If the “user pays” idea is worth saving, the United States needs a different calculation, writes Liisa Ecola. Some states are looking at mileage fees. With mileage fees, you pay based on the number of miles you drive, rather than the number of gallons of gas used.
Beau Kilmer, co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center and coauthor of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know,
hosted an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on Reddit this week. He fielded questions from participants on a variety of drug policy issues.
Policymakers in Washington and Colorado are confronting some new and tricky issues that have never been addressed. For them, and for anyone else thinking about changing their pot laws, there are seven key decision areas that will shape the costs and benefits of marijuana legalization.
Basing public safety decisions on risk analysis allows authorities to devote public resources to those counterterrorism measures that have the potential to do the most good, writes Henry Willis.
In recent years, especially following the economic downturn, states, counties, and cities have looked for ways to reduce costs and maintain basic policing services, leading many to question what the investment in counterterrorism and homeland security has achieved for their jurisdiction.
The path to climate change preparedness should start at the intersection of resilience and robustness — that is, building resilient communities with the individuals and organizations within those communities making robust decisions, ones designed to work well over a wide range of ever-changing conditions.
Mileage-fee rates could be structured to reduce congestion, harmful emissions and excessive road wear, and the enabling technology could support a range of value-added services offering greater convenience and safety for motorists, writes Keith Crane.
Even in the face of a budgetary spending cap and the ever-looming possibility of new cuts, NASA continues investing in a robust and diverse human spaceflight program. But with fiscal uncertainty expected to continue, it should consider reordering its spending priorities.
A conservative, cost-efficient response to climate change involves sending price signals to people and businesses now so that they take steps to reduce emissions, writes Keith Crane.
Even if the United States no longer imports oil from the Middle East, the United States will still be vulnerable to oil price shocks driven by developments in the Middle East, writes Keith Crane.
Solving the problem of space debris isn't going to be an easy problem to solve because, like spilled petroleum products, debris can spend years lurking in an environment that is foreign to most people's daily lives, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.
It's time to consider changing the country's transportation funding scheme from one based on gallons purchased to one based on vehicle miles actually traveled, writes Liisa Ecola.
Quantitative analysis is often indispensable to sound planning, but with deep uncertainty, predictions can lead decisionmakers astray. Robust Decision Making supports good decisions without predictions by testing plans against many futures.
Using zoning laws to shape the type of development and activity that occur in a neighborhood may be one way to reduce crime in urban areas. Single-use commercially zoned blocks in Los Angeles have crime rates that are 45 percent higher than similar blocks that include residential uses.
Instead of setting an arbitrary Production Tax Credit value for producers of renewable energy, we could provide a tax credit based on the social value of clean electricity generation, writes Constantine Samaras.
Energy security strategies are needed because DoD installations rely on the U.S. commercial electricity grid which is vulnerable to disruption from natural hazards and actor-induced outages, such as physical or cyber attacks.
While the event in Russia was caused by a medium-sized (10,000-ton) meteor, larger objects, like the asteroid 2012 DA14 that also passed near Earth last week, have the potential to be significantly more damaging, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.
Analysis of data on suicide attacks in Israel suggest that assessing sociocultural, political, economic, and demographic factors in addition to geospatial data enhances the ability to predict future suicide attack targets.
The current debate regarding comprehensive immigration reform offers an opportunity to redesign the worksite immigration enforcement system to achieve more efficient enforcement with better intelligence on where undocumented workers are employed, say Andrew Morral and Peter Brownell.
Further study, including primary data collection in regions where extraction is occurring, will be important to track the magnitude of emissions and to ensure that Pennsylvania's permit requirements are adequate to protect human health and the environment, writes Aimee Curtright.
Sea Launch's recent failure means more than just a lost payload and revenue for Intelsat: It means the status quo for launch services will continue for a while longer, write Dave Baiocchi and William Welser.
Initiatives to legalize and regulate marijuana leave local, state, and federal policymakers facing new questions. To help leaders better understand the possible consequences, DPRC researchers moderated a forum in Washington, D.C., on February 11, 2013, about developing public health regulations for marijuana.
The White House and a bipartisan group of senators recently unveiled proposals for comprehensive immigration reform. The proposal raises a number of questions, says Peter Brownell: How would success in securing the border actually be determined? Would it mean absolutely zero unauthorized immigration across U.S. borders?
Carbon dioxide has garnered the most attention in the climate change debate because it accounts for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions. But there is good reason to worry about methane, say Nicholas Burger and Noreen Clancy.
In this video, Jordan Fischbach discusses how RAND helped Louisiana develop its 2012 Coastal Master Plan and key lessons that can make other communities more resilient in the face of natural disasters.