Gazprom’s response to what it saw as an adverse February 28 ruling by an arbitration court in Stockholm, effectively ordering the Russian gas giant to pay $2.64 billion to Ukraine’s national gas company, Naftogaz, was unexpected. Not only did Gazprom cut off its limited direct supply of gas to Ukraine—gas that Ukraine already paid for—on March 1, but Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller stated the following day that supplies transiting through Ukraine to customers in central Europe were also being terminated.
The need for such engagement is even more crucial given the level of activity over the last three months.
Timing of New Electric Investment
Some estimates suggest the number of electric vehicles on the road, currently around one million globally, could approach 24.4 million by 2030. To produce the high volume of electric vehicles that is projected, existing automobile manufacturing plants will have to be converted to produce electric vehicles or new production factories will need to be built.
Such growth in the EV fleet will require a significant expansion of battery production, specifically of Lithium-ion batteries. Although several types of Lithium-ion batteries can be used in EVs, they all contain lithium, cobalt, and nickel, metals which can carry significant supply and price risks.
While the 2017 hurricane season provided a stark example of US energy infrastructure’s vulnerability to extreme weather, CESER’s cyber security mandate is notable because it marks the Agency’s strongest ever foray into the cyber domain. This is a positive indicator that the Trump Administration will focus much-needed attention on cybersecurity risks to national energy infrastructure. However, without effective coordination between a growing chorus of federal agencies monitoring cyber risk—FBI, DHS, NSA, DOD, CIA, DOS, and DOT—DOE will merely be another voice in a worryingly discordant approach to US cyber security.
By 2014, the US shale boom was in full force and Texas was one of its epicenters, accounting for sixty percent of new US reserves and nearly forty percent of total US production. Oil’s percentage of the state economy was only slightly smaller in 2014 as compared to 1986, when an oil price drop sent the Texas economy into a tailspin. As the price collapse of the second half 2014 started to sink in, some economists predicted the worst. In December 2014, JPMorgan Chief Economist Michael Feroli argued, "We think Texas will, at the least, have a rough 2015 ahead, and is at risk of slipping into a regional recession."
SPD party members have until March 2 to vote on whether their party should participate in a coalition government with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The vote puts SPD party members in a difficult position—endorse a coalition many of them oppose in the interest of stability or withhold support and face potential uncertainty—and this has caused disarray in the party, on the heels of its worst election results in the post-war period.
The choice will likely be the deciding factor in an almost six-month journey to form a new government following elections in September. The deal to form another so-called “Grand Coalition” between the CDU and SPD was reached after negotiations between the CDU, the Green Party, and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) to form a “Jamaica Coalition” collapsed in the fall, facing an impasse on several issues, including migration.