This Week in Energy
Energy Headlines
Associated Press
New Discussion
"Travel and business slowdowns across the world, in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, have caused a sharp decrease in global oil demand and the lowest oil prices in 17 years.... Though sparked by a drop in demand due to COVID-19, many say a price war has been a long time in the making as Russia is eager to address the growth of U.S. tight oil production.

In an effort to help mitigate the damage to the industry, President Trump announced that the federal government will buy large quantities of crude in order to fill the strategic petroleum reserve.... A group of U.S. senators has urged Saudi Arabian officials to review their plans to increase production and end the trade war in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but with Russia appearing 'unlikely to blink,' the kingdom has little incentive to do so...." Read more.
Please respond to the discussion questions by adding your comment to one of the linked comment threads below:
  • Question 1: What additional actions can the U.S. government take to support domestic oil production?
  • Question 2: How likely is a protracted trade war?
  • Question 3: What are the main challenges that U.S. tight oil producers will face?
Podcast Spotlight
In this episode of The Truth of the Matter from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Andrew Schwartz invites Sarah Ladislaw and Kevin Book to give an update on oil markets as they face downward economic pressure.
In this Energy 360 podcast from CSIS, Jon Alterman (CSIS Middle East Program) and Frank Verrastro (CSIS Energy Program) update us on the fast-moving developments from OEPC, the oil markets, Saudi Arabia, and across the Middle East.
New Publications in the OurEnergyLibrary
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Energy Futures Initiative
March 23, 2020
The Electric Journal
March 19, 2020
Find these new publications and others in the OurEnergyLibrary.
March Discussion
Ongoing Discussion
By Faith Martinez Smith
Policy Analyst, ClearPath
Last week, OurEnergyPolicy experts continued commenting in our March discussion on energy storage technologies and the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Storage Grand Challenge. Read a few of their comments below. Log in and reply!
Question 1 : What storage technologies do you think the Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC) should focus on?
"For the last 20 years, my company has blended energy storage with renewables for buildings, infrastructure, microgrids, and utility-integrated systems. There are three thrusts I would hope the challenge would address (1) integrating storage technologies, (2) establish lead technology tax treatment; (3) establish rate treatment that acknowledges the four core assets energy storage offers."
- Scott Sklar , Energy Director, Environment & Energy Management Institute and Acting Director, GWU Solar Institute, The George Washington University
Question 2 : What are the current barriers to deployment that the grand challenge should address? 
" Long-term energy storage is in my view a solved problem from a technological point of view . Electricity can be used to make hydrogen, and from hydrogen we can make virtually any synthetic fuel by combining with environmental sources of carbon. These fuels can be stored in conventional, largely existing infrastructure (e.g., the natural gas system). I do not opposed RD&D but any “breakthrough” today will be unlikely to help in time to meet the challenge of our 2030 carbon emission reduction goals. What we really need from US DOE is a major re-thinking of its role, or else assign the role of scaling up electrolyzer manufacturing and hydrogen production facilities to some more appropriate government agency." - Ken Dragoon , Executive Director, Renewable Hydrogen Alliance
Question 3 : What policy changes would most support the deployment and adoption of new storage technologies?
" I think a federal interstate hydrogen pipeline project would be well worth undertaking . As infrastructure, it’s agnostic as to how the hydrogen is produced or how it’s used. 'Green or blue or something new'—it doesn’t matter. The stored hydrogen that it delivers can be used equally well for backing variable renewables, load following capacity for baseload nuclear, or feedstock for fertilizers or synthetic fuels."
- Roger Arnold , Systems Architect, Silverthorn Engineering
Update from Congress

Legislation Update

New Legislation
Source: Macrotrends, WTI Crude Oil Prices - 10 Year Daily Chart , data showing daily closing price for West Texas Intermediate (NYMEX) Crude Oil over the last 10 years, October 2019-March 2020 selected.

As of Wednesday, March 18, oil prices reached their lowest price since 2003 .
Featured Events
  • When: Wed, March 25, 9:00-10:00 a.m. Eastern Time

  • When: Wed, March 25, 1:00-2:15 p.m. Eastern Time

  • When: Thurs, March 26, 12:00-12:45 p.m. Eastern Time
To see more upcoming energy events across the country, visit the OEP Events Calendar .
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