News, Research and Events

April 9, 2020

Pandemic, Price War and the World Petroleum Market  

The Center for Energy Studies (CES) recently hosted the first in a series of free weekly webinars that explore rapidly shifting developments in the energy sector. At the April 3 event, fellows Kenneth B. Medlock III, Jim Krane and Mark Finley discussed the historic drop in demand for oil resulting from the reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic and the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. They also answered viewers’ questions and offered insights on the depth and duration of the current situation. If you missed the live webcast, the video can be viewed on the event page. Medlock, Krane and Finley’s research paper on these issues, published this week, is also available on the Baker Institute website.

Tune in for the next free webinar from CES — “Turbulent Times in Latin America: Political Unrest, Coronavirus Pandemic and Oil Price Collapse” — on Friday, April 10 at 3:00 pm. 

The CES series is part of the Baker Institute’s larger response to the unprecedented crisis facing the world. Each week, experts at the Baker Institute are offering free webinars to share their insights and knowledge on critical policy issues, ranging from the effects of the pandemic on refugees to the implications for international trade, and much more. For a full list of webinars scheduled to date, please see our events page.  


“This pandemic and looming economic crisis will affect all of us . . . The sooner we relearn how to set aside our differences and unite during this difficult moment, the stronger we will emerge from it.”

James A. Baker, III, Honorary Chair, Baker Institute for Public Policy in “Some foreign policy and domestic political thoughts on the current crisis.“ 



Coronavirus Fiscal Aid Measures

As of the end of March, Congress passed three bills providing funding and aid for the coronavirus pandemic, expanding government obligations by more than $2 trillion. In a post for the Baker Institute Blog, John W. Diamond, the Edward A. and Hermena Hancock Kelly Fellow in Public Finance, and Jorge Barro, fellow in public finance, discussed the main provisions in each of these bills and provided some general rules for evaluating current and future policies designed to mitigate long-term economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. They claim that “efforts to maintain existing jobs as well as business employment networks and supply chains will hasten a robust recovery once the health crisis subsides.” Read more.


Covid-19 Updates from the Center for Health & Biosciences

The Importance of Widespread Covid-19 Testing in Houston and the Texas Medical Center. In this post, Hagop Kantarjian, nonresident fellow in health policy, and his coauthors address the unique and privileged health care situation of Houston, among all cities in the world, and the particular significance of early and widespread Covid-19 testing. 

Sources We're Following — Part 3. In the third of a series, Vivian Ho, James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics, provides an updated list of sources that have shaped her thoughts on how long the pandemic will last and what policy actions seem most promising.

Browse the Baker Institute research library and the Baker Insitute Blog to keep up with the latest research and news on the coronavirus pandemic.


Upcoming Events

Webinar: Mexico’s Energy Policy in a Time of Covid-19.
Mexico’s government has the opportunity to turn a looming catastrophe into the justification to redefine its energy policy. As a country with vast hydrocarbon resources, Mexico could divert the oncoming crisis by taking radical measures such as redirecting investment, promoting private participation and fostering an energy transition. Join energy fellows Lourdes Melgar and Benigna Cortés Leiss for a free webinar on Mexico's energy policy response to Covid-19. April 15 | 10:30 am

Member Exclusive Webinar: Refugees, Host Countries and the Coronavirus Pandemic. While refugees are not inherently more susceptible to the Covid-19 virus, the conditions in which many refugees and internally displaced persons live and their difficulty in accessing basic health services leave them highly vulnerable. At this member exclusive webinar, Kelsey Norman, fellow for the Middle East and director of the Women's Rights, Human Rights and Refugees Program, will examine global refugee situations and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on individuals as well as host countries. April 16 | 12:30 pm

Visit our events page for a complete list.


Get Involved with the Baker Institute

Become a member of the Baker Institute Roundtable and Roundtable Young Professionals. Contact our development office for more information on how you can join the conversation on the relevant issues and ideas that shape our world.