Matthew Kotchen, a Yale expert in environmental economics, has been named to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board for a three-year term.
Kotchen, associate professor of environmental economics and policy at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, will provide technical advice on EPA decisions as a member of the board’s Environmental Economics Advisory Committee.
“Your expertise in environmental economics would be a great asset to the committee,” said Lisa Jackson, administrator of the EPA, in a letter to Kotchen.
Kotchen joined the faculty in 2009 and also teaches at the Yale School of Management and the Department of Economics. His research focuses on energy, climate change, green markets, corporate social responsibility and applied game theory.
“We are thrilled for Matt and for the EPA. He’s a superb economist and his thoughtful analyses will be a huge asset to the agency,” said Peter Crane, dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
Some of Kotchen’s recent work shows the importance of understanding how emissions from electric power plants vary significantly depending on the time of day and their location. For example, electric cars can be more polluting than conventional cars depending on where and when they’re charged, since the electricity may be generated from coal-fired power plants. He said the results are also helping to ascertain the benefits and costs of expanding renewable energy.
“This has implications for how the EPA thinks about air-quality regulations from electric power plants and policies on a range of issues, right down to recommending optimal times for charging electric cars,” he said.
Kotchen also did an analysis with Erin Mansur at Dartmouth College that showed the extent to which an EPA standard on carbon pollution favors the construction of natural-gas power plants over coal plants. Their work on the standard is now being considered as part of the agency’s regulatory review process.
“This is a great opportunity to apply our research and a general analytical perspective to important policy questions,” he said.