LSU CES News 2012 Full




Dismukes Participates in D.C. Forum on Federal Wind Production Tax Credit

David Dismukes participated in a forum titled "The Fate of Energy Policy in the Lame Duck: Will the Wind PTC Fly?" in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, November 14. The forum was hosted by the American Energy Alliance and congressional daily publication The Hill. Also participating in the event were Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas), and former Texas Senator Phil Gramm. Attendees included Capitol Hill staff and media.

The event follows the release of Dismukes’ recent study, “Removing Big Wind's ‘Training Wheels’: The Case for Ending the Federal Production Tax Credit,” which finds that the federal wind PTC is “an inefficient, expensive, and unsustainable policy mechanism for promoting wind.” The credit, which was enacted in 1992 to boost the wind industry, provides wind producers with a subsidy of $22 per megawatt hour of electricity generated. It has has been extended seven times and is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012.

Click here to view the video.



Report Shows Federal Wind Production Tax Credit “Inefficient” as Policy Mechanism

The PTC, which was enacted in 1992 to boost the wind industry, provides wind producers with a subsidy of $22 per megawatt hour of electricity generated. The PTC has been extended seven times and is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012.

In the report, titled “Removing Big Wind's ‘Training Wheels’: The Case for Ending the Federal Production Tax Credit,” Dismukes argues against renewal of the subsidy, citing the following:

  • Contrary to popular rhetoric, the wind industry is not an “infant industry” in need of continued assistance but an established industry with 50,000 megawatts of capacity, representing close to a five-fold increase since 2006.
  • Wind development has been driven more by renewable portfolio standard (or RPS) mandates than by the PTC for the past five to eight years, and RPS mandates have established a substantial guaranteed long-term market for renewables, including wind, that is expected to triple by 2030, even without the PTC. In addition, Standards & Poor’s recently estimated that new renewable energy investment opportunities could amount to $150 billion over the next 10 years, even if the PTC is not renewed. Billions of dollars in federal tax subsidies, along with mandated state renewable subsidies, would allow wind generators to “double dip,” and would result in “a gross waste of limited fiscal resources.”
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that renewable generation will rise from 500 billion kilowatt-hours in 2011 to approximately 750 billion kilowatt-hours by 2035 without the PTC or other incentives; therefore, “the federal wind PTC is not needed to ensure an increase in future wind generation.”
  • The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that a one-year extension of the federal wind PTC will cost taxpayers $12.1 billion. The “one-size-fits-all” approach of the federal wind PTC fails to recognize the industry’s heterogeneity and operational differences. The result is wasteful fiscal spending from over-subsidizing projects.
  • The federal PTC is inequitable. Over 50 percent of wind capacity is located in five states, and over 75 percent is located in 11 states, but the federal PTC shifts wind energy development costs from taxpayers in the RPS states to those with little or no wind development. Taxpayers in states without RPS mandates pay approximately 24 percent of the PTC funding without direct benefit.


For these reasons and others, Dismukes argues that the federal PTC should expire. It has “morphed from an ill-designed temporary subsidy for a purportedly ‘infant industry,’ into an inequitable tax hand-out for what is clearly a well-established industry that distorts markets and allows wind to compete unfairly with both conventional generation resources and even other types of renewables.”

The report was prepared for the American Energy Alliance (or AEA). Founded in May 2008, the AEA is a not-for-profit organization that engages in grassroots public policy advocacy and debate concerning energy and environmental policies.

Click here to download a copy of the report.



Natural Gas: The Native Alternative

The city of Lafayette, La., explores "The Native Alternative," natural gas, to fuel its fleets and transit system.

See the video here.




Tuscaloosa Marine Shale expected to propel La.'s economy

Unconventional hyrdrocarbon resources could contribute billions of dollars in commerce to Louisiana. David Dismukes, professor and CES associate executive director, writes about the potential economic impacts of the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale in a recent article for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.



Video highlights Center's research

View the CES video here.

Video production by Red Six Media.
The Center for Energy Studies would like to thank Dan Borné for providing voice over for this video.




Fracking, Environmental Issues Focus of Gulf States Energy Retreat June 20 & 21

Technological advances in drilling and related environmental issues will be the topics of the Gulf States Energy Retreat, presented by the LSU Center for Energy Studies and Jones Walker law firm, June 20 and 21. The event will be held at the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium in the Energy, Coast & Environment Building on the LSU campus. The two half-day conference will feature experts in mineral law, drilling technology, and water and environmental issues related to horizontal drilling.

For details and registration information, visit Gulf States Enregy Retreat webpage.



The Center for Energy Studies and the Coastal Marine Institute

Since the mid-1990s, the Center has produced studies on the history, performance and socioeconomic impacts of the offshore oil and gas industry for the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, formerly the Minerals Management Service.

The majority of the Center's projects have been funded through the Coastal Marine Institute or CMI, a funding program created in 1992 by a cooperative agreement between LSU and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The following video, prepared for the CMI 20th Anniversary Symposium, held April 23, 2012, summarizes just a few of the Center for Energy Studies’ CMI projects.

Click here to view the video.



Dismukes discusses advanced technologies of coal, nuclear at Manhattan Institute

David Dismukes, CES associate executive director, participated in a Manhattan Institute panel discussion titled “Keeping the Lights On: What Role for Coal and Nuclear” March 1 at the Princeton Club in New York City.  Dismukes explained that, in the U.S., adding nuclear capacity would be much more expensive than coal or gas. Nuclear would cost several thousand dollars per kilowatt of installed capacity versus closer to $1,000/KW for coal or gas. Dismukes said that natural gas is the "safest play" for building a new power plant but cautioned that overbuilding gas-fired infrastructure could trigger eventual gas price increases over the longer term.

To view the full panel discussion, visit the Manhattan Institute’s website at



Coastal Marine Institute Research and Energy Industry Symposium 2012

20th Anniversary Symposium
Monday, April 23, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
LSU Energy, Coast & Environment Building
Dalton J. Woods Auditorium


Twenty years of CMI’s research, output, and impact. Advance your understanding of how Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) energy exploration and production impact the natural environments and socio-economic health of coastal Louisiana.

  • Retrospectives by Principal Investigators (PIs) on 20 years of valuable research
  • Discussions on current offshore energy trends and ideas for solving energy issues facing Louisiana
  • Perspectives on the future of the offshore energy industry, specifically Louisiana’s oil, gas, and marine minerals resources

At the heart of this event is the important research coordinated by CMI, a highly productive and cost-effective collaboration among Louisiana State University, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM—formerly the Minerals Management Service), and the State of Louisiana.

Through CMI, over $26 million in research contracts have been awarded to researchers at LSU, LUMCON, UNO, and ULL—producing pivotal and foundational research, as well as positively affecting the scholarly development of more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students.

Click here for more information and registration.



Center for Energy Studies releases report on oil and gas legacy lawsuits

While Louisiana has benefitted from the considerable development of unconventional natural gas activity in the Haynesville shale, conventional drilling activity in South Louisiana has languished. The state’s conventional oil and gas drilling activity, largely concentrated in South Louisiana, is well below levels experienced in other states, due in part to the negative perceptions associated with the filing of numerous “legacy lawsuits,” environmental cases based on claims occurring, in some instances, several decades in the past. These suits have contributed to a significant decrease in conventional Louisiana drilling activity that has resulted in near term economic losses, and could have longer term implications for the state’s mineral revenue collections.

According to a report by David Dismukes, professor and associate executive director of the Center for Energy Studies at Louisiana State University, legacy lawsuits have led to a significant reduction in state conventional drilling activity. The study updates work originally included in a 2005 report produced for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the Louisiana Department of Economic Development examining decreasing Louisiana drilling activity and the economic impacts of that decreased activity.

The new report estimates that over the past eight years, legacy lawsuits have led to a loss of some 1,200 new wells, translating into a total statewide reduction of about $6.7 billion dollars in lost Louisiana drilling investment. The estimate is likely conservative since it excludes the impacts these reduced drilling activities would have on oil and natural gas production, and the mineral revenues generated by this foregone production.

Cumulative legacy-induced economic impacts are estimated to have led to the reduction of

  • Approximately $6.7 billion (in 2010 dollars) in decreased drilling expenditures;
  • Close to $10.5 billion in Louisiana economic output;
  • Over 30,000 employment opportunities in oil and gas activities and supporting jobs; and
  • More than $1.5 billion in wages for those employed directly and indirectly in the oil and gas business

Click here to view or download the report.

The Adovcate's coverage of this presentation.



Coastal Louisiana, Energy and the Environment Topic of Upcoming Talk

Environmental historian Jason Theriot will present "Building America's Energy Corridor: Pipelines, Wetlands, and the Breaux Act" on Monday, January 30, at 4:00 in the Holliday Forum of the Journalism Building.

Theriot, a native of Louisiana, Manship School of Mass Communication alumnus, and fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School for Government will speak on the history of oil and gas development and wetland policy in coastal Louisiana, his research in the John Breaux Papers in the LSU Libraries Special Collections, and the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Macondo oil spill on recent policy developments in the Gulf. The latter is the current direction of his research as a Kennedy School fellow.

With an emphasis on the value of historical research for providing context for public policy-making, he offers a unique and valuable perspective on the ongoing discussion of Louisiana’s efforts to balance economics, energy exploration and extraction, and coastal preservation and restoration. Former U.S. Senator John Breaux’s efforts to secure a steady revenue source for coastal projects through revenue sharing are a central part of Theriot’s narrative and analysis, and the John Breaux Papers provided an important resource for his research.

His dissertation and current book project Building America’s Energy Corridor: Oil and Gas Development and Louisiana Wetlands (University of Houston, 2011), explores the history of pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico, the environmental implications of oil and gas development for coastal Louisiana, and coastal restoration policy and funding.

A reception will follow in Hill Memorial Library, located just across Field House Drive from the Journalism Building.

Theriot will also be featured on the Jim Engster Show on WRKF 98.3 at 9:00 on Jan. 30.

The event is co-sponsored by the following LSU departments: the Coastal Ecology Institute, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Department of History, Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, LSU Libraries Special Collections, Center for Energy Studies, and the Craft and Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering.

For additional information contact Tara Z. Laver, Interim Head of Special Collections, at 578-6546 or

Click here for additional information.