Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy is establishing a new Center for Energy Studies (CES) to expand the institute’s energy research and policy programs, university leaders announced this week.
“CES will build on the Baker Institute’s leading position in energy geopolitics, as well as engage in new research and broaden its focus on domestic energy and environmental issues,” said Kenneth Medlock, the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics, who has been appointed senior director of CES. “The long-standing and very successful Baker Institute’s Energy Forum will be an integral part of CES and will remain an active vehicle for participation in our ongoing research and public policy programs.”
The mission of CES will be to provide policymakers, corporate leaders and the public with quality, data-driven analysis of issues that influence energy markets. In doing so, CES will provide a nonpartisan voice to issues that are often politically divisive, Medlock said.
Under Medlock’s direction, CES will play a central role in Rice’s recently announced Energy and Environment Initiative, which is designed to facilitate collaboration between academia and industry to promote the sustainable development and use of current and alternative energy resources.
CES will focus on the nexus between energy and environment, with an immediate goal of informing the emerging and ongoing public debates in the United States. CES will also build upon the Baker Institute’s internationally recognized reputation for economic modeling and forecasting.
“The establishment of CES under Ken Medlock’s leadership will take the Baker Institute’s energy programs to new levels on critical public policy issues affecting energy geopolitics, energy markets, emerging technologies and environment and regulatory issues,” said Ambassador Edward Djerejian, the founding director of the Baker Institute.
“The energy industry is undergoing dramatic change, and developments in the last decade highlight the need to understand the global connection of energy markets and the energy-environment nexus that is growing ever more important,” Medlock said. “Nowhere is this more evident than with the ongoing development of unconventional resources, such as shale oil and gas, and the associated emerging political and regulatory issues. All of this stands against a backdrop of ever-present energy security concerns and the constantly changing dynamics of energy geopolitics.”