The Controversy Around Nord Stream 2 - Various Viewpoints

  • 24 Aug 2021
  • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom (Eastern time zone)
  • 434

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Chatham House Rules Will Apply

Nord Stream 2 (NS2) is a pipeline project to bring Russian natural gas directly to its largest consumer, Germany, and beyond. As the name implies, NS2 is an expansion of the existing NS1 pipelines. However NS2 has become one of the most controversial international pipelines in recent history. The project has soured US relations with Russia and Germany, caused conflict between NATO and EU members who support the projects and those that don’t, and has become more well-known than a pipeline should. However on July 21st, the US and Germany made an announcement. 

Michael Ratner will highlight the history of how we got to where we are on NS2 and what it means. Michael Weber will focus on the July 21st “Joint Statement of the United States and Germany on Support for Ukraine, European Energy Security, and our Climate Goals” and outline the agreed upon steps to limit any adverse effects of the pipeline. Rita Beale, 2020-2021 President of NCAC-USAEE, will host the event. 

This event is free to NCAC-USAEE members. The Zoom link will be at the very bottom of the confirmation email from NCAC-USAEE, after you register. Non-members can sign up for membership at: https://www.ncac-usaee.org/membership and then sign-up for the event at https://www.ncac-usaee.org/event-4390063    2021 membership entitles participation for the remainder of the year. There will be no recording of this event. Chatham House Rules Will Apply.

Speakers' Bios

Michael Ratner is a Specialist in Energy Policy at Congressional Research Service (CRS) focusing on natural gas and oil markets, as well as other energy sources and infrastructure issues. He uses his industry experience to provide Members of Congress a practical view of policy and the effects policy will have on industry and society writ large. He has written over 40 policy reports and answered more than 2,000 congressional inquiries. Mr. Ratner has also testified before both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate on energy issues and he is a frequent speaker at global, industry conferences. Mr. Ratner’s recent CRS work has addressed US LNG exports, China’s natural gas situation, alternatives to Russian natural gas for Europe, LNG as a maritime fuel, and US unconventional natural gas and oil production. Mr. Ratner leads research teams to comprehensively analyze energy policy. In 2020, he was selected as a Kluge Fellow within the Library of Congress.

In addition to his work at CRS, Mr. Ratner is an adjunct professor for energy at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Prior to joining CRS, Mr. Ratner was a senior energy analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, specializing in global natural gas issues. In this capacity, Mr. Ratner provided senior government officials, including the President of the United States and other cabinet-level officials, strategic and tactical analysis of the global energy sector. With over 25 years of energy experience, Mr. Ratner has also worked as an investment banker in the Houston office of WestLB AG providing $188 million in financing to US and Canadian small to mid-sized shale companies.  He also led negotiations for the successful sale of development rights to a Canadian liquefied natural gas import terminal. 

Mr. Ratner worked for four years in Enron's domestic natural gas pipeline division, two years prior to the company’s bankruptcy and two after its fall, focused on mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. At Enron, Mr. Ratner bid on over $12 billion in assets. Before Enron, Mr. Ratner worked as a project manager for Coastal Power Company developing natural gas-fired electric generation projects in the United States and Pakistan, where he was posted for nine months. Mr. Ratner also has experience in various aspects of the energy industry, including as an upstream analyst for PFC Energy, now part of IHS, and staff writer for the Energy Intelligence publications. Mr. Ratner has a MS in Mineral Economics from the Colorado School of Mines, a MA in International Economics and US Foreign Policy from SAIS, and a BA in International Relations from Columbia University.

Michael Weber is the Senior Advisor for Energy Policy and Economic Relations at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. He has over 11 years of experience within the German government working on energy and climate as well as international economic and foreign policy issues. Previously, he has also worked for the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, DC. Michael holds a MBA from the Georgetown McDonough School of Business, a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, and a Master of Arts Joint Honours in Economics and Politics from the University of Edinburgh.

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