Lisa Viscidi is the director of the Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries Program at the Inter-American Dialogue. A specialist in Latin American energy issues, Viscidi has written numerous reports and articles on energy policy and regulations, oil and gas markets, climate change, sustainable transport, social and environmental impacts of natural resources development, and the geopolitics of energy in the region.
Before joining the Dialogue, she was New York bureau chief and Latin America team leader for Energy Intelligence Group and subsequently a manager in the energy practice at Deloitte. She has also served as director of EntreMundos, a nonprofit organization based in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
Ms. Viscidi’s articles have been published in The Financial Times, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, and Foreign Affairs. She frequently presents at conferences and universities throughout the United States and Latin America and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, and other news outlets. She was called to testify before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere in 2017. Viscidi received a Fulbright Specialist grant in 2017 to teach a course on climate change and environmental policy at the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá. She currently serves on the Leadership Council for the National Capital Area Chapter of the US Association for Energy Economics.
Viscidi conducted her undergraduate work in history at the George Washington University and the University of Barcelona and completed a master’s degree in Latin American studies with a focus on economic development and public policy from New York University. Viscidi speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
The US has introduced several measures to facilitate energy & infrastructure investment in Latin America. However, the impact will likely be constrained by the challenging investment environment in many Latin American countries, demonstrating the limitations for the US in competing with China’s centralized economic model.
Once a major OPEC producer, Venezuela has witnessed a spectacular fall in oil production over the last 20 years under Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro. In 2019, U.S. sanctions hastened this decline. Will Venezuela ever reclaim its place as a top oil producer?
The perfect storm of the plummeting oil price and the Covid-19 pandemic could have dire consequences for oil-dependent Latin American economies, lead to a reduction in upstream investment, and damage the prospects for renewable energy projects.
For over a decade Colombians have been debating whether or not to allow oil companies to use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to produce oil and gas from shale rock, a technique that has been controversial in many countries. The high court’s decision last week to uphold a moratorium on fracking suggests the increasingly polarized debate is far from over.
This is what you will see with all national oil companies and the majors -- they have to cut back on their costs. Brazil won’t shut down its producing projects, but this will impact exploration and it will impact future production.