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Comments by Roman Kilisek Subscribe

On Oil Price Leverage Over Russia in Ukraine Crisis

I agree with your overall argument. However, the focus of this article has never been the SPR for exactly the reasons you give. In any event, using the SPR would have only a temporary effect. 

Rather, President Obama’s only source of real leverage vis-à-vis Russian President Putin lies currently in American “stranded” oil. Given surging US oil production, as shown in the article, the US is in an extraordinary strong position which it needs to take advantage of. But instead of focusing on the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) as instrument, President Obama should approach it from the vantage point of the US oil export ban and contemplate an executive order allowing the US to respond quickly to its potential international responsibilities citing national security.

Moreover, just think about what such an announcement by President Obama regarding US oil exports would do to expectations regarding future oil contracts. It will create downward pressure on crude oil prices.  

April 20, 2014    View Comment    

On Tackling Energy Poverty with Renewables?

Thanks for your comment. I actually do share your sentiment. I did not come across a better map with more recent data. Nevertheless, this map accurately pinpoints where energy poverty is still a big problem. Keep in mind, the map is from 2011 and the IEA's definition of energy poverty is broad: "Energy poverty is a lack of access to modern energy services. These services are defined as household access to electricity and clean cooking facilities." Therefore, I also mentioned Brazil's program in order to make clear that it is a dynamic process. What all maps do not show is the rural-urban divide. This is one key underlying factor in all those "red energy poor countries" on the map. Check out this NASA satellite image (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap001127.html) which is admittedly less confusing but points to the same countries. It shows economic activity at night.

April 15, 2014    View Comment