EESI Center and Initiatives

Co-Directors: Seth Blumsack and Karen Fisher-Vanden

The Initiative for Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy (EEEP) was established in 2011 with the goal of promoting policy-relevant economics research that lies at the boundary between economic sciences and the study of natural or engineered systems. The EEEP Initiative is focused primarily on the union between energy systems and environmental management and the development of quantitative tools to address decision challenges in these areas. As an Initiative, our goal is to catalyze research in energy and environmental systems economics across the University and to build a world-class group of economists with interests in interdisciplinary collaboration.

EEEP operates as a University-wide Initiative with support provided by the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute; Penn State Institutes for Energy and the Environment; and the Environment and Natural Resources Institute.

Examples of research in energy and environmental systems economics at Penn State include:

  • Electricity markets; the smart grid; integrating renewable electricity; and cyber-security in energy infrastructures;
  • Economic impacts and risks associated with global climate change;
  • The design and implementation of energy-efficient building systems;
  • Valuation of ecosystem services;
  • Implications of Marcellus Shale natural gas development for energy markets and environmental quality;
  • Global markets for rare earth minerals.

EEEP activities include a periodic seminar series featuring internal and external speakers, and an Initiative Affiliate program for students and faculty. Initiative Affiliates are eligible for small research and travel grants from the Initiative.


Seth Blumsack
Associate Professor of Energy Economics and Policy
John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering
124 Hosler Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-7597


Karen Fisher-Vanden
Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics
Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology
112-E Armsby Building
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-867-2752