Karen Palmer is a senior fellow and research director at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC, where she is also associate director for electricity at the Center for Climate and Electricity Policy. Dr. Palmer specializes in the economics of environmental regulation and public utility regulation, particularly concerning issues at the intersection of air quality regulation and the electricity sector. Her work seeks to improve the design of incentive-based environmental and technology regulations that influence the electric utility sector.
She has written several papers on the economics of energy efficiency and of different policy approaches to promote it. She is co-author of the book, Alternating Currents: Electricity Markets and Public Policy, published by RFF Press in 2002. In the 1990s, Dr. Palmer spent six months as a visiting economist in the Office of Economic Policy at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She has served on two National Research Council study panels, one on New Source Review for stationary sources and the other on the future of electricity from renewables. She also serves on several advisory panels, including the Environmental Advisory Council to the New York Independent Service Operator (ISO). Dr. Palmer earned her PhD in economics from Boston College in 1990.