Brian C. Prest

Fellow; Director, Social Cost of Carbon Initiative

Brian Prest is an economist and fellow at RFF specializing in the economics of climate change, energy economics, and oil and gas supply. Prest uses economic theory and econometrics to improve energy and environmental policies by assessing their impacts on society. His recent work includes improving the scientific basis of the social cost of carbon and economic modeling of various policies around oil and gas supply. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Nature, the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. His work has also been featured in popular press outlets including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Reuters, the Associated Press, and Barron’s.

Prest holds a PhD from Duke University and previously worked in both the public and private sectors. At the Congressional Budget Office, he developed economic models of various energy sectors to analyze the effects of proposed legislation, including the 2009 Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill and related Clean Electricity Standards. At NERA Economic Consulting, he conducted electricity market modeling, project valuation, and discounted cash flow analysis of various infrastructure investments in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia, with a focus on the power sector.


  • PhD in environmental and resource economics, Duke University, 2018
  • BA in economics, Williams College, 2009

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