Posted March 25, 2021

Podcast: What Can the U.S. Shale Oil and Gas Boom Teach Economists about Labor Markets?upton head shot

CES Associate Professor Gregory B. Upton, Jr., prepared a podcast for the International Association for Energy Economics on March 25, 2021. In the podcast, Upton discusses how, over the past decade, the advent of oil and natural gas production from shale geological formations fundamentally changed not only global energy markets but also the communities that reside above these formations. He examines how economists might gain insights from this natural experiment about labor markets and business cycles more broadly.

The discussion was motivated by three working papers:

Decker, Ryan and McCollum, Meagan and Upton, Gregory, Boom Town Business Dynamics (September, 2020). FEDS Working Paper No. 2020-081. 

Unel, Bulent and Upton, Gregory, Effects of the Shale Boom on Entrepreneurship in the U.S. (December 11, 2020). USAEE Working Paper No. 20-461. 

Upton, Gregory and Yu, Han, Local Labor Market Shocks and Earnings Differentials: Evidence From Shale Oil and Gas Booms (March 14, 2019). USAEE Working Paper.

Listen to the podcast. (Transcript included.)


Posted February 24, 2021

Wang Invited to U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board Review PanelWei-Hsung Wang

Dr. Wei-Hsung Wang, professor, Center for Energy Studies, and director, Radiation Safety Office, Louisiana State University, was recently invited to serve on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency panel charged with reviewing a revision of the Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual, or MARSSIM (Revision 2). MARSSIM provides information on planning, conducting, evaluating, and documenting the building of surface and surface soil radiological surveys used for demonstrating compliance with regulatory requirements. The panel will provide comments on the concepts, methodologies, implementation, presentation, and understandability of the document.

MARSSIM was developed collaboratively by four federal agencies that have authority and control over radioactive materials: Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 

Wang, who is also the LSU System Radiation Safety officer, is one of 20 panelists, who represent academia (Clemson University, Columbia University, LSU, University of Florida, University of North Carolina, and University of Southern California), government agencies (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, and Washington Department of Health), medical and research institutes (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, and University of California Irvine Medical Center), and private industry (DAQ, Inc., Goldin & Associates, M.H. Chew & Associates, Renaissance Code Development, and independent consultants).

“It is an honor and pleasure for me to be involved as panel member to review this detailed guidance document and provide independent advice to the Administrator of EPA in this regard,” Wang said.

Wang has served in various advisory capacities for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Louisiana Department of Health, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  He is a certified health physicist, fellow of the Health Physics Society, and current chair of the American Board of Health Physics.

Posted February 3, 2021

White Paper: Carbon Capture Can Reduce Industrial Tax Burdenoverlooked opportunity white paper cover

A new white paper reveals an approach that Louisiana can use to decrease the burden of a carbon tax on large industrial CO2 emitters. Titled “Overlooked Opportunity: Incentivizing Carbon Capture through Carbon Tax Revenues,” the paper details how carbon tax revenues can advance Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS), a technology that reduces CO2 emissions.

A carbon tax, which prices CO2 emissions equal to their environmental damages, is becoming a likely tool for Louisiana and 24 other states as they work to reach net-zero carbon emissions. The white paper, written by LSU Center for Energy Studies Assistant Professor Brittany Tarufelli, reviews the appeal of utilizing carbon tax revenues to fund the research, development, and implementation of CCUS.

“Policymakers have largely overlooked the possibility of recycling carbon tax revenues to incentivize and reduce the costs of CCUS,” said Tarufelli. “This proposition would help emissions-intensive industry and smooth the transition to a lower-carbon economy.”

With global energy consumption forecast to grow 50 percent by 2050, and the industrial sector expected to account for roughly half that growth, industry and policymakers are pressed to address the challenges of meeting rising energy demands while reducing CO2 emissions.

“Advancing CCUS through carbon tax revenues would enable Louisiana’s emissions-intensive industries to meet CO2 reduction goals without drastic cuts in production. This approach would also reduce the tax burden on these industries and ultimately save consumers money,” said Tarufelli.

Read or download the white paper.