Finding the Balance

The energy sector is a realm of constant change. Scientific and technological advances continually re-define possibilities in exploration, development, and end-uses. Economic, political, and environmental forces determine whether the technically possible is socially desirable.

Economics, geopolitics, and regulatory frameworks are as important as geology and technology. Resolving the “above-ground” factors will determine our long-term energy and environmental security and thus economic prosperity. Providing solutions that are vetted and reliable is an important step in this process.

Data Driven Analysis

The Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies (CES) is a data-driven policy research center that generates non-partisan insights into the impact of economics, geopolitics, technology, and regulation on energy markets.

Policy based on emotion or incomplete data is an invitation to crisis. Multiple margins of response make policy formulation complex, and we must always be aware of the law of unintended consequences. CES brings broad perspective to the policy arena by gathering specialists from economics, earth sciences, engineering, industry, and government to encourage sustainable energy practices. 

CES provides a forum for academics, industry leaders, and policymakers to investigate issues critical to ensuring adequate and environmentally responsible energy resource development for a growing world economy. CES fellows and scholars provide high-quality, peer-reviewed studies and high-impact policy outreach through testimony on Capitol Hill, interaction with policymakers, and a reputation for reliable, fact-based examination of critical energy issues.   

By relying upon data-driven analysis – and adhering to a strict, non-partisan approach to developing policy solutions – CES has become one of the top-ranked university-based energy and natural resource think tanks in the world. 

Non-Partisan Solutions

The intersection of economics, science, and policy is filled with potential conflict. Experts often lack perspective outside their specialty, and inadequate understanding can lead to ineffective or misguided policy. In addition, competing special interests can capitalize on incomplete frameworks and make the potential for conflict more salient.

Fellows and Scholars at CES are developing sophisticated models that enhance the understanding of direct and indirect linkages between energy market developments and economic, geopolitical, and technological innovations. These tools allow the CES – with contributions by experts from multiple disciplines – to produce reliable and balanced policy recommendations that avoid negative unintended consequences. 

The classic view of earth at night  reveals where energy is consumed around the world. These places are typically far from hydrocarbon resources, making trade relationships and geopolitics central to the provision of energy services. Economic growth requires energy, which can come in a variety of forms. As part of e2i’s 21st century mission, the faculty at CES focus on policies aimed at sustainable development and efficient distribution of energy resources.


“Geopolitics — not just geology —has a major influence on our energy future; and the energy leaders of tomorrow will need to be very knowledgeable not only of international affairs, but skilled in the art of diplomacy, as well as dedicated to corporate social responsibility in the countries in which they are engaged.”

- Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian, Founding Director, Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University