Energy and Environment

Foreign Affairs Article

Leading From Between: How California and Germany Can Fix the Climate Agenda

Authors: Varun Sivaram and David Livingston

Climate talks have largely failed to curb rising temperatures, but bottom-up initiatives featuring subnational actors hold great promise if coordinated effectively. Varun Sivaram and David Livingston argue that California and Germany can “lead from between” to bridge international and subnational climate action.

See more in United States; Germany; Environmental Policy

Foreign Affairs Article

Go East, Young Oilman

Author: Michael A. Levi

Most observers agree that the United States, propelled by its boom in oil and gas production, is becoming increasingly central to global energy. As oil prices have plummeted, American oil producers have taken credit. As U.S. imports have fallen, foreign policy thinkers have suggested that Washington could rely far less on the Middle East.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Energy and Environment

Foreign Affairs Article

Solar Power Comes of Age

Authors: Dickon Pinner and Matt Rogers

Solar power has been declared a winner before, only to flounder. But these days it is expanding faster than any other power source, with momentum that has become unstoppable. The potential benefits—both economic and environmental—could be profound.

See more in United States; Renewable Energy

Foreign Affairs Article

Battery Powered

Author: Steve LeVine

When it comes to energy, new technologies can upend the status quo almost overnight, surprising everyone. And just as the shale revolution, unleashed by fracking, has largely triggered the current oil upheaval, so progress in improving batteries could roil geopolitics and business in major ways.

See more in United States; Renewable Energy

Foreign Affairs Article

Upgrading the Grid

Author: Brian Warshay

The U.S. electrical grid has hardly changed since the 1880s, and its reliability, effectiveness, and affordability are increasingly being brought into question. To prevent disaster, regulators must abandon outdated electrical architecture and redesign the grid.

See more in United States; Energy Policy

Foreign Affairs Article

Vindicating Volatility

Authors: Michael A. Levi and Robert McNally

While oil prices over the last three years were the smoothest in decades, volatility is back and here to stay argue Michael Levi and Robert McNally. Levi and McNally explain how price fluctuations, rather than high prices, endanger global economic growth.

See more in Global; Oil

Foreign Affairs Article

The United States of Gas

Author: Robert A. Hefner III

Less than a decade ago, the future of American energy looked bleak. Domestic production of both oil and gas was dwindling, and big U.S. energy companies, believing their fortunes lay offshore, had long since turned away from the mainland.

See more in United States; Energy Policy

Foreign Affairs Article

Nuclear Freeze

Authors: Per F. Peterson, Michael R. Laufer, and Edward D. Blandford

These days, the long-term role that nuclear power will play in the global energy market remains uncertain. That would have come as a surprise to the scientists and engineers who, during the 1950s and 1960s, pioneered the study of nuclear fission, built test reactors, and designed nuclear-powered airplanes and rockets.

See more in Global; Nuclear Energy

Foreign Affairs Article

Powering the Pentagon

Author: Sharon E. Burke

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the U.S. naval aviator Thomas Moorer questioned Takeo Kurita, a former vice admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy, as part of the U.S. military's postwar interrogation of Japanese commanders. Kurita told Moorer that one of the most significant reversals of fortune Japan had suffered during the war was the loss of fuel supplies.

See more in United States; Renewable Energy

Foreign Affairs Article

Reverse the Curse

Authors: Karol Boudreaux, Tiernan Mennen, Larry Diamond, and Jack Mosbacher

Larry Diamond and Jack Mosbacher ("Petroleum to the People," September/October 2013) rightly observe that the coming oil boom in Africa is, paradoxically, a frightening prospect for the continent's poor and marginalized.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Oil