Brian Quintenz, former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and a current crypto advisor, joins “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee to talk about the future of commodity trading and how cryptocurrency has played a role in the energy and agriculture markets.

Quintenz said the CFTC is very broad and “touches every aspect of American life.” He said the regulator has helped to create transparency in the swaps market and helped mold a better way to prepare for risk management in the industry and within the agencies.

Timothy Puko, an energy policy reporter at the Wall Street Journal, joined “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee and energy reporter Breanne Deppisch to explain the industry’s true role in the Biden administration’s efforts to combat climate change and how the importance of energy security may have put clean energy policies on pause.

Puko also dives deeper into the Democrats’ race to push bills that support decarbonization before the midterm elections in November. But, as our guest points out, there is still a divide on the Left between centrists who favor energy security, like Sen. Joe Manchin, and progressives, who want more aggressive climate change action to be taken.

Nicholas DeIuliis, president and CEO of CNX Resources Corporation, joined “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee and energy reporter Breanne Deppisch to break down the global dependence on Russian oil and why — even amid crisis — critics still push back on natural gas and other cleaner energy sources.

Deluliis also touches on the good, the bad, and the ugly of ESG (environmental and social governance) investing and why the industry has shifted focus to advocacy and technology development. He said balancing the goal of making the industry more efficient and adding demand for natural gas and renewables is what it’s all about.

Kevin Book, Managing Director at ClearView Energy Partners, joined “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee to help explain how sanctions on Russian oil — and potentially gas — amid the Ukraine war affect the United States’ efforts to transition to cleaner energy and domestic production.

Book, who is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Petroleum Council, shared his insight on energy security and what it will take for renewable resources and LNGs to really take off on American soil. While he said it is possible somewhere down the line to diverge from fossil fuels, industry and government need more pragmatism in their goals.

Oil and gas industry executives met with lawmakers recently to talk about more production and gas prices, which resulted in somewhat of a blame game.

On this week’s episode of “Plugged In,” co-hosts Neil Chatterjee, former FERC chairman, and energy reporter Breanne Deppisch discuss the top energy stories from the last week — including recent policies by the Biden administration that oil and gas companies say have tied their hands as the war in Ukraine continues and more sanctions are put on Russian energy.

Jamil Jaffer, the founder and executive director of the National Security Institute at George Mason University, joined “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee and reporter Breanne Deppisch, warning that the United States needs the energy and defense sectors, as well as industry and government, to come together in order to protect critical infrastructure that is “always” under attack.

Jaffer, who has also served as a cyber adviser in all aspects of government, also provided insight into potential cyber attacks by nation-states such as Russia and China and how to decipher between “hacking” and “attacking” in the cyberspace.

Curt Morgan, the CEO of Vistra Corp., joined “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee to talk about the balance between moving quickly to cleaner energy sources — such as battery or solar — and ensuring the displacement of workers and other human capital from closing plants is minimal.

Morgan, who announced he will soon step down from Vistra, said how you treat people matters and it’s important to offer an environment where people feel they can learn and grow. He also outlined techniques for promoting diversity in the industry.

Jon Wellinghoff, an energy consultant and former FERC Chairman, joined “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee to dive deeper into the conflict in Ukraine and how dangerous a vulnerable grid system can be.

Wellinghoff said it is through coordination within agencies such as DHS and Energy to ensure that the grid could withstand threats against the grid that he said are becoming more sophisticated. He offered several ideas on how to support the grid including encouraging more people to invest in electric vehicles and other more distributed resources.

As March Madness begins, “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee caught up with former NCAA and NBA champion Shane Battier to reflect on his time in professional basketball and what he thinks the prospects are for the 2022 championship.

Sam Brownback, a former senator and governor of Kansas, joined “Plugged In” host and former FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee to relate his experience wearing many different hats in government, including diplomacy, to the conflict in Eastern Europe and its impact on energy.

Brownback said as the war in Ukraine worsens and more sanctions are placed on Russian oil, President Vladimir Putin may look to China for a way out. 

Frank Fannon, who also served as the first assistant secretary of state for energy resources, joined “Plugged In” host and former FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee to explain the opportunities and pitfalls associated with upcoming sanctions on Russian energy, announced Tuesday by the Biden administration.

Fannon dives deeper into the energy industry and the government’s lack of confidence when it comes to domestic production. Using Iran as an example, he argues that only with a slow transition can the U.S. and other allies successfully move away from Russian oil and gas.

Bernie McNamee, an energy consultant and former FERC commissioner, joined “Plugged In” host Neil Chatterjee to talk about recent changes to the commission’s pipeline evaluations that he said make it harder to build domestic natural gas facilities.

McNamee argues that the United States is essentially waging a war against domestic oil and gas, which only strengthens U.S. dependence on Russian resources. He added that the Biden administration is essentially using American tax dollars to prop up Russian President Vladimir Putin’s conflict with Ukraine.

Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr, a prominent Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, joins “Plugged In” host and former FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee to talk more about what he sees as a failed attempt by the Biden administration to regulate climate change.

He explains the intended role of financial regulators and why he says free enterprise is healthier for the economy than central planning and “woke” policies that discriminate against innovation in the fossil fuel industry.

Jigar Shah, director of the Loan Programs Office at the Department of Energy, joins “Plugged In” host and former FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee to talk about all things clean energy and what it takes to secure energy loans.

He digs deeper into his office’s hands-on role in funding projects that aim to cut down on carbon emissions and the importance of projects that help America to become more independent in the energy space.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana, joins “Plugged In” hosts Josh Siegel and Neil Chatterjee to discuss rising energy prices, his leadership over the bipartisan infrastructure law, and climate policy.

Cassidy pushes back against Democratic calls to curb U.S. oil and natural gas exports to combat high energy prices at home, and accuses the Biden administration of inconsistency for pleading for more production at the same time they want to reduce the economy’s dependence on fossil fuels over time.

Rep. Jared Huffman, Democrat of California, joins “Plugged In”  hosts Josh Siegel and Neil Chatterjee to discuss a big week ahead in the House as it prepares to vote on the party’s climate and social spending bill.

He urges the Senate to keep intact the House’s version of the Build Back Better Act because, “we are late in the game and need to hurry up and get this over the finish line.”

Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit and Pulitzer Prize winning author of The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations, joins “Plugged In” hosts Josh Siegel and Neil Chatterjee to discuss the energy crisis occurring in Europe and Asia and how that should inform discussions at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow.

 

Former Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, an original GOP climate champion, joins “Plugged In” hosts Josh Siegel and Neil Chatterjee to discuss his party’s “evolution” on climate change and why he thinks it can do more.

Curbelo also predicts a “big” policy solution on climate change will emerge in Florida, where residents are already “living” the effects of a warming planet.

GOP Rep. John Curtis of Utah, chairman of the Conservative Climate Caucus, joins “Plugged In” hosts Josh Siegel and Neil Chatterjee.

Curtis shares details on why he is joining a delegation of House Republicans visiting a major U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

Rep. Sean Casten, Democrat of Illinois and darling of “energy Twitter,” joins “Plugged In” hosts Josh Siegel and Neil Chatterjee to talk about Hot FERC summer, the potential death of CEPP, the limits of a carbon tax and his shiny white teeth.

Casten warns any move to weaken or remove Democrats’ clean electricity performance program would be tantamount to not giving a “rat’s a** about climate.” He tells us he’s doubtful on the prospects of carbon pricing as a backup plan. He also goes deep on FERC wonkery.