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Welcome to the Penn State Center for Energy Law and Policy

The Penn State Center for Energy Law and Policy, founded in 2020, is a major part of Penn State’s efforts to become the nation’s Energy University, serving the Commonwealth, nation, and world through cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and partnerships. This Center provides an innovative national model for how a major public research university can contribute to important energy law and policy issues through research, education and stakeholder engagement. The Center for Energy Law and Policy is a collaborative effort across Penn State’s many disciplines,  research centers and campuses, which makes it the only energy research center in the country that can fully harness the strengths of a leading land grant research university to assemble collaborative and interdisciplinary teams, providing Penn State with a unique opportunity to have a major impact. The University and its faculty also have a deep commitment to the kind of engaged and practitioner-informed scholarship that sets the Center for Energy Law and Policy apart.

The Center for Energy Law and Policy provides a hub for systematic interdisciplinary research around pressing energy issues where technology, social and legal frameworks are critical ingredients to successful policy design implementation. Its approach brings together diverse scholars at Penn State and other institutions to (1) explore how independent, interdisciplinary energy research might be used to inform regulatory approaches and (2) convene stakeholders from industry, government, non-profits, and communities to discuss the implications of this research.

Impact Through Engagement and Interdisciplinary Research

To achieve its mission of bringing independent and interdisciplinary science towards the improvement of energy policy at scales ranging from local to global, the Center for Energy Law and Policy engages in the following activities:

  • Organization of workshops and other meetings that connect thought and decision leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors with scientists;
  • Educational initiatives that engage students across Penn State with the Center’s projects and other activities;
  • Public outreach in the form of presentations and media engagement;
  • Service to society, with Center leadership serving on expert panels and other advisory boards for government and research groups;
  • Interdisciplinary research projects that engage faculty, students and practitioner stakeholders for periods of intense work and study.

Current Projects

The Center for Energy Law and Policy is currently involved a variety of research and engagement activities, examples of which are listed below.

  • Science-driven evaluation of regulatory options for managing methane emissions from unconventional oil and gas activities
  • Small workshops for policy-makers and scientists focused on implementing and achieving state-level clean energy goals
  • Interdisciplinary research on the economic, social, legal and air quality implications of Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Personnel

Seth Blumsack, Professor of Energy Policy and Economics and International Affairs at Penn State, is the Director of the Center for Energy Law and Policy. He holds appointments in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering and the School of International Affairs. He also sits on the External Faculty of the Santa Fe Institute and the Adjunct Faculty of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center. Dr. Blumsack has an interdisciplinary background in economics, engineering and public policy, and has worked on policy-driven research related to the electric power and natural gas industries for over twenty years. He earned a B.A. in mathematics and economics from Reed College, the M.S. in economics from Carnegie-Mellon University, and a Ph.D. in engineering and public policy from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Contact: blumsack [at] psu [dot] edu

Dr. Blumsack’s web page