Event Re-Cap: Creating a North American Energy Community

In case you missed the event and live webcast, here is a brief summary of the event on a “North American Energy Community.” A full video of the event is available here.            

On Wednesday, NDN/NPI hosted a high level conversation about the changing energy landscape in North America.

Special guest and friend of Gov. Bill Richardson, Congressman Joe Garcia (FL-26), introduced Mr. Richardson who is the former Governor of New Mexico, Secretary of Energy under Bill Clinton, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN. Richardson offered his perspective on the shale revolution and North American energy prospects, and was careful to point out that while regional cooperation is critical, we must not think of complete energy independence is a viable option. The high level of engagement by the U.S. with the international community means it will always be affected by global energy prices and whether its allies also have access to energy resources in other parts of the world. He also expressed optimism about energy reforms passing in Mexico, observing that Mexican President Peña Nieto “has the right stuff” to garner political support for the game-changing reforms.

Duncan Wood, Director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center, said there are two movements that will be transformative for North American energy: the shale revolution and the revolution in thinking in Mexico that will make it a much more collaborative energy partner. He also made the point that it is in the U.S.’ best interest to increase energy trade with Canada and Mexico, or those countries will need to find other customers for their resources, for example China.

Rick Van Schoik, Director of the North American Research Partnership, showed us the ways in which the U.S. has collaborated with Mexico and Canada on energy issues in the past. He offered up recommendations for national, subnational and task-force level energy discussions to improve our transborder grids and other renewable energy transmission networks. His presentation emphasized that these three countries should approach energy challenges and solutions from a continental standpoint.