CareyKing_McCombsPhoto.jpgDr. Carey W King performs interdisciplinary research related to how energy systems interact within the economy and environment as well as how our policy and social systems can make decisions and tradeoffs among these often competing factors. The past performance of our energy systems is no guarantee of future returns, yet we must understand the development of past energy systems.  Carey’s research goals center on rigorous interpretations of the past to determine the most probable future energy pathways.

Carey is Assistant Director at the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, and Research Associate with the  Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy within the Jackson School of Geosciences. He has both a B.S. with high honors and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He has published technical articles in the academic journals Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Research Letters, Nature Geoscience, Energy Policy, Sustainability, and Ecology and Society. He has also written commentary for Earth magazine discussing energy, water, and economic interactions. Dr. King has several patents as former Director for Scientific Research of Uni-Pixel Displays, Inc.

Carey’s Curriculum Vitae: pdficon_small PDF


Latest Blogs and News Stories

The Rising Cost of Resources and Global Indicators of Change

Dr. King’s new article in American Scientist (November/December 2015 issue).

The turn of this century saw the cheapest-ever energy and food combined, and here’s why we may never return to those historic low numbers.
“Contemporary discussions of energy resources and technologies are full of conflicting news, views, and opinions from extreme sides of arguments. The average person is understandably confused. Depending on who you listen to, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have either placed the United States on the verge of energy independence, or exposed the insolvency of oil and gas companies as they spend more money than they collect from sales. Renewable energy technologies can either obviously serve all of our needs, or are a subsidized path to economic ruin.”  Read more …


Interview and story on the U.S. Crude Oil Export Ban:

2015, September 30: Dr. King is quoted in a recent story discussing crude oil exports (An Industry Divided: Refiners Take On Big Oil In Fight Over Crude Oil Export Ban) and within a radio-spot for the Texas Standard.


What should Texas do about Integrated Water-Energy Policy Decisions?

May 26, 2015: This is a guest blog for The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.  In the blog I discuss the ongoing lawsuit between the Texas Farm Bureau and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regarding the allocation of water rights in Texas’ Brazos River Basin.  One of the issues is whether or not electric power generators should have guaranteed access to water during droughts even if they do not have water rights more senior than some farmers.  I also close with numbers about how much water is consumed for power generation in Texas, and the quantities are much smaller than stated in the Texas State Water Plan.

Just how big is an XL pipeline?

February 23, 2015:  Considering the topic of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to be built by TransCanada, just how “extra large”, or XL, is it?  In analyzing this question, most analyses focus so much on the small question of the relative impact of the pipeline that they miss the extra large picture: more pipelines mean more shipping options, more options provide (possibly) cheaper options, and cheaper options enable more consumption.  In short, more begets more, not less.

RE < C: The end of a project and the stereotype of Silicon Valley

December 1, 2014:      Google’s foray into energy, the “RE<C = Renewable Energy less than Coal” was typical of the Silicon Valley mentality that is used to “solving” some technological problem quickly, selling the company or idea to a larger company, and then moving on to the next great app.  Whether it is RE<C or making advanced biofuels from algae or cellulosic feedstocks, the Silicon Valley stereotype thinks the “energy problem” will be solvable just like cellular phones and that their “energy days” will be another line on their CV.

September 8, 2014: Why only comparing energy prices is not enough: Case Study of Residential PV and electricity in Germany and the United States

April 1, 2014: Do the math – no, the U.S. can’t punish Putin by exporting oil and gas