Colin Murphy

Policy Advocate

Born and raised in Northern California and fascinated by science from an early age, I work to help bridge the worlds of science and governance in order to promote sustainable transportation and energy systems. I started my career as a biomedical engineer before shifting focus to the problems of public policy and climate change. My graduate work focused on Life Cycle Analysis of advanced biofuel systems and I've been engaged in alternative fuels research and policy development for several years, as a Science Fellow in the California Legislature and now as an advocate. I hold a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering from UC Davis, an M.S. in Science, Technology and Public Policy from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Transportation Technology and Policy from the UC Davis. I am constantly thinking about science communication and how to balance the need to maintain objectivity in science against the need to proactively engage in the policy making process. My son occupies most of my spare time, but I also enjoy coaching collegiate debate and performing improv comedy at Renaissance Faires.

Fun Fact: My first job as a biomedical engineer was recovering tissue from cadavers for transplant, then I moved into the surgical laser field, where I worked primarily in urology.

Entries by this Author

August 01, 2018 Categories: California Clean Energy Climate Change

A Cause for Brief, but Genuine Celebration: California Hits Climate Milestone Early

by Colin Murphy

For most people who work on climate change policy, targets have been aspirational, something we’re working towards. California has changed all that by announcing that its first key…

January 16, 2018 Categories: California Climate Change

What’s in a Cap? How California Should Design the Cap and Trade Price Ceiling.

by Colin Murphy

This blog, on designing the price ceiling for California’s cap and trade system, is part 2 of a series on California’s climate policies to meet its 2030 pollution…

September 11, 2017 Categories: California Clean Energy Climate Change Low-Carbon Fuel

The Power of Cheap Batteries, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Fast Chargers

by Colin Murphy

A few weeks ago, there was a fascinating, multi-threaded twitter conversation among energy policy wonks about how lithium-ion batteries have become cheap, the pace of innovation and how…

December 12, 2016 Categories: California Climate Change Low-Carbon Fuel

Canada Leads on Clean Fuels Policy

by Colin Murphy

Donald Trump’s election has called into question U.S. leadership on climate change.  President Obama capped his second term in office with several ambitious and effective policies to reduce…

October 20, 2016 Categories: California Clean Energy Climate Change Fossil Fuels Low-Carbon Fuel

10 Years of California’s AB 32 Climate Law: Lower Carbon, Higher Growth

by Colin Murphy

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s term as Governor of California was certainly memorable, not just for the blunt bravado of his speeches, but also for a keen understanding that climate change…

September 01, 2016 Categories: California Clean Energy Climate Change

Lessons in Climate Politics From California’s Big Win on SB 32 and AB 197

by Colin Murphy

It’s not every day when politics pleasantly surprises you. California’s Legislature has been locked in a struggle over the future of the state’s climate policy for the last…

July 25, 2016 Categories: California Fossil Fuels Low-Carbon Fuel

Consumers Win From California’s Clean Transportation

by Colin Murphy

If you read this blog regularly[1], you have probably noticed that the phrase “California has been a global leader in climate policy” appears rather frequently. The repetition of…

February 26, 2016 Categories: California Fossil Fuels Low-Carbon Fuel

An Increasingly-Less-Necessary-Evil: Halving Oil Consumption Is Within Our Reach

by Colin Murphy

When California Governor Jerry Brown called for a 50% reduction in petroleum consumption by 2030 during his 2015 inaugural address, it sounded like an audacious target. Petroleum exerts a near-complete…

October 07, 2015 Categories: California Clean Energy Climate Change Low-Carbon Fuel

Clean Transportation’s Hidden Win in SB 350

by Colin Murphy

  Sustainable transportation advocates have been locked in a pitched battle over the future of California’s mobility for the last several months. The Governor just signed SB 350 (De…

August 06, 2015 Categories: Clean Energy Climate Change EPA Rule Low-Carbon Fuel

The Clean Power Plan Will Benefit Transportation, Too.

by Colin Murphy

It’s Not Just About the Power Plants. As climate advocates – and really, most of the nation– enjoy a well-deserved celebration after the announcement of the Clean Power Plan,…