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Ongoing

Fossil Fuel Markets and Governance

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Photo credit: 
Reuters

 

The vast majority of the world’s energy still comes from fossil fuels: oil, natural gas, and coal. How much we continue to lean on these fuels, and which ones will play the most important roles going forward, depends on the governance of fossil fuel production, transportation, and consumption around the world. For example, oil and gas are controlled in many parts of the world by state-owned companies, which has affected the pace of exploration and development. Another key dynamic is the economic competition between coal and natural gas in power generation and industrial uses, which has important environmental implications because of coal’s greater local pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Our models of coal-gas competition at the global level provide insights into how different factors—for example, increased LNG exports from North America, or the construction of coal ports in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, or the successful development of China’s shale gas reserves—will affect the relative use of coal vs. gas. We also write case studies and books about the governance and regulation of fossil fuel markets and industries around the world. 

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-Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Stanford University

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