National Capital Area Chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics

NCAC Featured Member

 

Profile List

Featured Member

November 2015

 

Robert BorgstromRobert Borgstrom
Advisor on Energy Regulatory Policy and Management


Affiliation and years of experience in energy and/or environment:

I am an independent consultant having had 45 years of management and consulting experience with energy business and regulatory authorities in 39 countries, including resident assignments in India, Romania and Tanzania. From 1992-2002, I was a senior manager for Price Waterhouse and a project manager for Bechtel Consulting. My work focused on developing regulatory environments in emerging and transitional economies that fostered free markets for energy and attracted private sector investment. Prior to 2002, my focus was the US natural gas industry where I was an economic analyst for American Natural Gas, a senior consultant for Stone & Webster Management Consultants, and manager of economic analyses for the Columbia Gas Distribution Companies. My involvement in the energy sector began in 1971 when, on active duty with the U.S. Navy, I was assigned as an energy and environmental policy analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses.

Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?


Of many projects, two come to mind as being particularly constructive:

  1. In 2006-7, I was the first Director of Regulatory Economics for the newly established multi-sector regulator in Tanzania; among my responsibilities was the development of rules and procedures for tariff evaluations. I’m proud to have been quite literally “present at the creation” of what has become one of Africa’s most successful energy regulators.
  2. From 1997-2002, I was country manager for several central and eastern European countries, organizing multi-disciplinary projects that drafted energy laws and developed regulatory capacity supporting the transition from controlled to free markets for electricity and natural gas. The subsequent EU accession of these nations reflects the success of that transition and is a story in which I’m very proud to have played a part.

In your opinion, what are important economic/policy issues facing the energy industry nowadays?


Throughout my career I’ve observed the tension between energy initiatives and environmental concerns. While often frustrating, constructive dialogues have nonetheless produced benefits for our national economy and our environment. More recently, however, is a tendency to politicize this tension with proponents for either side seeming to argue their case without regard to the possibility that arguments inconsistent with the position of their party and its supporters might also be meritorious. The protracted debate over the Keystone Pipeline is one of many examples of an unwillingness to find a cooperative basis for going forward. Overcoming political intransigence is the greatest challenge I see to developing and implementing rational policies for the best use of our energy resources and the protection of our environment.


How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?


I’ve been a member of NCAC since 1999 and a member of IAEE/USAEE since 1991. Being a member of this family of organizations has been a richly rewarding experience. Of many great times we’ve shared, I recall as particularly enjoyable our overnight field trip to see Drake’s Well in Titusville, Pennsylvania, on its 150th anniversary. Events of this kind, our annual Washington Energy Policy Conference and our program of monthly luncheons with outstanding speakers has justifiably made NCAC the largest and most active of the USAEE chapters.