Economist to discuss energy and environmental markets in RISE lecture

Economics and how it can be used to design energy and environmental markets will be the subject of the Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics (RISE) Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series Feb. 24.

Frank Wolak. Submitted photo.

Frank Wolak. Submitted photo.

Frank Wolak ’79 will be the featured speaker at the 5 p.m. event at McNair Hall’s Shell Auditorium.

Wolak is The Holbrook Working Professor of Commodity Price Studies in the economics department and director of the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University. His research and teaching focus on the design, performance and monitoring of energy and environmental markets in the U.S. and around the world.

From April 1998 to April 2011, he was chair of the Market Surveillance Committee of the California Independent System Operator. Wolak has worked on the design and regulatory oversight of electricity markets internationally in Europe and Latin America and in the U.S. He also has worked on the design of transmission planning, expansion and pricing protocols to enhance wholesale electricity competition and support the expansion of renewable energy resources in the U.S. and other countries. Wolak was a member of the Emissions Market Advisory Committee, which advised the California Air Resources Board on the design and monitoring of the state’s cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gas emissions allowances.

Admission to the lecture and reception is free of charge; however, space is limited so RSVPs are requested. Event registration is available online at

The lecture series is made possible by a gift from Rice Trustee Emeritus Doyle Arnold ’70.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.