Faculty Research Director
Project Team Leads
Yunyi (Erica) Huang
The recent passage of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is one the most ambitious Federal programs that encourages renewable energy use, green consumer purchases, and funding for climate justice. Less well documented are fights across states on environmental policies. In this pilot project, we will collect data on proposed environmental legislation across a number of large states in the United States for the past five years. We are particularly interested in bills related to energy production, including subsidies for renewable energy and regulations of emissions from fossil fuels. Our goal is to identify the companies and interest groups supporting and opposing major energy legislation across states. Research assistants will be assigned as a state expert, by first documenting the major environmental legislation from 2018-2022 for the 10 largest US states (California, Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan).
Project Team Co-Leads
Yunyi (Erica) Huang
IPD Project Team Leader
Erica (Yunyi) Huang leads the Renewable Energy team at IPD. Her research interests lie at the intersection of international political economy (trade, investment, and development finance) and environmental politics in the context of emerging markets. She is particularly interested in the domestic determinants of China’s outward economic activities, and the underlying political mechanisms. Prior to UT Austin, Yunyi earned her Bachelor of Laws from Peking University and Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins SAIS. She worked as a Policy Analyst for NGOs in international environmental negotiations. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming and musical plays.
Eugenia M. Kalifa
Eugenia Marcos Kalifa, originally from Monterrey, Mexico, is currently in her fourth year, pursuing a degree in Economics with a minor in Global Management. Recently, she returned from a transformative study abroad experience in Italy. Eugenia actively contributes to her university community as a member of the LEBA organization at UT. Her research pursuits center around renewable energy, reflecting her passion for sustainability. After completing her undergraduate studies, she envisions herself pursuing a master’s program to further her knowledge and career prospects.
Yara Abbas is a second-year graduate student at UT Austin. She is in Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs majoring in Global Policy. She is from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and she earned her BA in Computer Science from Felician University, graduating with the highest honors, summa cum laude. She is passionate about learning and growing, and she loves using her skills to make a positive impact. Her policy interests at the LBJ School include energy efficiency, environmental protection, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. She is here to make the world a better place, one renewable energy project at a time.
Cherie Wang is in her freshman year in McCombs at the University of Texas pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business. She is starting her first year working with IPD as a member of the comms team and the Renewable Energy project. She is interested in statistics, data analysis, and policy research in various fields. In particular, she is excited to learn about investment and development in green tech this year and is also passionate about issues of social justice and reducing corruption.
Izabella C. Galindo
Izabella Cruz Galindo is a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s in Health & Society and a minor in Health Communication. She is a member of the Renewable Energy research team and also works within IPD’s Communications team. Within the university, Izabella is actively engaged in two UT Student Government agencies: Hook the Vote & Disability Inclusion. As she intends to graduate this spring, she plans to apply for various graduate programs in public health. In her spare time, she enjoys quality moments with her two cats and indulging in thrift store shopping.
Mary Smith is a junior in the college of liberal arts perusing a degree in economics with a minor in journalism and media. She is passionate about the intersection of energy, the environment, and economics. This interest has manifested in her volunteer and research experience. In her free time, she likes to find deals on Ebay and bake sweet treats.