published “Oil: The Next Revolution,” which forecast a glut of oil and collapsing prices in the next several years. His prediction proved prescient. Now, as analysts look past today’s oil-market drama to a near future of robust liquefied natural gas exports, Maugeri is again challenging conventional wisdom. The long-hoped-for and hyped-up gas market, he concludes, will disappoint.

“Falling Short: A Reality Check for Global LNG Exports” details the new findings by Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now an associate with the Geopolitics of Energy project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

The U.S. Shale Oil Boom: Potential Impacts and Vulnerabilities of an Unconventional Energy Source

AP Images

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The U.S. Shale Oil Boom: Potential Impacts and Vulnerabilities of an Unconventional Energy Source

| June 2013

A new study by Belfer Center Geopolitics of Energy researcher Leonardo Maugeri finds that oil production capacity is surging throughout the world, but the United States in particular will experience unprecedented output as a result of technological advances and some unique attributes. This increased production will not be without challenges, however, as the drilling industry adapts to this relatively new method and overall output depending greatly on price stability. In the end, the U.S. may yet still import oil from other countries. The findings by Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, are based on an original field-by-field analysis of the world’s major oil formations and exploration projects.

The Shale Oil Boom: A U.S. Phenomenon

AP Images

Discussion Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Shale Oil Boom: A U.S. Phenomenon

| June 2013

A study just released by Belfer Center researcher Leonardo Maugeri finds that the shale oil revolution taking place in the United States could result in the tripling of shale oil output to five million barrels a day by 2017, likely making the U.S. the top oil producer in the world in just a few years. The study by Maugeri, a Roy Family Fellow working with the Belfer Center's Geopolitics of Energy project, looked at whether the surge in shale oil production is just a temporary bubble or an event capable of significantly altering the U.S.—and possibly global—energy outlook.

"Gasoline Taxes and Consumer Behavior"

AP Photo

Discussion Paper

"Gasoline Taxes and Consumer Behavior"

    Authors:
  • Erich Muehlegger
  • Shanjun Li
  • Joshua Linn
| July 2012

Gasoline taxes can be employed to correct externalities associated with automobile use in order to reduce dependency on foreign oil and raise government revenue. This paper examines how gasoline taxes affect consumer behavior as distinct from tax-exclusive gasoline prices. It suggests that traditional analysis could significantly underestimate policy impacts of tax changes and discusses the implications of these findings.

An oil pump jack in Santa Maria, California, a three-story humming contraption struck residents as a mere curiosity until someone uttered the petroleum industry's dirty word: fracking.

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Discussion Paper

North American Oil and Gas Reserves: Prospects and Policy

| July 2012

Expanding estimates of North America’s supply of accessible shale gas, and more recently, shale oil, have been trumpeted in many circles as the most significant energy resource development since the oil boom in Texas in the late 1920s. How large are these resources? What challenges will need to be overcome if their potential is to be realized? How will they impact U.S. energy policy?

To address these questions, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and two of its programs ― the Environment and Natural Resources Program and the Geopolitics of Energy Project ― convened a group of experts from business, government, and academia on May 1, 2012, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The following report summarizes the major issues discussed at this workshop. Since the discussions were off-the-record, no comments are attributed to any individual. Rather, this report attempts to summarize the arguments on all sides of the issues.

Delegates listen to German Chancellor Angela Merkel respond to a question at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin on July 3, 2011. The two-day dialogue was held in preparation for the upcoming UN climate conference in Durban.

AP Photo

Discussion Paper

The Promise and Problems of Pricing Carbon: Theory and Experience

| November 2011

Because of the global commons nature of climate change, international cooperation among nations will likely be necessary for meaningful action at the global level.  At the same time, it will inevitably be up to the actions of sovereign nations to put in place policies that bring about meaningful reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases.  Due to the ubiquity and diversity of emissions of greenhouse gases in most economies, as well as the variation in abatement costs among individual sources, conventional environmental policy approaches, such as uniform technology and performance standards, are unlikely to be sufficient to the task.  Therefore, attention has increasingly turned to market-based instruments in the form of carbon-pricing mechanisms.  We examine the opportunities and challenges associated with the major options for carbon pricing:  carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, emission reduction credits, clean energy standards, and fossil fuel subsidy reductions.