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Environmental & Energy Policy

Environmental and energy policy research at SPEA focuses on complex policy problems in the context of evolving regulations, fiscal constraints, and unique environmental challenges such as global climate change. Environmental research areas include intergovernmental relations; interjurisdictional competition; international regimes; environmental policy-making in developing countries; transaction costs and benefit–cost analysis, options for carbon sequestration, endangered species management, and wetland restoration. Energy research focuses on transportation and electricity technology assessment, energy policy effectiveness, economic analysis of new technologies, the human dimensions of energy use, global climate governance, and energy-based economic development.

Faculty Members

Shahzeen Z. Attari

Assistant Professor

Sanya Carley

Associate Professor

Daniel Cole

Professor of Law and of Public and Environmental Affairs

David Good

Associate Professor and Director, Transportation Research Center

Diane S. Henshel

Associate Professor

Kerry Krutilla

Associate Professor

Marc L. Lame

Clinical Associate Professor

Deepak Rajagopal

Visiting Assistant Professor

Barry M. Rubin

Professor and Policy Analysis and Public Finance Faculty Chair

Nikolaos Zirogiannis

Visiting Assistant Professor

Faculty Research

Plans for wildlife refuges show strengths and weaknesses for adapting to climate change

Indiana University study finds U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System management plans are ahead of their peers for adapting, but more needs to be done.

IU researchers awarded funding to study water resources, climate variability

Indiana University faculty members have been awarded nearly $2.6 million for studies focused on one of the world’s most urgent problems: ensuring adequate supplies of water in the face of growing human needs and increasing climate variability.

Indiana University research: Improving table saw safety is a good investment

Adding automatic safety protection devices to table saws would prevent injuries and, despite the initial cost, save money in the long run, according to a new risk-benefit analysis co-authored by an Indiana University researcher John Graham.

IU researcher and colleague provide guide to household water conservation

Want to conserve water and save on your utility bill? A paper co-written by an IU-SPEA researcher Prof. Shahzeen Attari and published in the current issue of the journal Environment can help.

Indiana University research: We want to save water, but do we know how?

Many Americans are confused about the best ways to conserve water and have a slippery grasp on how much water different activities use, according to a national online survey conducted by an Indiana University researcher.

Residents weigh global benefits and local risks in views of climate change measures

Carbon capture and storage, commonly known as CCS, is a technique designed to mitigate climate change by capturing the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide from coal plants and storing it deep underground. The technology allows for a more environmentally benign use of fossil fuels, but critics say it may prolong the dependence on coal, divert investment away from renewable energy sources and burden local communities with costs and health risks.

Indiana University part of $23.2 million Army cyberattack research program

The aim of the alliance is to create a science to detect and model cyberattacks and the risk and motivations behind them, and to create a response that can counter the attack and neutralize the cyberattackers in real time.

Economy Edges Out Environment for Governments Plugging Electric Vehicles

Contrary to common belief, many of the world’s most powerful nations promote the manufacture and sale of electric vehicles primarily for reasons of economic development – notably job creation – not because of their potential to improve the environment through decreased air pollution and oil consumption.

IU study: Consumer intent to purchase electric vehicles is low, varies by city

A study from IU-SPEA casts doubt on the Obama administration's goal of putting a million plug-in electric vehicles on the roads by 2015. But the study does find that consumers are more receptive to buying electric cars in some cities, including San Jose/San Francisco, Chicago and Boston.

Experts call for national network for wildlife conservation

It’s time to establish a national network for wildlife conservation, bringing together state, federal and private initiatives to coordinate planning and work toward common goals.

Indiana University study: Support for carbon capture is extensive but not strong

A solid majority of Indiana residents think it's a good idea to address concerns about climate change by capturing carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants and storing it underground, according to a recently published study by Indiana University researchers.

Steps needed to reduce likelihood that pilot commuting practices could pose safety risk, but too little data now to support regulation

The report was requested by Congress due to concerns about pilots' commuting practices and whether they could lead to dangerous levels of fatigue, given that some pilots do not live near the airports where they are based and must travel long distances before beginning their flight duty. Such concerns increased following a fatal Colgan Air crash in Buffalo, N.Y., on Feb. 12, 2009.

Journal article examines effectiveness of state-level energy policies

"The states are putting their best foot forward, and that is admirable," Carley said. "But they need to be deliberate and coordinated in their approaches in order to be effective.

Energy-based economic development: A fad or here to stay?

More than $50 billion in federal stimulus funds were allocated to support energy technology innovation, green jobs and low-income energy efficiency assistance programs.

Tidal Marshes Compared for Effectiveness in Improving Quality of Estuaries

Professor Christopher Craft is co-author of an article published in the May/June issue of the Soil Science Society of America Journal.

Professor Vicky Meretsky has turned to digital photography

Decisions concerning the listing status of a species under the Endangered Species Act require consistent and accurate estimations.

Professor's new book examines interconnected systems

Professor Rafael Reuveny's research has recently been published in a new book, Democracy and Economic Openness in an Interconnected System, from Cambridge University Press.

Researchers discover high levels of algal toxins in Indiana lakes

A team of SPEA researchers, led by professor Bill Jones, has discovered detectable levels of microcystin, a toxin produced by several common species of cyanobacteria, in 68 percent of a sample of Indiana lakes and reservoirs. That's higher than twice the rate at which microcystin was found in a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The national survey found microcystins in 32 percent of lakes and reservoirs.

Carbon Capture: Viable for Indiana?

A year ago, two Indiana University professors helped organize a summit of national technology, science, policy and regulatory experts through the Indiana Office of Energy Development. The summit focused on the opportunities and challenges of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and its relevance in Indiana. Now, a summary of the summit's findings is available from the State of Indiana's Web site.

Effects of sea-level rise on tidal marsh ecosystems

The coastal wetlands in the U.S. are essential to the ecological and economic health of many communities. They serve as habitats for many birds and animals, they filter out many pesticides and pollutants sent "downriver," and they protect shorelines from the worst impacts of storms and flooding. However, predicted rising sea levels due to climate change have raised many questions about what will happen to the nation's shorelines. Through the support of the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, Professor Chris Craft and a team of researchers examine the coastline marshes of the southeast to determine their susceptibility to climate change. They came away with a model that may predict the future picture of our nation's coastal wetlands.

SPEA publication addresses challenges of carbon capture and storage

Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is a promising tool that may help the United States meet future energy needs while controlling emissions of greenhouse gases linked to climate change, Indiana University researchers say in a new policy brief.