Jim Marston

Vice President, Clean Energy


Areas of expertise: Climate change, energy efficiency, smart grid, air quality, energy policy

Jim Marston is the founding director of the Texas office of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), located in Austin, where he has served since its beginning in 1988. 

Jim led the successful fight to stop TXU from building a dozen coal plants in Texas and ultimately negotiated a first-of-its-kind deal with private equity buyers involving more than a dozen commitments on climate change.  He is also a leader of the Pecan Street, Inc., a partnership that includes Austin Energy, the University of Texas, the Chamber of Commerce, and several large high/clean tech companies aimed at making fundamental changes in the nation’s electricity grid. Jim also helped to design and to advocate for some of the most innovative state legislation in the country including the Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard that led to almost 10,000 MW’s of new wind energy in Texas and the first-in-the-nation “no regrets” global warming law.

Jim was EDF’s State Climate Initiatives director from 2002 until 2009. In that position, he helped direct EDF’s successes in states from the west coast to New England and Florida on a wide-range of legislation and regulations to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Among EDF’s most important state climate victories was the passage of the California Car Greenhouse Gas Standards in 2002 that ultimately lead to national greenhouse standards for automobiles in 2010 and the passage of AB32 in 2006, the first state legislation with a cap on statewide emissions of greenhouse gases.


  • B.A. Texas Christian University, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum Laude, University Scholar
  • J.D., New York University, Root-Tilden Scholar, Journal of International Law and Politics
  • Partner, law firm of Doggett, Jacks, Marston, & Perlmutter (1980-1988)
  • Operations manager, Doggett for U.S. Senate (1984)
  • Asst. Atty. General, State of Texas, Environmental Protection Division (1978-1980)
  • Jim serves on the boards of UT Energy Institute, Pecan Street Inc, The Texas League of Conservation Voters, The Texas Observer and the Sustainable Energy Advisory Board of Energy Future Holdings (formerly TXU)

Jim formerly served as the Vice Chair of Texas Ethics Commission, the former chair of the U.S. Good Neighbor Environmental Board, president of the Texas League of Conservation Voters and president of the board of directors of the Texas Observer. He is the former chairman of the Central Texas Clean Air Force, a Presidential Advisory Committee, former president of Texas Citizens Action, He has served on many other boards including Texas Watch, Texas Rural Legal Aid, Green-e, and advisory boards for the State of Texas, the City of Austin, electric utilities, and Houston University.

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