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Energy Policy Watch

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The growing energy transition trend has garnered a lot of attention—and capital—as the global push for decarbonization increases in recent years.

However, it has become clear that the widely used term has come to mean different things to different people, which is the crux to many of the challenges arising from the transition, according to Thomas J. McNulty, ValueScope principal and head of its energy practice.

“Regardless of where you stand on the climate issue, the transition has to happen in such a way that it works physically,” McNulty said during the latest episode of Energy Policy Watch.

McNulty, a nationally recognized energy industry expert, has 25 years of experience working across the entire commodity and energy value chain. At ValueScope, he provides clients of the valuation and analytics firm with transaction, commercial analytics, litigation and valuation opinion services.

In a recent conversation with Cornerstone’s Jack Belcher, McNulty discussed the pitfalls of when public policy detaches itself from the physics and thermodynamics that serve as the backbone of producing energy using the ongoing energy crisis in Europe as an example. 

“There have been a lot of decommissionings in Europe, a lot of changes in the European energy physical structure that have caused there to be shortages in certain areas,” he said. “It’s dangerous going into winter.”

During the wide-ranging discussion, McNulty also highlighted the benefits of ESG standardization for the oil and gas industry plus the importance of natural gas, which he called the fulcrum molecule, in the energy transition.

“Natural gas is essential for whatever the energy transition format takes,” he said adding that it is a relatively clean energy source despite being a fossil fuel.

“It can be executed in such a way that it can be renewable natural gas, it can be clean natural gas,” he added.

For more on the white paper “ESG: A Valuation Framework” discussed in the video email Jack Belcher at


  • McNulty’s background (1:15)
  • European gas crisis (2:40)
  • Natural gas role (4:30)
  • Impact on EU (6:30)
  • COP26 climate discussion (8:05)
  • U.S. climate policy (9:45)
  • Disconnect on climate (12:10)
  • Asia’s energy transition (14:10)
  • The EU Green Deal (15:25)
  • Weakening U.S. oil industry (18:00)
  • Encouraging decarbonization effort (20:55)
  • Energy transition capital (23:25)
  • ESG value for oil and gas (26:15)
  • ESG reporting standardization (30:25)

Energy Policy Watch is a partnership between Hart Energy and Cornerstone to bring regular video updates on legislative and regulatory actions affecting the energy industry. Guests range from key representatives or congressional staff to relevant cabinet-level officials and executive branch personnel. View More Energy Policy Watch Episodes Here.