The energy landscape is rapidly changing. From advances in hydraulic fracturing and smart grids to developments in wind and solar, technological innovations are continually reshaping the energy sector. Markets and innovation are providing cheaper, cleaner energy than a generation ago. These changes have important implications for producers and consumers. Innovation also affects property rights to energy resources, creating a need for new rights structures and rendering old ones obsolete.
PERC addresses an array of energy policies, from oil and gas leasing to urban energy infrastructure to tribal energy development. We also study the effects of energy taxes, subsidies, and other regulations, in which political whims often trump economic and environmental viability.
A key theme of PERC’s research is that where property rights to energy and environmental resources are well defined and enforced, individuals face the full costs of their actions and take into account the trade-offs between development and preservation. When rights are well defined, markets can effectively resolve conflicts over energy development and environmental protection. As the energy landscape evolves, PERC’s research continues to examine how innovations affects property rights at different levels of the energy sector.