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Tue, Mar 24, 2020

The implications of the coronavirus crisis on the global energy sector and the environment

The current drop in oil demand—caused, in large part, by severe reductions in travel due to the coronavirus—combined with the Saudi-Russia oil price war has simultaneously, if temporarily, lowered greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). However, the drop in GHG emissions is likely to be unsustainable in the long term, and the currently low cost of oil has raised questions about the future of clean energy deployment and climate action.

New Atlanticist by Jennifer T. Gordon

Coronavirus Energy & Environment

Bill Stetson is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. He is a film producer, as well as an environmental and political adviser. He has produced several documentaries, including the PBS AIDS feature, “A Closer Walk” (2006). In 1996, he established the Vermont Film Commission for then Governor Howard Dean, and served as its president for a decade.

For the past five years, Stetson served as the consulting director of external affairs for the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. He currently advises Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin on issues of energy and environment, as he had the two previous governors—Howard Dean (D) and Jim Douglas (R). Stetson has advised several other political campaigns, including being named an environmental surrogate for Obama for America ’08.

Stetson served as CEO of Fairhill Oil & Gas Corporation, the New York parent company of Canadian energy and exploration firm Fairhill Oil Ltd. While at Fairhill, Stetson worked to transform the company from a traditional oil and gas firm to a profitable natural gas business. He was co-founder of River Watch Network, merging it with River Network (Boulder, CO), directed the Vermont and New Hampshire operations of the Connecticut River Watershed Council, and served as a supervisor of the Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District (US Department of Agriculture).

Stetson has served on several media, foundation, and environmental boards, including Foundation for Our Future, an energy and environmental think tank; Vermont Public Radio; and the founding board of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. He is a trustee and governor of the Smith Richardson Foundation (NC, CT), and in April 2011 was appointed by The White House as a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts (PACA).

Stetson earned his bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University in 1982, where he was named a fellow at the Institute of Politics. He attended the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he studied energy and natural resources policy. Stetson also spent time at the Austro-American Institute in Vienna, Austria, where he focused on European government studies.