David L. Goldwyn

  • What the G20 Summit Means for Energy and Climate

    News coming out of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7 and 8 focused on the predictable and predetermined US refusal to join the consensus on the Paris Agreement. Beyond the headlines, the more important takeaways may be that the US position actually strengthened international climate consensus, the international position on the role of natural gas in energy transition is maturing, and the contours of a US policy on energy and climate have begun to emerge. 

    These three reflections are worth considering.

    Read More
  • Trump's 'Huge Mistake'

    US President Donald J. Trump’s decision to take the United States out of a global agreement that seeks to limit the damage caused by climate change is “shortsighted and reckless,” a “huge mistake,” and cedes US energy leadership to China and Europe, according to Atlantic Council analysts.

    “The president’s decision to withdraw from Paris is a huge mistake. There is no upside,” said Richard Morningstar, founding director and chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. 

    “This decision will make it more difficult to work with our friends and allies on a whole host of critical foreign policy and national security issues. It will make it more difficult for our companies to work in many countries,” he added.

    Trump announced his decision at the White House on June 1.

    Read More
  • Does the Road to Energy Dominance Run Through Paris?

    US President Donald J. Trump’s administration aims to position the United States for “energy dominance” as a leading exporter of oil and gas. So far, this vision of US energy dominance has assumed that policies favoring reduced emissions are a hindrance rather than an opportunity.  In fact, the nation’s ability to expand production and compete in the burgeoning global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, which faces excess supply and weak demand in the near term, may depend on the United States staying in the Paris climate agreement and using its voice to support the role of natural gas in decarbonization.

    Ratified in 2016, the Paris Agreement aggregates the national commitments of 195 countries to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and transition to cleaner energy sources. While public attention (and Green Climate Fund resources) have focused on the increased role for renewable energy in developing countries, the reality is that natural gas plays a major role in reducing GHG emissions and meeting new demand for electricity. It is no coincidence that introduction of natural gas has been the major source of emissions reduction in the United States and plays a similar role in Mexico.

    Read More
  • 'Mexico Has Options'

    Energy sector reform will continue with or without the United States, said former Mexican official

    Though recent political tensions threaten the stability of US-Mexico relations, Mexico’s ongoing energy sector reform will continue without US partnership, if necessary, according to Mexico’s former deputy secretary of energy.

    “Mexico’s energy reform does not depend on the United States,” Lourdes Melgar, who now serves at the Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies, said at the Atlantic Council on March 16. “If the United States does not want to have business with Mexico,” Melgar cautioned, “I think they’re missing the picture, because Mexico has options.”

    Read More
  • Haste Makes Waste: Why President Trump’s Executive Actions May Delay Oil Pipelines and Permits

    US President Donald J. Trump’s new actions intended to expedite approval of energy and infrastructure projects were hailed by industry groups and decried by environmentalists.   If those actions are implemented in ways that cut regulatory or procedural corners, they likely will slow down infrastructure development by increasing the risk of successful court challenges and trade disputes.

    If the agencies reviewing Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines do not take the time to provide justifications for their recent decisions on those projects—influenced by Trump—courts may invalidate pipeline approvals. Implementing explicit local content requirements for steel in pipelines could embroil the United States in trade disputes.  Further, the administration’s memorandum to expedite federal infrastructure review and permitting creates uncertainty about the application of a more carefully thought out process Congress established in 2015. 

    Read More
  • The Outlook for Energy Under a Trump Administration

    pdfRead the Publication
    Oil, gas, and renewable energy markets will face high levels of uncertainty and potentially extreme volatility under a Trump administration in 2017. Some of these uncertainties flow from questions about the new administration’s yet-undefined policies on energy production, trade, and climate policy. Others flow from the basket of national security risks that a new US President was destined to inherit. 

     

    Read More
  • October Surprise? Planning for Venezuela’s Collapse

    As the June 23 Brexit referendum demonstrates, governments can take irreversible, momentous, and damaging actions without anticipating the consequences. While reason suggests Venezuela should adjust its fiscal policies, ensure basic human needs, avoid sovereign default, and continue oil production for cash flow, it could easily fail to do all of the above.  The ripples of a Venezuelan collapse could stretch from Caracas to Miami. The international community needs to put contingency plans in place to limit the potential damage.

    Read More
  • Goldwyn Quoted by The Cipher Brief on the US-Saudi Energy Relationship


    Read More
  • Goldwyn Interviewed by The Cipher Brief on Volatility in the Oil Market


    Read More
  • ‘Real Political Dialogue’ Needed to Get Venezuela Out of Crisis

    US official prescribes economic integration, as well, to address political and economic instability in Latin America

    Venezuela will have to allow “real political dialogue” if it is to extract itself from the economic crisis in which it is mired as a result of historically low oil prices and political instability, according to a senior US official.

    Oil-dependent countries, like Venezuela, are being forced to consider drastic measures to prevent their economies from going into freefall. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has, for example, raised gas prices by six thousand percent and sharply devalued the bolivar.

    “The only way out of the Venezuela crisis is for real political dialogue to take place,” said Juan Gonzalez, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the US Department of State.

    “We have to engage in regional discussions and understand that Venezuela has to make some very tough difficult economic and political decisions,” he added.

    Read More