Energy and Environment

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RAND energy and environmental analyses examine the implications of existing and proposed energy policies on the environment. Building on a long history of policy research, RAND helps balance the need for environmental protections and economic development.

  • Solar panels and wind generators against a city view, photo by artJazz/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Investing in Infrastructure? Don't Forget the Electric Grid

    Dec 7, 2016

    Leaving the future of America's electricity grid to chance should not be an option. To maximize the potential benefits of a multibillion-dollar smart grid investment, a closer examination of technology and policy is needed.

  • Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Shale Insight energy conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 22, 2016, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    States Could Step Up on Climate Change

    Nov 26, 2016

    The new administration has expressed skepticism about climate change. But states may choose to pursue their own climate change initiatives.

Explore Energy and Environment

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the end of a news conference in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 12, 2014

    Commentary

    U.S.-China Global Warming Deal Could Signal Shift on Climate Change

    The U.S.-China agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions represents a significant and welcome shift in the international approach to addressing climate change. For the first time, a large developing country has agreed to limit its greenhouse gas emissions—a crucial step since these countries have become the world’s largest sources.

    Dec 9, 2014

  • A bulldozer is parked in the Queens borough of New York where a concrete foundation is all that remains of a house that burned to the ground during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012

    Report

    Lessons Learned from Implementing Infrastructure Resilience Guidelines

    The Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force developed guidelines to ensure that federal agencies incorporate key principles of resilience into their formulation, evaluation, and prioritization of infrastructure investments related to Sandy rebuilding. An initial assessment of the implementation of the guidelines identifies opportunities and challenges.

    Dec 9, 2014

  • The Mariannhill landfill site in Durban, South Africa

    Commentary

    In South Africa, Bold Investments Turn Trash into Treasure

    In South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province, investments made over the past 20 years have created a dump with a difference. Rather than being a blight on the neighborhood of Mariannhill, the state-of-the-art Mariannhill Landfill Conservancy is an asset.

    Dec 3, 2014

  • Environmental pollution

    Journal Article

    A Wedge-Based Approach to Estimating Health Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation Activities in the United States

    This study presents a new framework for estimating the change in health outcomes resulting from implementation of specific carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction activities, allowing comparison of different sectors and options for climate mitigation activities.

    Nov 21, 2014

  • News conference on new STEM initiative in Appalachia Region in Pittsburgh, October 21, 2014

    Announcement

    RAND to Evaluate New STEM Initiative in Appalachia Region

    RAND will provide research and analysis for a multiyear, multimillion-dollar investment by Chevron in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) K-12 education and energy-sector workforce development training in the Appalachia region.

    Oct 21, 2014

  • Oil barrels under a clear, blue sky

    Commentary

    The Upside of Lower Oil Prices

    Movement toward sharply lower oil prices should be a prominent component of any strategy directed at disabling many of the world's most disruptive threats: Iran's nuclear development, ISIS, Hamas attacks on Israel, and Russia's threat to Ukraine.

    Oct 17, 2014

  • Dissertation

    The Political Sustainability of Carbon Control Policies in an Evolutionary Economics Setting

    Analyzes the long term coevolution of market structures, technological change and government institutions.

    Sep 29, 2014

  • People walking near the Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia

    Commentary

    One Day in the Life of Russia

    Russia faces major challenges, some self-inflicted. Freedoms vital to the creation of a modern civil society are declining. Dominant, state-controlled energy and aerospace companies are losing ground, weakening a strained economy.

    Sep 23, 2014

  • A tanker truck on the road with two cars

    Journal Article

    Estimating Use Costs of Heavy Truck Traffic in Pennsylvania's Shale Natural Gas Boom

    Development of natural gas resources has progressed rapidly in Pennsylvania. These activities require many heavy truck trips for equipment and materials, which can damage state and local roads not designed for high volumes of heavy truck traffic.

    Sep 1, 2014

  • recreational swimming in a Bristol, UK, lake

    Report

    The Health Risks of Bathing in Recreational Waters

    A rapid evidence assessment confirms an association between the quality of recreational bathing waters and the risk of gastrointestinal illness, particularly in fresh water, but there is insufficient evidence to determine whether a revision to the European Bathing Directive is needed.

    Aug 14, 2014

  • Seismograph instrument measuring ground movement during earthquake

    Testimony

    Catastrophic Risk in California: Are Homeowners and Communities Prepared?

    Predictions about the inevitability of a major earthquake in California is generating concern about how to pay for rebuilding after a catastrophic event. Insurance alone isn’t the answer, but exploring ways for insurance premiums to better reflect loss could help homeowners prepare for "the big one.”

    Aug 6, 2014

  • Testimony

    Building on the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review to Improve the Effectiveness and Efficiency of the Department of Homeland Security: Addendum

    Document submitted on July 18, 2014 as an addendum to testimony presented before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency on June 20, 2014.

    Jul 18, 2014

  • EPA administrator Gina McCarthy announces steps under the Clean Air Act to cut carbon pollution from power plants during a news conference on June 2, 2014

    Commentary

    New Coal Plant Rules Need Sustained Support to Succeed

    Stopping climate change will require the U.S. and the rest of the world to virtually eliminate emissions over the course of the 21st century. Getting anywhere close to zero emissions demands sustained political and public support, driven by an energy production sector given enough incentives.

    Jun 30, 2014

  • two firemen responding to an emergency

    Commentary

    An Enduring Need for Better Measures of Emergency Preparedness

    In an era of fiscal austerity, the need for measurement and assessment becomes manifold. Tied to good government goals and responsible stewardship of public funds, measurements are also necessary to educate the public about what it should—and should not—reasonably expect when disaster strikes.

    Jun 25, 2014

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Water Management and Climate Resilience in Pittsburgh: Building a Research Agenda

    At this June 2014 event, part of our Conversations at RAND series, a panel of experts discusses ways to strengthen Pittsburgh's water management system, create sustainable solutions to environmental challenges, and better manage long-term uncertainty.

    Jun 24, 2014

  • Philantropist John M. Cazier

    Announcement

    Cazier Gift to Pardee RAND Graduate School Launches Environmental and Energy Sustainability Initiative

    A $5 million gift from engineer and philanthropist John M. Cazier will turbocharge research in environmental and energy sustainability at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

    Jun 20, 2014

  • U.S. Representative John Carter (R-TX) and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Capitol Hill

    Testimony

    Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of the DHS

    If the Department of Homeland Security is to overcome the challenges of uncertain threats and budget constraints, it will need strategic focus to direct resources where they are most needed, strong oversight to assure that resources are used effectively, and cooperation across government to improve efficiency.

    Jun 20, 2014

  • Double maize yields for Malawian farmer with conservation agriculture

    Commentary

    Climate Change, Uncertainty Cast Clouds on Malawi's Food Policies

    Malawi has the highest per capita maize consumption in Africa, but it may need to consider alternatives, taking into greater consideration weather, climate change and water needs.

    May 20, 2014

  • young people holding hands in a circle with the sun setting

    Multimedia

    Building Resilient Communities: Spanish Translation

    Emergency preparedness can get you through the first few days following a disaster. But how can your community bounce back over the long term? With disasters becoming more common and costly, and with some areas enduring multiple disasters, the importance of building community resilience has never been greater.

    May 20, 2014

  • A computer-generated image of objects in Earth orbit that are currently being tracked, 95% of which is orbital debris

    Commentary

    Debris Poses Increased Threat to Exploration

    Every satellite launch and maneuver is carefully coordinated because some orbits are strewn with the space-based equivalent of blown tires, abandoned vehicles, loose gravel and, of course, other traffic. Earth's orbit is littered with hundreds of thousands of debris objects.

    May 16, 2014