The University of Texas at Austin chartered the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy (CIEEP) in the summer of 2005 to establish a dedicated policy center in one of the University’s longstanding areas leadership, energy, and its confluence with the environment. The center joins the scientific and engineering capabilities of the University’s Jackson School of Geosciences and the College of Engineering with the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Energy has long been part of the Texas economy and lore, and today the State remains the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the Nation. Texas is home to the corporate headquarters of significant operations of nearly all of the multinational energy companies and a large number of mid- and small-cap energy companies. The importance of Texas and the energy companies that operate from here in the international energy picture is clear and substantial.
The University of Texas at Austin has been a part of Texas and global energy, enjoying for many years the fruits of oil and gas production by way of the Permanent University Fund from its University Lands. The University has trained, and continues to train, more petroleum industry leaders and professionals than any other university in the nation.
Impetus for the center
The traditional strength of the University’s energy education and research programs has been in the geoscience and petroleum engineering fields. Despite the critical importance of the technical underpinnings of most national and international energy and environmental policy issues, the University has not developed a strong policy component based on this strength. This changed when the University chartered CIEEP as a joint venture between the Jackson School of Geosciences, the College of Engineering, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
With its base in the Jackson School of Geosciences, CIEEP provides an institutionalized ability to critique, explore, and develop national and international energy and environmental policy options with emphasis on the technical perspective that is most commonly lacking in policy efforts at academic institutions distant from the energy industry and education scene.