Policy Analysis | Center for Energy Studies


Policy Analysis Division

CES's organizational imperative is to continue to strengthen and improve the links between its informational and analytical resources, as well as those of the wider university, and the state- and national-level constituencies concerned with energy issues and policies.

Building and maintaining these links does not imply that CES's research is one-sided and promotes a preconceived argument or position. There are many consulting and government relations companies that are able to provide research and analysis that support any given case. In contrast, CES' "distinctive competence," in planning jargon, is that its studies and reports are objective, balanced and credible.

To protect its credibility, CES encourages its staff to publish research derived from reports in refereed and professional journals and to participate actively in professional meetings and associations. All studies are under the control of CES and are available to the public.

Completed CES studies have:

  • detailed ways in which carbon tax revenues might advance Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), a technology that reduces CO2 emissions;
  • examined the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 hurricane season, trade negotiations with China, and potential policies of a Biden administration on the region’s upstream oil and gas activity, downstream investments in refining and petrochemicals, energy exports, electricity demand, and energy sector-specific employment (GCEO 2021);
  • investigated how diesel fuel taxes for freight trucking might be contributing to traffic accidents, one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.;
  • examined the status of Louisiana’s transportation system and transportation energy policies, developing policy recommendations for improving Louisiana's transportation network that align the private costs of driving with the full social costs of driving, which include the costs of pollution, congestion, accidents, and road damage;
  • analyzed ways in which Louisiana could best apply demand response, a method for electricity utilities to communicate with and incentivize industrial customers to shift peak energy consumption away from utilities’ peak demand periods;
  • provided recommendations for simplifying Louisiana’s severance tax system, after having met with public and private stakeholders, reviewing the literature on the taxation of oil and gas, and performing analysis of statistical information;
  • compared local and state tax burdens of oil and gas companies operating in Louisiana with tax burdens of the other major energy producing states;
  • analyzed likely effects on Louisiana's economy of a Btu tax enacted at the national level, and a refinery, or processing tax enacted at the state level;
  • estimated the economic consequences of a larger role for smaller independent producers in the offshore oil and gas industries;
  • ascertained the effects of incentives enacted by the Louisiana Legislature to encourage oil and gas production;
  • measured and compared the safety and environmental performance of oil and gas firms operating offshore in the Gulf of Mexico;
  • evaluated practices and regulations associated with the cessation of production from offshore oil and gas leases and facilities while organizing and chairing an international workshop on these issues for MMS;
  • outlined the implications for Louisiana of the restructuring of the electricity industry now underway that is intended to promote competition among suppliers in order to lower prices and broaden choices for consumers; and
  • sponsored a series of six seminars to provide an open forum for objectively discussing with Louisiana stakeholders (regulators, the electric utility industry, the legislature, electricity consumers, and academics) a number of issues raised by the restructuring of the electric utility industry.
  • evaluated the argument that all decommissioned offshore oil and gas platforms should be brought to shore for salvage and disposal.
  • forecast a decline in the number of platforms in the federal OCS of about 28 percent over the next two decades.
  • inventoried the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Louisiana and developed a model that can be used to explore how greenhouse gas emissions would change in response to different patterns of economic and demographic change over the next two decades.