Brian Murray

Brian Murray

Research Professor of Environmental Economics

Director, Duke Energy Initiative

Dr. Brian C. Murray is Director of the Duke University Energy Initiative, Research Professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment, and a Faculty Affiliate of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the Duke Initiative for Science & Society. In 2015 he was Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Environment and Economy at University of Ottawa’s Institute of the Environment.  He is widely recognized for his work on the economics of energy and climate change policy, including the design of market based mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gases and deploy low-carbon energy. Members of the United States Congress, state legislators and regulators have sought the counsel of Dr. Murray and colleagues in developing energy and climate legislative proposals and regulatory options.  Their development of the cost containment reserve mechanism is now in use in several greenhouse cap-and-trade programs in North America.  Dr. Murray has been invited as a co-author of several national and international assessments of natural resources, especially related to energy and climate change. Of particular note, he serves on a National Academy of Sciences panel on greenhouse gases and the tax code, where he led the panel’s efforts on biofuel subsidies.  He was a convening lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry. He has convened several forums of economic modeling experts to examine and communicate the results of their climate, energy and land use policy efforts to the public and private sectors.  His research has examined the economic effects of traditional command-based regulatory strategies for pollution control and more market-oriented approaches such as cap-and-trade programs and emission taxes.  He has been a consultant to a wide range of clientele in the public and private sector, including numerous federal government agencies, members of Congress and their staff, state regulatory agencies, CEOs and senior staff from Fortune 500 companies, trade groups, nongovernmental organizations, and other academic institutions.   His work has been published in books, edited volumes, and professional journals, including Science, Nature Climate Change, The American Economic Review, The Review of Economics and Statistics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Land Economics, Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Environmental and Resource Economics, Ecological Economics, PLOS One, Ecological Applications, Climatic Change, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Energy Journal, Energy Policy, and Forest Science.   Prior to coming to the Nicholas Institute in 2006, Dr. Murray was Director of the Center for Regulatory Economics and Policy Research at RTI International, a university-affiliated not-for-profit research institution. 

In The News


Bistline, J. E., E. Hodson, C. G. Rossmann, J. Creason, B. Murray, and A. R. Barron. “Electric sector policy, technological change, and U.S. emissions reductions goals: Results from the EMF 32 model intercomparison project.” Energy Economics 73 (June 1, 2018): 307–25.
Creason, Jared R., John E. Bistline, Elke L. Hodson, Brian C. Murray, and Charles G. Rossmann. “Effects of technology assumptions on US power sector capacity, generation and emissions projections: Results from the EMF 32 Model Intercomparison Project..” Energy Economics 73 (January 2018): 290–306.
Murray, Brian C., John Bistline, Jared Creason, Evelyn Wright, Amit Kanudia, and Francisco de la Chesnaye. “The EMF 32 study on technology and climate policy strategies for greenhouse gas reductions in the U.S. electric power sector: An overview..” Energy Economics 73 (January 2018): 286–89.
Murray, B. C., C. S. Galik, and T. Vegh. “Biogas in the United States: estimating future production and learning from international experiences.” Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 22, no. 3 (March 1, 2017): 485–501.
Wiener, J., J. Monast, and B. Murray. “On Morals, Markets, and Climate Change: Exploring Pope Francis’ Challenge.” Law & Contemporary Problems 80 (2017): 135–62.

Recent Grants


ENERGY 795: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects (ENERGY 795: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects)
ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
ENERGY 790: Special Topics in Energy (ENERGY 790: Special Topics in Energy)
ENERGY 796: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects (ENERGY 796: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects)
ENERGY 396: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects (ENERGY 396: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects)

Contact Information

Box 90467
Durham, NC 27708
140 Science Drive, Gross Hall, Ste 101 Box 90467
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., Duke University (1992)
M.S., Duke University (1987)
B.S., University of Delaware (1983)