Olmstead, Sheila | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D. in Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2002
  • MPAff, LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, 1996
  • B.A. in Political and Social Thought, University of Virginia, 1992
Research Areas
  • Environmental Economics and Policy
  • Natural Resource Economics and Policy
  • Energy Economics and Policy
Teaching Areas
  • Economics
  • Environmental and Energy Policy

Sheila Olmstead is a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin (UT), a visiting fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF) in Washington, DC and a senior fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Mont. From 2016 to 2017, she served as the senior economist for energy and the environment at the President's Council of Economic Advisers.

Before joining UT in 2013, Dr. Olmstead was a senior fellow (2013) and fellow (2010–13) at RFF, as well as associate professor (2007–10) and assistant professor (2002–07) of environmental economics at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is currently an editor of the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. She has also served as vice president and a member of the board of directors of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, as associate editor of Water Resources Research, as co-editor of Environmental and Resource Economics, book review editor of Water Economics and Policy, and as editorial council member for the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. Dr. Olmstead holds a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University (2002), a master's in public affairs from The University of Texas at Austin (1996) and a B.A. from the University of Virginia (1992).

Media Expertise
  • Energy Policy
  • Energy Water Nexus
  • Evaluation of Energy and Water Conservation Programs
  • Water Policy
  • Environmental Policy
  • Climate Change
  • Econometrics
  • Economics
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Natural Resource Management


NewsMarch 31, 2022
The U.S. can get close to deep decarbonization by 2050, study finds

The United States will get only partially toward deep reductions in greenhouse gases with the policy tools currently available even in the scenario most favorable politically to decarbonization. That's the finding from a recent study published in Energy Policy by a team of interdisciplinary researchers from The University of Texas at Austin that looked at the political feasibility of deep decarbonization in the United States. The results suggest that new policies and tools will be needed to reduce greenhouse gases from sectors like heavy industry.

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NewsDecember 1, 2021
Call for Proposals: The Economics of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)

Long-run climate change mitigation projections made by institutions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to national and sub-national governments suggest that carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) may play a key role in achieving mid- and late-century decarbonization goals. We are issuing this call for proposals on CCUS economics and policy. We invite prospective authors to submit proposals for new, original research papers on any aspect of CCUS economics and policy by Friday, Feb. 11, 2022.

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NewsJune 18, 2021
Sheila Olmstead, Andrew Waxman, Ben Leibowicz lead team awarded $850,000 to study the economics of carbon capture and storage

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded a team led by LBJ School Professor of Public Affairs Sheila Olmstead a $850,000 grant to study the economics of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS). The three-year project is a unique collaboration between social science scholars at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Wyoming, supported by physical science experts at UT's Bureau of Economic Geology. It will not only develop and complete four projects on the economics of CCUS, but will also create an interdisciplinary research network to engage further study.

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