Nat Keohane

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Nat Keohane
Spouse(s)Georgia Levenson Keohane
InstitutionEnvironmental Defense Fund
FieldEnvironmental economics
School or
Environmental economics
Alma materYale University
Harvard University
Robert Stavins
InfluencesMartin Weitzman
Richard Zeckhauser
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Nathaniel O. "Nat" Keohane is an American environmental economist who serves as vice president for international climate at the Environmental Defense Fund. He used to be in academia at Yale University and served in the White House as special assistant to President Barack Obama.[1] He is married to Georgia Levenson Keohane, a Senior Fellow at New America.[2]

Education and career[edit]

Keohane received a B.A. in Economics from Yale University in 1993. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University in 2001. From 2001 to 2007, he was an Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor of Economics at the Yale School of Management.[1] Keohane then became Director of Economic Policy and Analysis and then Chief Economist at Environmental Defense Fund.[1] While there he played "a leading role in helping to shape the group's advocacy on domestic and international climate policy."[3]

As an expert on environmental policy, Keohane testified before various committees of the United States House of Representatives. His testimony included two appearances before the Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.[4][5] He also submitted a written statement to a Ways and Means Committee hearing on "Policy Options to Prevent Climate Change".[6]

From January 2011 to mid-2012,[1] Keohane served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment in the National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council, where he helped to develop and coordinate administration policy on a wide range of energy and environmental issues.[3] He rejoined the EDF in September 2012.[1]

Keohane is "noted for his optimism regarding the role markets can play in resolving global warming."[7] Keohane believes most power industry projections of how much it will cost to address global warming are too high.[8] He says estimates tend "to be much higher than the actual costs. The reason is they can't take into account technological innovation."[8] Keohane was an ardent supporter of cap and trade during his first tenure at EDF.[9] He outlined that belief in a 2007 article in which he wrote, "The solution is to harness the power of market forces by establishing firm caps on greenhouse gas emissions… If the government will lead by capping carbon pollution, the primary cause of climate change, the market will respond with investment and innovation on a scale to solve this problem."[10]

In his capacity as special assistant to the President, Nat Keohane was a guest on CNN Tonight,[11] The Diane Rehm Show[12] and interviewed on radio,[13] in relation to a 2012 proposed bill to regulate heat-trapping greenhouse gases, "an important step towards the president's goal of doubling clean energy by 2035," said Keohane.[14]

An accomplished rower while at Yale, he continues to hold the Club Singles course record at the Head of the Charles set in 1997.[15]


Markets and the Environment (Second Edition), with Sheila M. Olmstead (Island Press, 5 January 2016)


  1. ^ a b c d e EDF (2012-09-14). "Nathaniel Keohane rejoins EDF as Vice President". Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  2. ^ "Georgia Levenson Keohane". New America. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b Darren Samuelsohn (January 3, 2011). "White House hires veteran environmental economist". Politico. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  4. ^ Statement of Nathaniel Keohane in "Hearing on The American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009" before the United States House Committee on Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy and Environment (April 21, 2009), "GPO Serial No. 111–29" (PDF). (45.2 MB), pp. 274–302.
  5. ^ Statement of Nat Keohane in "Hearing on Allowance Allocation Policies in Climate Legislation: Assisting Consumers, Investing in a Clean Energy Future, and Adapting to Climate Change" before the United States House Committee on Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy and Environment (June 9, 2009), "GPO Serial No. 111–44" (PDF). (3.52 MB), pp. 189–98.
  6. ^ Statement of Environmental Defense Fund in "Hearing on Policy Options to Prevent Climate Change" before the United States House Committee on Ways and Means (September 18, 2008), "GPO Serial No. 110-98" (PDF). (14.87 MB), pp. 208–12.
  7. ^ Rob Kanter (November 1, 2009), "Panel to address aspects of policy on climate change", Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette
  8. ^ a b Keith Chu (June 11, 2009). "Anti-pollution efforts in D.C. may cost extra for Oregon power users". The Bulletin. Archived from the original on September 7, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  9. ^ Marc Gunther (May 15, 2008). "A $3 trillion climate change battle". CNN Money. Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  10. ^ Keohane, Nat (12 December 2007). "Time to Act, Not Despair". Environmental Defense Fund. Retrieved 2019-08-27.
  11. ^ Erica Hill (December 7, 2009). ""Climate Change Debate"". CNN Tonight. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  12. ^ Diane Rehm (June 11, 2013). ""The Economic Impact of Climate Change Policy"". The Diane Rehm Show. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Staff writer (February 3, 2010). "Nat Keohane Of The Environmental Defense Fund: Cap & Trade Would Only Cost About $3 For The American People". RTT News. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  14. ^ Robert Bryce (April 2, 2012). "The 'Clean Energy' Stalking Horse". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  15. ^

External links[edit]