Since late 2008 energy security concerns have spiked globally: in November the Sirius Star, a Saudi oil tanker laden with two million barrels of oil was taken hostage some 450 nautical miles off the Kenyan coast, Russia and Ukraine went through yet another wrestling match that denied a large number of downstream European states critical supplies of natural gas, and the war in Gaza unveiled a number of troubling energy concerns for the State of Israel.
In cooperation with the global energy stakeholder community, over the last eight weeks IAGS experts have been active in South America, the United States, in European capitols and in the Middle East consulting with the global policy, industrial, and defense and security communities on how to enhance the global security framework where energy is concerned. The Journal of Energy Security (JES) is a positive manifestation of our commitment to these issues. The complexity of energy and its implications for economic growth and stability, for the ability of states to use their energy resources for political gain, and for the military community to get its planning and response strategies right to emergent geopolitical energy risks and realities are all on our plate.
Looking ahead over the next two months, we should get clarity on where the new US Presidential Administration is headed in driving forward its energy program. Biofuels are already a significant aspect of the United States energy landscape but lessons on how they should be treated can perhaps benefit from experience derived from Brazil’s ethanol industry. In seeing whether the European Union can solve some of its lingering problems in dealing with a resurgent Russian Federation, European policy makers may do well by considering Peter Doran’s reflection on the mechanism of “enhanced cooperation.” Finally in April, NATO will celebrate its 60th anniversary and report back to Member States on progress in the field of critical infrastructure protection. Against this swirling background of activity, we stand ready to review your comments, criticism and further recommendations for work presented in the virtual pages of the JES.