Alan Carlin

Carlin Economics and Science

Dr. Alan Carlin has been carrying out or supervising economic and scientific research on public policy issues for more than 40 years, first at The RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, and from 1971 to 2009 at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC.  During that time he carried out or supervised more than a hundred policy-related studies on climate change, pollutant assessment, energy economics and development, environmental economics, transportation economics, benefit-cost analysis, and economic development.

Dr. Carlin is the author or co-author of seven published papers and a book on climate change or energy pricing. For seven years he supervised the production of a wide variety of criteria documents very similar in concept (but not in implementation) to EPA’s draft endangerment Technical Support Document. He is a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.

Dr. Carlin has an extensive background of working with and in environmental organizations as a volunteer.  In the late 1960s he worked very closely with the Sierra Club to present economic arguments against the construction of two proposed dams in the Grand Canyon of Arizona.  This campaign was ultimately successful and the dams were not built.  In 1970-71 he served as chairman of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, then the Club’s second largest chapter.  He received the Chapter’s Weldon Heald award for conservation work.

Dr. Carlin, now retired, was a 37-year career environmental economist and scientist at EPA when, in June 2009, the Competitive Enterprise Institute broke the story of his negative 100-page report reviewing the agency’s draft Endangerment Finding. As a result, Dr. Carlin’s supervisor ordered him not to discuss climate change with anyone outside his group and to stop working on the issue.

EPA’s attempt to silence Dr. Carlin became a highly publicized embarrassment to the agency, especially given Administrator Lisa Jackson’s and President Barack Obama’s announced commitment to transparency and scientific integrity. Press coverage included CBS News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the London Telegraph.

Since his retirement in 2010, Dr. Carlin has concentrated on writing a book (published in 2015) and a weekly blog on climate. Watch Dr. Carlin’s presentations at Heartland’s international conferences on climate change here.


Ph.D., Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

B.S., Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA



Senior Operations Research Analyst, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, 1974 to 2010

Director, Implementation Research Division, USEPA, 1971-74

Economist, The RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, 1963-71.


Publications in Reverse Chronological Order

The Increasing Need for Research on Geoengineering Approaches to Reducing Potential Global Cooling, in Yu. A. Izrael, A.G. Ryaboshapko, and S.A. Gromov, editors, Investigation of Possibilities of Climate Stabilization Using New Technologies, Proceedings of International Scientific Conference, “Problems of Adaptation to Climate Change” (Moscow, 7-9 November 2011), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 2012, pp. 24-34.

 A Multidisciplinary, Science-Based Approach to the Economics of Climate Change, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 8 (4) (April 2011): 985-1031.

Comments on Draft Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act, unpublished report prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency but not representing the agency’s views.

Why a Different Approach Is Required if Global Climate Change Is to Be Controlled Efficiently or Even at All, Environmental Law and Policy Review 32 (2) (Spring 2008): 685-757.  Abstract

Risky Gamble, Environmental Forum 24 (5) (September/October 2007): 42-47.  Abstract

Global Climate Change Control: Is There a Better Strategy than Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions?, University of Pennsylvania Law Review 155 (6) (June 2007): 1401-1497 Abstract

Implementation and Utilization of Geoengineering for Global Climate Change Control, Sustainable Development Law and Policy 7 (2) (Winter 2007): 56-58. Abstract

The New Challenge to Cost-Benefit Analysis: How Sound Is the Opponents’ Empirical Case?  Regulation, Fall 2005, pp. 18-23.

Measures of Mortality Risks (with W. Kip Viscusi and John K. Hakes), 1997  Abstract  Full Text: Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 14 (3) (May/June 1997): 213-233.  Earlier report to EPA.

Cost Savings from the Use of Market Incentives for Pollution Control (with Robert C. Anderson, Albert M. McGartland, and Jennifer B. Weinberger), in Richard F. Kosobud and Jennifer M. Zimmerman (editors), Market-Based Approaches to Environmental Policy: Regulatory Innovations to the Fore. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1997, pp. 15-46. 

EPA Comments on Proposed NOAA/DOI Regulations on Natural Resource Damage Assessment, Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, October 1994.  Abstract

Environmentally Responsible Energy Pricing (with W. Kip Viscusi, Wesley A. Magat, and Mark Dreyfus), 1994. Energy Journal 15 (2) (April 1994): 23-42.  Abstract    

The United States Experience with Economic Incentives to Control Environmental Pollution, Report No. 230-R-92-001, Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, July 1992.  Abstract

Environmental Investments: The Cost of Cleaning Up (with Paul F. Scodari and Don H. Garner), 1991.  Environment 34 (2) (March 1991): 12-45.

Environmental Investments: The Cost of a Clean Environment, A Summary (with the assistance of the Environmental Law Institute), 1990, Report No. EPA-230-90-084, Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, December 1990. Abstract

Environmental Investments: The Cost of a Clean Environment, Report of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to the Congress of the United States, 1990, Report No. EPA-230-90-083, November.  Republished with previous entry by Washington, DC and Covelo, CA: Island Press, 1991. Abstract

“Introduction,” in Thomas D. Crocker (editor), Economic Perspectives on Acid Rain Control, Stoneham, MA: Butterworth, 1984.

Benefits of Pollution Control, March 1974.  Full text: Philip L. White and Diane Roberts (editors), Environmental Quality and Food Supply. Mt. Kisco, NY: Futura Publishing Company, pp. 39-47.

The Grand Canyon Controversy; or, How Reclamation Justifies the Unjustifiable, 1973.  Full text in Alain C. Enthoven and A. Myrick Freeman (editors), Pollution, Resources, and the Environment, New York, NY: W.W. Norton, pp. 263-270. Abstract and order info.

Environmental Problems: Their Causes, Cures and Evolution Using Southern California Smog as an Example (with George Kocher), Report R-640-CC/RC, Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, May 1971.  Abstract and order info.

Water Resources Development in an Environmentally-Conscious Era, 1971.  Full text: Water Resources Bulletin 7 (4) (April 1971): 221-223. Reprinted in Charles J. Meyers and A. Dan Tarlock (editors), Selected Legal and Economic Aspects of Environmental Protection, Mineola, NY: Foundation Press, 1971, pp. 53-56.

Marginal Cost Pricing of Airport Runway Capacity (with R.E. Park), 1970.  Full text: American Economic Review LX (3) (June 1970): 310.  Reprinted in Peter Forsyth, Kenneth Button, and Peter Nijkamp (editors), Air Transport Classics in Transport Analysis. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2002, pp. 491-500.  Abstract and order info.

A Model of Long Delays at Busy Airports (with R.E. Park), 1970, Journal of Transport Economics and Policy IV (1) (January 1970): 37-62.  Abstract and order info.

The Efficient Use of Airport Runway Capacity in a Time of Scarcity (with R.E. Park), 1969, Report R-5807-PA, Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, August 1969.  Abstract and order info.

Alternative Development Strategies for Air Transportation in the New York Region, 1970-1980 (with H.S. Campbell, S.L. Katten, T.F. Kirkwood, D.M. Landi, R.E. Park, L. Rounnau, and A.J. Rolfe), 1969, Report RM-5815-PA, Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, August 1969.

An Economic Re-Evaluation of the Proposed Los Angeles Rapid Transit System (with Martin Wohl), 1968, Paper P-3918, Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation.  Abstract and order info

The Economics of Transport Development, 1968, in United Nations Development Programme, Fund of the United Nations for the Development of West Irian, A Design for Develop­ment in West Irian, New York, NY: United Nations, pp. 162-170.

The Grand Canyon Controversy: Lessons for Federal Cost-Benefit Practices, 1968.  Land Economics XLIV (2) (May 1968): 219-227.  Reprinted in Charles J. Meyers and A. Dan Tarlock (eds.), Water Resource Management. Mineola, NY: Foundation Press, 1971, pp. 459-468.  Earlier version printed in U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Central Arizona Project, Hearings before Subcommittee, 90th Congress, 1st Session, May 2-5, 1967, pp. 507-514.  Also in House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Colorado River Basin Project, Hearings before Subcommittee, 90th Congress, 1st Session, March 13-17, 1967, pp. 611-618.  Abstract and order info.

Vehicle Safety: Why the Market Did Not Encourage It and How It Might Be Made To Do So, 1968, Report RM-5634-DOT, Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, April 1968.  Abstract.

Indian Transportation: A Sectoral Approach to Developmental Constraints, 1967, The Journal of Development Studies (July): 414-439.  Abstract and order info.

Project versus Program Aid: From the Donor’s Viewpoint, 1967, The Economic Journal (March): 48-58.  Reprinted in Stephen Spiegelglas and Charles J. Welsh (ed.), Economic Develop­ment: Challenge and Promise. Englewood Cliffs, NY: Prentice-Hall, 1970, pp. 350-359.  Also in Gustav Ranis (ed.), The United States and the Developing Economies, Revised Edition. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1973, pp. 158-171.  Abstract and order info.

The Grand Canyon Controversy-1967: Further Economic Comparisons of Nuclear Alternatives (with William E. Hoehn), Senate Hearings, op. cit., pp. 489-497 and House Hearings, pp. 619-625.  Abstract and order info.

Is the Marble Canyon Project Economically Justified? (with William E. Hoehn) 1967, printed in U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Lower Colorado River Basin Project, Hearings before Subcommittee, Part II, May 9-18, pp. 1497-1512.  Abstract and order info.

Mr. Udall’s ‘Analysis’: An Unrepentant Rejoinder (with William E. Hoehn), 1966, ibid., pp. 1521-1535.  Abstract

Review of “Aspects of Economic Development and Policy” by B.K. Madon, American Economic Review (September): 900-902.  

A Possible U.S. Policy towards Indian Transportation: An Illustration of Improved Sectoral Policies, 1965, Report RM-4379-AID, Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation, June 1965.  Abstract and order info.

An Evaluation of U.S. Government Aid to India, June 1964 (partial text through Chapter 2).  Abstract.

Alan Carlin Contributions

August 22, 2019
  • Environment & Energy
July 12, 2019
  • Climate Change
  • Environment & Energy