Note: I’m teaching a post-graduate course “The Global Oil System & US Policy” at JFK Institute of Freie U. in Berlin. In order to give students a feel for how US energy policy is developed–and to see the views of important US actors–I’m sending them frequent e-mails with supplemental readings and videos from US think tanks, US government offices and from the US media on energy topics.
These are not my own in-depth analysis like I usually post on GlobalBarrel.com. However I think they are worthwhile sharing with especially non-USA followers of my blog. I’ll title these posts “USA OIL” plus a number to label them). I hope these are useful. Here’s today’s ‘optional material’ I sent to my students:
How is US energy policy developed? You might find this video of interest.
Some background: The CSIS (Center for Study of International Security) is a non-partisan (i.e., not Democratic or Republican) think tank in Washington, DC. It performs an important role in US foreign policy. It was formed especially to educate and advise Congress and the Executive Branch (e.g., the White House, etc.), as well as, of course, the public.
It has a very influential Energy and Security program. This program conducts studies of energy issues and issues reports. It also holds frequent by-invitation public forums (often more than one or two per week) to discuss its reports or to invite US officials and experts to discuss foreign policy topics.
The video above is a great energy example. On 10 April, CSIS released a report: New Energy, New Geopolitics: Balancing Stability and Leverage, and held a conference to discuss the report.
The panel was chaired by Mr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Carter. Each speaker summarizes, in under eight minutes, the situation in their region of expertise.
Recommendation: I found the summary by Ms. Heather Conley (Director of the Europe Program) [at time 9:29] and by Mr. Andrew Kuchins (Director of the Russian and Eurasian Program) [at time 10:28] particularly striking for understanding US energy experts’ views on the present Ukraine crisis and the EU’s strong dependence on Russia’s gas
The discussion that follows, especially the many characterizations of Europe’s energy situation as being critical and vulnerable, and of Russian President Mr. Putin’s policy are quite striking.