LSU CES News 2016 Full





DOE Awards CES-led Research Team $1.3 Million for Clean Energy Research

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a $1.3 million research grant to an interdisciplinary team of scholars headed up by the LSU Center for Energy Studies. The multi-year project will examine the technical and economic feasibility of developing a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Louisiana’s industrial corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. CCS is a technology used by industry to capture CO2 emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in industrial processes, preventing the carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

CES Professor and Executive Director, Dr. David E. Dismukes, will lead a diverse and highly qualified research team investigating this timely and important environmental and economic development opportunity for Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.

The research team includes:
• Brian Snyder (co-principal investigator), assistant professor, LSU Department of Environmental Sciences;
• Keith Hall, associate professor and director, Mineral Law Institute, LSU Law School;
• Juan Lorenzo, associate professor, LSU Department of Geology & Geophysics;
• Chacko John, state geologist and director, Louisiana Geological Survey;
• Brian Harder, research associate, director, Louisiana Geological Survey;
• Mehdi Zeidouni, assistant professor, Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering;
• Richard G. Hughes, professional-in-residence, Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering.

Dismukes notes that this a unique opportunity for LSU that underscores its strengths in working with a wide range of stakeholder groups to solve applied energy and environmental challenges for our state. The project will include active private sector participation in order to identify large-scale industrial candidate emission sources, such as natural gas processing or petrochemical plants, and then transporting those industrial emissions to either permanent underground storage facilities, or using them in higher-valued energy applications such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR). 

The goals of the project are to “define a business case model” in which industrial carbon emissions can be safely and profitably stored, Dismukes notes. There is also a large public awareness and acceptance component to the project. From a technical perspective, LSU will be conducting a number of high-level, supercomputer-based technical evaluations of the sub-basin and its geological potential to safely store large levels of carbon in a single location as well as exploring a myriad number of technical issues associated with the effective monitoring and verification of these permanent CO2 storage sites.

The award is part of the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Carbon Storage Assurance Enterprise, or CarbonSAFE, program, which seeks to develop an integrated CCS storage complex constructed and permitted for operation in the 2025 timeframe in several phases.


White Paper: Oil Prices and the Louisiana Budget Crisis: Culprit or Scapegoat?

Center for Energy Studies Assistant Professor Greg Upton has prepared a white paper titled, “Oil Prices and the Louisiana Budget Crisis: Culprit or Scapegoat?: An Analysis of the Implications of the Oil Price Drop on the Louisiana Budget.” In the paper, Upton examines how the oil and gas industry has contributed to both the state’s finances and economy from a historical perspective. He discusses the recent drop in oil prices and considers how it might impact the state’s budget. He also provides a broad view of Louisiana’s revenues and assesses likely cause of recent budgetary problems. He suggests that, in light of the events of the past decade, Louisiana has a unique opportunity to make changes to its tax code in a manner that is consistent with long-term goals and good tax policy.

View or download the white paper here. 


Energy Summit™ 2016 to Address Recent Challenges to Energy Industry

The Center for Energy Studies and the LSU Economics & Policy Research Group will present Energy Summit™ 2016: “Managing through Energy Challenges,” on Wednesday, October 26, at the Energy, Coast & Environment Building.

This year’s Summit will address recent challenges to the energy industry affecting unconventional activities and outlooks and offshore development, state fiscal concerns related to changing energy markets, global geo-political impacts, and power generation issues with baseload generation. The conference will also feature a Louisiana economic roundtable that will address local economic challenges.

The annual energy conference, open to the public, attracts representatives from major petrochemical and refining companies, state agencies, state legislators’ offices, regional investor-owned, municipal, and cooperative utilities, environmental groups, and university faculty.

For program and registration information, visit the Energy Summit™ conference page.


LSU Student Chapter of Women's Energy Network to Hold Elections

The Women's Energy Network Student Chapter at LSU needs officers! If you are interested in serving as president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer, email by October 26. An election will be held by the end of October. This is a campus-wide group open to undergrad and grad students, men and women.  Its mission is to provide networking opportunities and foster career and leadership development in the energy industry

• Undergraduate students must be enrolled as full-time students at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge); graduate students must be enrolled as part-time (with at least 6 hours) or full-time students at LSU;
• Undergraduate students must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA, 3.0 for graduate students, and be in good academic standing with the University;
• Students must not be on disciplinary probation or deferred suspension. This includes newly elected officers, as well as continuing officers. Students may continue organizational membership if on disciplinary probation.
• Graduating seniors who are not registered full-time may still hold office in a student organization during the semester in which they are scheduled to graduate.


Wang Participates in Nuclear Tour de France

Wei-Hsung Wang, professor, LSU Center for Energy Studies, and director, LSU Radiation Safety Office, attended the 2016 Technical Tour of the French Nuclear Facilities July 3-9. The objectives of the tour were (1) to promote and develop exchanges about the status and knowledge of nuclear development and achievements in France and in the U.S. in different technical fields and (2) to continuously enhance the relationship between France and the U.S. in the field of nuclear education and training. 

The biennial event is organized by the French Section of the American Nuclear Society (Section Française de l'American Nuclear Society) and the French Nuclear Energy Society (Société Française d’Energie Nucléaire) and sponsored by ANDRA (French National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management), AREVA, Electricity of France (Électricité de France), and the French Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique).

Wang and eleven other U.S. university professors of nuclear energy from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of California Irvine, University of Florida, University of Idaho, University of Tennessee, and University of Wisconsin Madison, were invited to participate in the tour. They travelled 2,000 miles throughout France and visited Cadarache Technological Research and Development Center for Energy, the MELOX facility for MOX fuel fabrication, Atalante facility for fuel cycle studies, a large LWR components fabrication plant, a deep underground radioactive waste research laboratory, a fuel reprocessing plant, and the EPR construction site.

Wang is a Fellow of the Health Physics Society (HPS), Chair of the American Board of Health Physics Part II Panel of Examiners, and a member of the HPS Academic Education Committee.  He was also the Herman Cember Memorial Lecturer at the 2013 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exhibition in Montreal, Canada.  He served as a radiological expert on the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Radiological Ideas Workshop after the Fukushima nuclear incident and was an invited panelist on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Radiation Protection Standards Workshop to discuss the potential changes to the NRC’s radiation protection regulations and guidance in light of recommendations in International Commission on Radiation Protection Publication 103.  Wang is certified by the American Board of Health Physics, the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, and the Board of Laser Safety.



Wilson Receives Health Physics Society Honor

Charles A. Wilson IV, radiation safety officer for the Bennett Johnston Sr. Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD), was honored with the Elda E. Anderson Award, bestowed upon a young member (younger than 40 years of age) of the Health Physics Society, or HPS, to recognize excellence in research or development, discovery or invention, devotion to health physics, and/or significant contributions to the profession of health physics.  Wilson was recognized for his accomplishments at the 61st HPS Annual Meeting Awards Banquet in Spokane, Washington, on July 19, 2016.

Wilson received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics (2009) and Master of Science Degree in Medical and Health Physics (2012), both from LSU.  He is currently a doctoral candidate in environmental sciences, environmental health physics concentration, at LSU. His research interests center on the development of feasible solutions to practical radiation protection and radiation detection issues on radioactive waste management, NORM measurement methodology, and gamma-ray spectrometry. 

Wilson has authored or co-authored two peer-reviewed publications and eleven conference proceedings, abstracts and presentations. He is the recipient of the HPS J. Newell Stannard Fellowship (2010) and Scott and Susan Brodie Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in Physics and Astronomy at LSU (2013).  He is also an associate member of the American Academy of Health Physics.

Wilson served as vice president of LSU’s student branch of the HPS, vice president and president of the Deep South Chapter of the HPS, and chair of the Student Support Committee of the HPS.  He was an adviser to the HPS Board of Directors and currently chairs the Society Support Committee of the HPS and is a member of the International Radiation Protection Association Task Force.



LGS 2016 Publications List Now Available

The Louisiana Geological Survey has produced an updated catalog of their publications and products. Publications of the Louisiana Geological Survey 2016 includes a chronological list of publications dating back to 1899, with brief descriptions and ordering information. Included are

• early geological bulletins on Louisiana mineral resources, topography and geology;
• groundwater and hydrological reports;
• technical reports on coastal geology;
• atlases and geologic maps;
• water resource bulletins and pamphlets;
• and a state parks and land series.

View or download the catalog here.



Center for Energy Studies Awards Scholarships

The Center for Energy Studies Scholarship Committee recently awarded the following scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year.

LMOGA/Brooksher Scholarship:  Joseph LeJeune, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering. LeJeune is from Baton Rouge.

The LMOGA/Brooksher Scholarship, named for the late Robert R. Brooksher, Jr., an executive vice president of Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association and founding member of the LSU Center for Energy Studies’ Advisory Council, supports the educational goals of LSU students interested in energy-related fields, with a particular emphasis on energy policy related to the oil and gas industry. The annual scholarship is awarded in the amount of $1,000.

F. Malcolm Hood Scholarship: Danté Hebert. Hebert, a Carencro native, is a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering.

Created to honor the late F. Malcolm Hood, a highly regarded energy industry spokesman who served as an advisor when the Center was created and was a member of its Advisory Council, the scholarship supports the educational goals of LSU students interested in energy-related fields, with a particular emphasis on energy policy. The scholarship is awarded in the amount of $1,000.

David Olver Memorial Scholarship: Tyler Parker, a junior majoring in electrical engineering, from Baton Rouge.

Provided by the Gulf Coast Power Association emPOWERing Foundation, the David Olver Memorial Scholarship is intended for LSU students interested in future careers in the electric power industry. The annual award amount is $5,000.

GCPA emPOWERing Women Scholarship: Cassidy Hebert, a junior majoring in electrical engineering, from Lake Arthur, La.

Also provided by the Gulf Coast Power Association emPOWERing Foundation, the emPOWERing Women Scholarship is intended for female LSU students interested in future careers in the electric power industry. The annual award amount is $2,500.

The Center congratulates these outstanding students for their achievements and wishes them the best as they continue to pursue their education and prepare for careers in the energy industry.



La. Clean Fuels Announces Paid Internship Opportunity

Paid Internship with Louisiana Clean Fuels
A U.S. Department of Energy Designated Clean Cities Coalition since 2000

Workforce Development Opportunity through Argonne National Laboratory and the American Society for Engineering Education

Summer 2016

Objectives: The objectives of the Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program (CCUWDP) initiative are to support the Coalitions’ capabilities to:
• build public awareness of alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technologies,
• encourage others to adopt practices that contribute to reduction of petroleum consumption,
• mentor youth and build a network of individuals who have skill sets related to alternative fuels, and advanced vehicle technologies that can support and staff Clean Cities Coalitions and related industries in the future, and
• leverage resources to help enhance Coalitions’ social media and website efforts.

Overview: Candidates must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting program. Internship will begin June 6 and run through August 19th. Intern will have the option to reapply for another internship for the 2016/2017 academic year. The summer internship is for 30 hours per week and will pay $3,600 for undergraduates or $4,500 for graduate students. Internship is 10 paid weeks with one week off unpaid. Interns may also have the opportunity to earn academic credit.

Qualifications: Strong motivation to make a difference in the world, excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, reliability, general high-level computer literacy, assertiveness and willingness to take initiative. Strong Excel skills are a must, database skills a plus. This position is most applicable to upper level undergraduate students studying economics, energy policy, applied automotive technology or a similar field. A strong interest in environmental and/or energy-related causes is beneficial.

Responsibilities will include a mixture of the following:
1. Compiling fleet data, such as vehicle/engine type and fuel consumption, which will be used to complete fleet management and feasibility studies.
2. Collect and compile fuel pricing data for quarterly reports.
3. Conduct alternative fuel technology-related research.
4. Update and manage databases including databases and mailing list of Louisiana fleets, elected officials, industry stakeholders and other contacts.
5. Conduct telephone, email and personal outreach (including tabling at events) to prospective Louisiana Clean Fuels members, vehicle fleet owners, media contacts and/or policy-makers, community organizations, fuel marketers, and others.
6. Assist with event coordination— support event and communications staff with technical workshops, webinars, conferences and other events, including producing materials, conducting outreach and helping with event logistics.
7. Perform routine administrative tasks and support other staff work as needed.

About Louisiana Clean Fuels:
Louisiana Clean Fuels is a statewide non-profit organization with headquarters on N 3rd Street in Downtown Baton Rouge, LA. Louisiana Clean Fuels strives to improve air quality and health, reduce environmental pollution and strengthen Louisiana’s economy by increasing the use of cleaner, domestic fuels and energy-saving vehicles. We are a designated Clean Cities Coalition by the U.S. Department of Energy. More information is available at

To Apply: Send cover letter and resume, email (preferred), pdf or MS Word format, or US mail to Ann Shaneyfelt, Louisiana Clean Fuels, P.O. Box 1771, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.  Applications Due by May 15, 2016.



Earth as Art Exhibit Runs April-July 2016 at Gallery at Manship Theatre

La. Geological Survey is co-sponsoring an exhibit of remotely sensed satellite images of the Earth. Opening Reception is 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 21.


See the earth from a different perspective via geospatial technology at the Earth as Art Exhibit at the Gallery at Manship Theatre.

Opening Exhibition Reception April 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Exhibition runs April –July 2016

For more information, click here.



Vachon Receives Upjohn Institute Early Career Research Award

Center for Energy Studies Assistant Professor Mallory Vachon has been granted a W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research 2016 Early Career Research Award for her project, "The Temporary Migration Response to Industry-Specific Shocks: Evidence from the U.S. Shale Boom." The award provides resources for junior faculty to pursue research related to labor markets and public workforce policy. Vachon’s research interests include energy, labor, and public economics, with a focus on the local economic impacts of natural resource extraction.

Vachon, who joined the Center for Energy Studies faculty in the fall of 2015, received her Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in economics at Syracuse University. She is a member of the American Economic Association, the International Association for Energy Economics, the Southern Economic Association, and the Society of Labor Economists.



Energy Summit 2016 Set for October 26

The LSU Center for Energy Studies, along with the LSU Economics & Policy Research Group, will host Energy Summit™ 2016 on Wednesday, 26 October. Titled "Managing through Energy Challenges," the event will again take place in the Energy, Coast & Environment Building on the LSU campus.

Check the "Conferences" home page for updated information.



Upton Op-Ed in The Advertiser

CES Assistant Professor Greg Upton's opinion piece on the lifting of the export ban was published Dec. 8 in The Advertiser of Lafayette. Below is a reprint of the op-ed:

We Must Shift the Discussion on Lifting Oil Export Ban 

In 1975, President Ford signed the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) that to this day prohibits the export of domestically produced crude oil. While the export ban has received relatively sparse attention since its passage, the recent shale boom has re-invigorated this decades old debate. This October, the House of Representatives passed a bill striking this provision from EPCA that restricts the export of crude.

This debate, like many current political debates, can be summed up into right versus left, economic development versus the environment. Right-wing conservatives, who are pro-business, have argued that the lifting of the ban will increase the price of domestic crude, therefore incentivizing new production and creating thousands of jobs. Left-wing liberals, who are concerned about global climate change, have argued that lifting the ban will increase domestic crude production and therefore exacerbate global climate change.

In short, both groups seem to agree that lifting the ban will increase domestic production. The disagreement is on whether more crude production is good (i.e. economic development) or bad (i.e. global climate change).

The problem, though, lies in the fact that this apparent consensus is simply not well-founded. This presupposed increase in drilling stems from predictions that were made over the last several years during the shale boom regarding price differentials between domestic and foreign crude. Predictions have been made that the US refining industry would simply be unable to process all of the “light” crudes being produced domestically and therefore domestic crude would sell at an increasing discount. But this prediction has simply not panned out. Domestic production has declined and at the time of this writing, Gulf Coast and European crude are trading within about a dollar of one another; with transportation costs exceeding this difference, an arbitrage opportunity for domestic producers simply does not exist.

The debate over this policy needs to be re-examined, and the seeming consensus that lifting the ban will increase domestic crude prices and therefore increase production should be questioned—not taken as a given.

But there are real potential benefits and costs associated with lifting the ban that should be considered. Due to the shale boom, the US Gulf Coast is on the cusp of becoming the world hub for hydrocarbon commerce. With the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) commoditizing storage and multi-billion dollar investments in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), trade liberalization on hydrocarbons can create a unique opportunity for the Gulf Coast to truly be the epicenter of oil and gas trading.

But in return, the Gulf Coast will have to give up a long-run federal protectionist policy on the domestic refining industry. Allowing for crude exports will legally allow domestic producers to sell crude to overseas refineries thus circumventing the domestic industry. While the domestic refining industry currently has a comparative advantage due to its close proximity to crude production and access to inexpensive natural gas, only time will tell if this comparative advantage will persist or whether this industry could slowly exit the region in the absence of an export ban.

Certainly, one might find solace in clinging to a decades-old policy that was created for national security reasons as justification for protecting a specific industry. But having confidence in our region and our nation’s energy economy, instead we might decide to move forward and take risks that have the potential to grow the Gulf Coast’s economy into a future with a dynamic energy environment.

The debate over the export ban should not be decided based on net economic costs or benefits, nor should it be based on protecting one industry at the expense of another. Nor should it be based on environmentalists’ concern that the removal of the ban will increase global CO2 emissions. All of these supposed costs and benefits are highly speculative and are based on a number of overarching assumptions about the future.

Instead this debate should be focused on whether the export ban continues to achieve national security objectives and whether a federal policy that protects a specific industry is appropriate. Proponents should not make promises of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and opponents should not be concerned that the lifting of the ban will exacerbate CO2 emissions. These comments are based on a LSU Center for Energy Studies Whitepaper titled: “Crude Oil Exports and the Louisiana Economy.”

Women's Energy Network Social

On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at 6 p.m., the Women's Energy Network and the LSU Center for Energy Studies will host a networking social open to students interested in careers in energy-related fields. The social offers an excellent opportunity, in a casual atmosphere, for grad students and seniors to gain helpful insight and ask questions about future careers.

Please RSVP to



Energy Outlook 2035: The Global Energy Industry and Its Impact on Louisiana

What will the world's energy mix look like in 2035? Where is the growth in demand and supply going to come from? How and at what pace will renewables continue to grow? How does this all impact Louisiana?

Join the LSU Center for Energy Studies and Grow Louisiana Coalition for answers to these pressing questions and more as part of the "Energy Outlook 2035: The Global Energy Industry and Its Impact on Louisiana."

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Noon-1:30 p.m. 

Dalton J. Woods Auditorium

LSU Energy, Coast & Environment Building 

The guest speaker will be Mark Finley, Chief U.S. Economist, BP. 

Refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP to



Women’s Energy Network Launches Student Chapter at LSU

The South Louisiana Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network (WEN) has volunteered to help start a student chapter of WEN on the LSU campus for students in law, business, engineering, geology or any other energy-related field. The goal of WEN (open to women and men) is to educate and develop professionals of various disciplines (lawyers, engineers, accountants, etc.) who work in energy industries, with a particular emphasis on encouraging women to enter the energy industry and embark on long-term energy-related careers.

The WEN at LSU will be holding an informational meeting at the LSU Business Education Complex onTuesday, Feb. 16, at noon in room 1220. The meeting is open to both women and men across the LSU campus. Margaret Patton, from the South Louisiana WEN chapter, will speak about the goals and activities of WEN. Officer positions will be filled, and future events will be discussed. Lunch will be provided.

For more information, email