Energy and politics have always endured a love/hate relationship. But as a new administration takes over in the U.S. and OPEC puts its production cuts agreement to work, the worlds of global politics and energy are poised to collide in ways they may never have in the past.

And that’s just the start of the conversation.

With the oil and gas recovery in motion, fossil fuels and regulations on the front burner in Washington, D.C., infrastructure issues at the state and local levels and environmental opposition growing louder, governments around the world will be trying to figure out a delicate balance between energy policy and political ideals.

It’s sure to be a bumpy ride with twists, turns, drama and, possibly, even solutions.

That is why Hart Energy presents its new podcast Political Sidetrack, a biweekly forum which will explore global politics from an energy industry perspective.

In this first episode, host Len Vermillion discusses what to expect in the Trump administration’s first 100 days as it pertains to energy policy with Jack Belcher, executive vice president of HBW Resources, who consults with energy clients on government relations and regulatory affairs.

Also joining Len to discuss the new administration’s foreign policy, particularly with regard to trade, and the politics involved in compliance with the recent OPEC agreement to cut production, is Jeff Quigley, Stratas Advisors’ director of energy markets.

To comment on this episode, please use the comment section below or tweet our host Len Vermillion (@LenVermillion) or reach him by email at

Articles mentioned in the podcast can be found here:

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Jack Belcher consults energy and transportation clients on government relations, regulatory affairs, situational risk management, coalition building and stakeholder relations; he is also managing director of the National Ocean Policy Coalition.

He has more than 20 years of experience, including five years as regulatory affairs and policy manager for Shell North America, exploration and production division, leading efforts to obtain and maintain the company’s license to operate.

Previously, he was staff director for the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, where he helped direct the work of the committee staff and planned and organized legislative and oversight hearings on issues pertaining to oil and gas development on federal lands.

He also wrote several of the legislative provisions that were adopted as the oil and gas, mining and geothermal energy provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. He holds a B.A. in government from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jeff Quigley is the director of Energy Markets for Stratas Advisors. With more than 12 years of experience, he is responsible for market monitoring and forecasting across the entire value chain.

Quigley manages Stratas’ Short-Term Price Outlook Service, which combines market fundamentals, geopolitics and Stratas’ own economic outlook to build an integrated, data-driven outlook on key energy markers for the next 24 months.

Prior to joining Stratas Advisors, Quigley was a senior associate with Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA), a strategic consultancy based in Arlington, Va. There he led teams covering international energy markets, oil and gas and solid fuels (coal) serving major U.S. utilities, trade associations and global energy companies.

Before joining EVA, Quigley served seven years as a manager and lead analyst at PFC Energy (now IHS) in Washington, D.C. There, he led a team of analysts focused on long-term forecasting and quantitative analysis of the oil and gas sector.

Quigley holds an MBA from George Washington University and a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration from American University.

Len Vermillion (host) is group managing editor for Hart Energy’s Digital News Group. Based in Houston, he manages editorial content development for Hart Energy’s upstream and midstream websites.

He has worked in publishing for more than 20 years, having led several magazines and digital products serving various industries including engineering, retail and travel.

He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism from the University of Pittsburgh.