2024 News

Posted May 10, 2024

Center Presents Energy Fundamentals Short Courses

energy fundamentals logoThis summer, the Center for Energy Studies will present two one-week short courses on energy and energy markets. The courses are designed for early career professionals, professionals transitioning into energy, or those seeking advancement within their career paths in industry or government. 

Scheduled for July 8-12 and 15-19, 2024, "Energy Fundamentals" will provide an overview and introduction to the energy sector, with a focus on Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region. Participants will be exposed to the history, science, and economics of producing and consuming energy.

Week 1, “Molecules,” will cover energy derived from coal, oil and gas, biomass, uranium, and hydrogen, as well as critical materials relevant to the energy transition. Week 2, “Electrons,” will cover the electric utility industry and the electricity supply chain, including generation, transmission, and distribution. Emerging technologies, electricity market regulation, wholesale markets, cost-of-service-based regulation, and industry growth opportunities and challenges will also be presented.

Instruction will be provided through a series of lectures given by subject-matter experts, including LSU faculty and staff and representatives from the energy industry and government agencies. CPD and MCLE hours will be available. Each day will have six hours of possible credit hours.

Lectures will take place in the Energy Information Center located in the Energy Coast & Environment Building on LSU’s campus. Short field trips are being considered to energy-related sites on campus and the LSU Center for River Studies facility.

Registration and program details are available on the Energy Fundamentals web page.


Posted April 29, 2024

Upton Named to National Petroleum CouncilNational Petroleum Council logo

Gregory B. Upton, Jr., executive director and associate professor, LSU Center for Energy Studies, has been appointed to the National Petroleum Council (NPC) for the 2024/2025 membership term. The NPC is a federally chartered and privately funded advisory committee that responds to requests from the U.S. Secretary of Energy for analysis and guidance on energy matters involving oil and gas. Most NPC members are industry professionals. Upton will be one of a small number of members representing academia.

Since its founding in 1946, the NPC has prepared more than 200 reports. Currently, the council is completing responses to two study requests from Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. One study will examine at-scale deployment of hydrogen energy through the entire value chain, including production, storage, liquefaction, transportation, and end use, to determine the cost of hydrogen relative to alternatives, how to reduce this cost, and the carbon footprint benefit that would be delivered for each relevant sector. A second study 
will characterize the state of greenhouse gas emissions and emission reduction plans for the natural gas value chain, including extraction, processing, transport, storage, liquefaction, and distribution. This study will identify initiatives that might offer the most impactful, cost-effective, and achievable GHG reduction. 

"I am happy to represent LSU and Center for Energy Studies on the NPC, especially with the current national focus on balancing cost-competitive energy production with achieving meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Upton. 

In March, Upton was named Center for Energy Studies executive director after having served as interim executive director since January 2023. He is a member of several professional associations and currently serves as vice president for conferences for the 2024 U.S. Association for Energy Economics conference, which will be held in Baton Rouge November 3-6. Upton is also a member of the University Advisory Board to the Center for Legislative Energy & Environmental Research. 


Posted March 26, 2024

Upton Named Center for Energy Studies Executive Director

Posted March 26, 2024
BATON ROUGE – LSU Associate Professor-Research Gregory B. Upton, Jr., has been named executive director for the Center for Energy Studies (CES). Upton, who joined the CES faculty as an assistant professor-research in 2014 and was promoted to associate professor-research in 2020, had served as interim executive director since January 2023, when his predecessor David Dismukes retired. 

“It’s a great honor to serve in this capacity,” he said. “I am excited about all of the ways in which CES’s expertise will continue to be utilized, especially now, when the issue of energy is at the forefront of industry, government, and geopolitics.” 

Upton has contributed to more than 30 publications and has presented research on these topics to more than 200 industry, governmental, and academic audiences, including testifying in committees of both chambers of the Louisiana Legislature and a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He is regularly interviewed on live talk radio and other news outlets and has been quoted or cited more than 250 times in local and national media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and NPR. In both 2022 and 2023, Upton logged more than 40 interviews. 

Upton is a principal investigator for a collaborative $3.2 million project funded by the Louisiana Department of Energy and Natural Resources via the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, to estimate methane emissions and costs to plug orphaned and idle oil and gas wells in Louisiana. He is a principle investigator on the $3 million Pelican-Gulf Coast Carbon Removal project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, he serves on the governance board for LSU’s recently announced National Science Foundation grant, the Louisiana’s Energy Transition Engine award. The grant will provide up to $160 million over the next 10 years to support Louisiana’s energy industry, create jobs in the energy sector, develop innovative solutions to energy challenges and help train the world’s energy workforce. Upton collaborated with stakeholders statewide over the past year on this proposal. 

Upton holds a Ph.D. in economics from LSU, where he received both an M.A. and a B.S. in economics, with a concentration in empirical analysis. He is a member of several professional associations and currently serves as vice president for conferences for the 2024 U.S. Association for Energy Economics conference, which will be held in Baton Rouge November 3-6. Upton is also a member of the University Advisory Board to the Center for Legislative Energy & Environmental Research and an appointee to the National Petroleum Council by Department of Energy Secretary Granholm. He is a legislatively appointed member of the Task Force on Local Impacts of Carbon Capture and Sequestration created by Senate Resolution 179 of the 2023 Regular Special Session of the Louisiana Legislature.

Posted March 22, 2024

brian prestSeminar: What Is the Social Cost of Carbon?

Friday, April 5, 2024
2:00 p.m - 4:00 p.m.
Dalton J. Woods Auditorium
Energy, Coast & Environment Building

The LSU Center for Energy Studies & Institute for Energy Innovation are pleased to present Brian Prest, Ph.D., economist and fellow at Resources for the Future, specializing in the economics of climate change, energy economics, and oil and gas supply.

Background on Social Cost of Carbon

During the past year, the federal government updated guidance on conducting cost-benefit analysis, especially pertinent to decarbonization investments. In November 2023, the White House Office of Management & Budget released “OMB Circular No. A-4,” which standardized the way benefits and costs of federal regulatory actions are measured and reported. In December 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency produced a Report on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases.

Thus, policymakers and companies in Louisiana utilizing federal incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) are being asked to credibly document clear costs and benefits of their projects utilizing these guidelines. Simultaneously, Louisiana policymakers and companies involved in activities such as federal offshore leasing, LNG export permits, and methane regulations also have a vested interest in understanding these federal actions.

Dr. Prest coauthored of one of the three seminal papers used in establishing the updated social cost of greenhouse gases (read paper).

Brian Prest uses economic theory and econometrics to improve energy and environmental policies by assessing their impacts on society. His recent work includes improving the scientific basis of the social cost of carbon and economic modeling of various policies around oil and gas supply. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Nature, the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. His work has also been featured in popular press outlets including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Reuters, the Associated Press, and Barron’s.

Prest holds a Ph.D. from Duke University and previously worked in both the public and private sectors. At the Congressional Budget Office, he developed economic models of various energy sectors to analyze the effects of proposed legislation, including the 2009 Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill and related Clean Electricity Standards. At NERA Economic Consulting, he conducted electricity market modeling, project valuation, and discounted cash flow analysis of various infrastructure investments in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia, with a focus on the power sector.

Seminar Parking Information

Parking on campus is available to visitors for a nominal fee. Options include

  • Visitor Daily Parking Permits, which allow visitors to park in commuter parking zones and overflow lots, and
  • Metered Parking. The nearest metered parking spaces to the Energy, Coast & Environment Building are across from Patrick Taylor Hall.

More parking info.

View parking map.


Posted February 26, 2024

advantaged and disadvantaged areas u.s. and la.What Is Environmental Justice?

In January 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order (EO) 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. While the executive order’s focus is climate change, one notable component is the Justice40 Initiative, a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits from certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities. As a result, grant-making agencies are now considering the community benefits associated with proposed projects. 

LSU faculty have collaborated to provide an understanding of EJ and how a researcher or project developer might promote EJ for local communities--information critical for many federally funded projects. Businesses and industries are also seeking to understand EJ, as it impacts their social licenses to operate and can affect their ability to make future investments.

Authors of the report are Keith Hall, director, LSU Energy Law Center, Brian Snyder, associate professor, LSU Department of Environmental Sciences, and Greg Upton, interim executive director, LSU Center for Energy Studies.

Read the report.


Posted February 8, 2024

McLindon Named CES Director of Energy Education and Outreach

Chris McLindonLSU's Center for Energy Studies is proud to announce the appointment of Chris McLindon as the Director of Energy Education and Outreach. McLindon brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in the energy sector, making him an invaluable addition to the CES team. 

In his new role, McLindon will oversee the development and implementation of educational programs aimed at preparing the next generation of energy leaders. He will also assist with outreach efforts to promote awareness and understanding of key energy issues among diverse stakeholders, including policymakers, industry professionals, and the general public.

"We are thrilled to welcome Chris to the Center for Energy Studies," said Greg Upton, interim executive director of the Center. "His passion for energy education and his track record of success make him the ideal candidate to lead our outreach initiatives and drive positive change in the energy sector."

"I am honored to join the talented team at the Center," McLindon said. "And I look forward to collaborating with colleagues and stakeholders to expand educational opportunities."

Prior to joining LSU, McLindon had more than four decades experience. Beginning in 1980, he worked as an exploration geologist for several oil and gas companies in the New Orleans area and was self-employed for several years. He received a B.S. in geology from LSU in 1979. 

McLindon has served as president of the New Orleans Geological Society (NOGS) and has been a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, and the Society of Independent Earth Science Professionals.


Posted January 29, 2024

LSU-led Team Awarded NSF’s Largest-Ever GrantFUEL logo

CES’s Upton Named to Governance Board

A statewide effort led by LSU with more than 50 public and private partners has won the largest grant ever awarded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Louisiana’s Energy Transition Engine award, which will provide up to $160 million over the next 10 years, will support Louisiana’s energy industry, create jobs in the energy sector, develop innovative solutions to energy challenges and help train the world’s energy workforce. 
LSU Center for Energy Studies Interim Executive Director Greg Upton has collaborated with stakeholders statewide over the past year on this proposal and will serve on the project’s governance board. 
Louisiana’s team, called Future Use of Energy in Louisiana, or FUEL, includes private energy companies, universities, community and technical colleges, and state agencies that will work together to drive technology and workforce development in support of Louisiana’s energy industry.  
FUEL will work to solve emerging challenges in areas like carbon capture, transport and storage; hydrogen; use of carbon dioxide to produce low-carbon fuels and essential carbon-based products; water use and management; sustainable manufacturing; and policy development.  

Read the full press release from LSU.