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New Podcast Episode: Preeminent Energy Analyst Lays Out the New Map of Geopolitics and Energy

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Rob Treadway

Robert Treadway

Membership Communications & Marketing Manager

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, global energy expert and vice chairman of S&P Global Daniel Yergin discusses the entangled nature of global economics and politics on the latest episode of Driving Ahead, the NADA podcast.

Yergin begins with a brief overview of how fracking shifted the global energy landscape in the United States’ favor, changing us from the world’s largest importer of oil to the world’s largest exporter. He explains how the war in the Ukraine has accelerated political polarity in the world, with China being in a precarious position at the center of it due to the fact that it must import 75 percent of its energy.

“Managing US-Chinese relations is the geopolitical issue for the 21st century,” Yergin says. “We’re highly connected while at the same time highly competitive.”

Yergin says that wrestling away EV battery production dominance from China may be found by mining minerals in South America or Indonesia, but the question looms of how the US will process them. He adds that these types of energy transitions by society (for example, from wood to coal, or coal to petroleum) usually take a long time, about 100 years.

“You don’t just change the whole industrial structure in a matter of 10-15 years. It’s very hard to do that,” Yergin says. “This notion that you’re going to have a linear energy transition and that you can just tell everybody ‘2035: be ready for it; all EVs,’ is going to be very challenging. And you can see that US automobile makers and dealers are struggling with the realities.”

  1. What are the four biggest challenges to the energy transition?
  2. Could thwarting Chinese EV domination ambitions come down to US copper smelters, of which there are two?
  3. And why did Valdmir Putin shout at him at an economic conference?

Find out the answers to these questions and more by listening to this episode of Driving Ahead.

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