Robert ("RJ") Johnston

  • Johnston in Axios: U.S. Sanctions On Iranian Oil Leave Slim Margin For Future Shocks


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  • Johnston in Axios: The Green New Deal May Finally Bring Climate Change to Center Stage


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  • Johnston in Axios: Trump's turbulent diplomacy and trade policy rattling global gas market


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  • Decarbonization and Peak Oil Demand: The Role of Policy in the Transportation Sector

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    In a new report, Decarbonization and Peak Oil Demand: The Role of Policy in the Transportation Sector, Robert Johnston, chief executive officer of the Eurasia Group and senior fellow with the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, and Hilary Novik Sandberg, Eurasia Group Global Energy & Natural Resources analyst, examine the role of government policy in the transportation sector amidst international efforts to reduce carbon emissions and peak oil demand concerns. The report specifically focuses on the numerous policies and technological developments that have already been adopted or could be...

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  • Asian Energy Transition: Moving the Oil Market One Step Closer to Peak Demand

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    While the United States and Europe are considered the pioneers of renewable energy, Asia is emerging as a major player in the renewable energy transition. Although experts predict Asia will remain the fastest growing market for oil, gas, and coal, even as an energy transition takes hold, slowing regional fossil-fuel consumption could have significant market and geopolitical implications—and signal that the world could be moving closer to reaching a peak in global oil demand. The transformation on the horizon, spurred by a shift from energy-intensive growth to improved efficiency and focus
    ...

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  • Johnston in the Cipher Brief: The Outlook for Energy Cooperation between Canada and the United States


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  • Peak Demand Comes to Paris

    December 5 was probably not a happy day for tourists in Paris. The good news was the traffic was much better than usual, and the Metro and other forms of public transit were free. The bad news was that the city was having yet another pollution crisis.

    Choking smog and murky air are often associated with emerging market cities in China and more recently India, with the primary culprits being coal-fired power and heavy industry. Yet French electricity is 76 percent powered by zero-emissions nuclear generation and its manufacturing sector has plunged from 13 percent of GDP in 1975 to just 6 percent in 2015.

    So, what is the problem in Paris? In a word: traffic. 

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  • The Geopolitics of Peak Demand

    This article is part two of a two-part series.

    From 1973 to 2011, when policy makers in Washington thought about energy, they thought in terms of concerns about peak supply. These apprehensions were triggered by the oil shock in 1973 that roughly coincided with the peak in US domestic conventional oil production and rise in import dependence.

    These conditions began to fade in 2011 with the significant rise of US tight oil production. However, an alternative perspective would suggest that the true end of the ‘peak supply’ era came in 2015 with the Obama administration’s decision to lift the ban on crude oil exports. Others would claim that the ethanol and fuel efficiency mandates under the Bush administration signaled the height of US gasoline demand. It could also be argued that the Obama administration’s decision to refuse a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline heralded a new political emphasis on climate change over energy security.

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  • Rethinking the Medium-Term Demand Outlook for Oil

    This article is part one of a two-part series.

    While oil markets agonize over the possibility of a “production freeze” agreement among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members facing political and economic distress from lower oil prices, much larger and strategic data points are receiving less attention. These data points, while too early to suggest are certain, would create a far greater set of problems for oil producers if they become structural trends—particularly for companies with higher cost resources and governments with unsustainable levels of petro-dollar spending.  In short, these data points can be categorized as signposts of a potential world of “peak demand,” or when forms of demand destruction will curtail and even begin to reverse global oil demand growth much earlier than...

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