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COVID-19 Information and Guidance

Roundtable Dialogue: Energy Security, Transition and Pandemic

Policymakers in the U.S. and around the world are grappling with how to understand the security implications of an energy system in transition — and if they aren’t, they should be. Last year’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s main oil processing facility and ongoing tensions in the Middle East show that the global oil supply remains vulnerable to disruption. Hurricane Laura (and other storms) also demonstrate that risks to the energy system have many causes. Moreover, while new energy forms can help reduce susceptibility to oil supply outages, they also have the potential to introduce new vulnerabilities and risks.

The U.S. and its allies have spent 50 years building a robust domestic and international system to mitigate risks to oil supplies, but similar arrangements for other energy forms remain limited. At this virtual Roundtable Dialogue, Mark Finley, fellow in energy and global oil, argued that the U.S. and global energy security framework needs to be broadened to address potential risks and vulnerabilities arising from the rapid growth of other energy forms, particularly renewable energy. He offered a framework for assessing energy security and discussed its application to both oil security and the new energy forms that are driving a transition in the U.S. and global energy system. He also considered how the Covid-19 pandemic may impact energy security considerations.

Roundtable Dialogues are informal, member-exclusive discussions with Baker Institute experts on current events, politics and policy. These thought-provoking conversations provide insights into issues that affect Houston, the state and the nation.

If you are interested in attending future dialogues, please contact our development office at or 713.348.4945 for information on becoming a Roundtable member or renewing your membership.


10:00 a.m. — Presentation
10:30 a.m. — Q&A


This webinar was free and open to members of the Baker Institute Roundtable with the link included in their email invitation.

Featured Speaker

Mark Finley is the fellow in energy and global oil at Rice University's Baker Institute. He has 35 years of experience working at the intersections of energy, economics and public policy. Before joining the Baker Institute, Finley was the senior U.S. economist at BP. For 12 years, he led the production of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the world’s longest-running compilation of objective global energy data. He also was responsible for the company’s long- and short-term oil market analysis, and he led the global oil market and transportation sector analyses for the long-term BP Energy Outlook. Prior to joining BP, Finley was an analyst and manager at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. He was responsible for assessing the implications for U.S. strategic interests of developments in global oil and other energy markets, as well as analyzing the policies of key oil-producing and -consuming countries. He was recognized for exceptional analytic performance many times, including for oil market analysis during 1990-91 Gulf War. Finley also edited a daily intelligence summary for Cabinet-level U.S. economic policymakers as well as the president’s daily brief, and regularly briefed these summaries and other analysis to senior U.S. officials. Finley is a senior fellow of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics, and has been recognized for his lifetime contributions to the profession of energy economics. He has held leadership roles in the International Association for Energy Economics, the National Association for Business Economics, and the Conference of Business Economics. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he sits on the external advisory board of the University of Michigan Energy Institute. Finley is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan and holds graduate degrees from Northwestern University (in economics) and the George Washington University (in finance).


Fri, Sept. 18, 2020
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central


Online webinar