Energy and Environment


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.

  • Flood waters from Hurricane Isaac partially submerge homes in Lafitte, Louisiana neighborhoods in August 2012, photo by Sean Gardner/Reuters


    Future of Coastal Flooding

    Feb 25, 2015

    President Obama's executive order that directs federal agencies to plan and build for higher flood levels as they construct new projects in flood-prone regions will affect hundreds of billions of dollars of future public works projects. In an ideal world, planners would estimate the benefits and costs for each project, taking into account everything from the details of the local landscape to the potential for adaptive responses over time.

  • A man wearing a mask looks up as he walks on a street on a foggy day in Bozhou, China, January 30, 2013, photo by China Daily/Reuters


    How Can China Reduce Its Air Pollution, and How Much Will It Cost?

    Jan 12, 2015

    Air pollution has been one of the most harmful consequences of China's last three decades of economic transformation and growth. China must address its air-pollution problem soon, but approaches to improve air quality come at a cost.

Explore Energy and Environment

  • Global climate change visualization


    Adapting to a Hotter World

    Because climate change is largely irreversible, mitigation alone won't solve the problem. While mitigation will prevent even greater, future climatic changes, adaptation — efforts to adjust to climate change's effects — will prepare the world for a new set of living conditions, whatever they may be.

    Oct 2, 2015

  • Pittsburgh skyline with Point State Park and the Allegheny River


    Resilient Stormwater Management in Allegheny County

    Allegheny County in southwestern Pennsylvania faces major challenges in managing its water resources, and lacks key information about climate change and future vulnerability. This study will provide a framework to evaluate options and identify cost-effective solutions.

    Oct 2, 2015

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast


    California's Drought and Water Policy

    California has implemented numerous policy changes to cope with a record-breaking, four-year drought. In this Events @ RAND podcast, a panel of experts discuss what government agencies can do to better manage water resources, what methods are most effective at encouraging citizens to use water wisely, and how leaders can better plan for future climate crises.

    Sep 30, 2015

  • Report

    Environmental Fitness and Resilience: A Review of Relevant Constructs, Measures, and Links to Well-Being

    This report identifies key environmental stressors experienced by Airmen and examines key resilience factors in the domain of environmental fitness, focusing specifically on prevention and protective measures.

    Sep 29, 2015

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Boeing in Everett, Washington, September 23, 2015


    The U.S.-China Summit Is More Significant for Xi Jinping Than Obama

    The Xi-Obama summit will provide the opportunity to discuss contentious issues like cybersecurity and the South China Sea, as well as other issues, such as climate change and economic cooperation. For Xi, the visit underscores the tremendous importance of messaging to a Chinese audience the narrative of a continued stable and robust partnership with the country that matters most to China politically and economically.

    Sep 24, 2015

  • map of united states


    Examining the Impact of the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute

    Established in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute tackles tough questions in the topic areas relevant to the region's long-term economic development and the well-being of its residents. This overview highlights research projects related to coastal protection and restoration, community resilience, housing, health and mental health, education, and public safety.

    Sep 21, 2015

  • Rigging equipment is pictured in a field outside of Sweetwater, Texas, June 4, 2015


    Why Selling Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Is a Bad Idea

    Some lawmakers are proposing a sell-off of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to finance highway and bridge work. This is a shortsighted strategy.

    Sep 15, 2015

  • New York, NY, USA - October 31, 2012: NYPD police emergency response vehicle parked in the streets of Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York, NY, USA, on October 31, 2012.


    Partnerships for Recovery Across The Sectors (PRACTIS) Toolkit

    The Partnerships for Recovery Across The Sectors (PRACTIS) toolkit employs a survey, a quality improvement guide, and a recovery exercise to strengthen disaster recovery partnerships between local health departments and community-based organizations.

    Sep 15, 2015

  • Culvert with a drop, with flowing water


    Managing Water Quality in the Face of Uncertainty: A Robust Decision Making Demonstration for EPA’s National Water ...

    Maintaining safe and reliable water supplies depends on timely investments in water treatment, storage, and delivery infrastructure. RAND has undertaken a project for the EPA to determine the utility of Robust Decision Making (RDM) methods for evaluating the agency's needs and priorities under the National Water Program.

    Sep 9, 2015

  • A stream runs through the woods in autumn


    Managing Water Quality in the Face of Uncertainty

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with state and local partners, develops and implements water quality plans. But uncertainty about the impacts of climate change and other factors may make it harder to meet water quality goals. Robust Decision Making can help better manage this uncertainty.

    Sep 9, 2015

  • Local residents take pictures as U.S. President Barack Obama visit an area reconstructed after Hurricane Katrina during a presidential visit to New Orleans, Louisiana, August 27, 2015


    What Hurricane Katrina Taught Us About Community Resilience

    Hurricane Katrina left a path of destruction, death, and suffering in its wake. Its recovery, halting and incomplete as it has been, has taught us valuable lessons about resiliency.

    Sep 8, 2015

  • Cooling towers of a nuclear power plant


    Overcoming Obstacles to Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technologies

    If nuclear fission is to play a big role in the future of the U.S. energy supply, a more cost-effective type of nuclear power plant must be commercialized. But there are barriers to commercializing next-generation nuclear reactors. How can policymakers overcome them?

    Aug 31, 2015

  • Working welder


    Energy-Sector Workforce Development in Southwestern Pennsylvania

    Technological innovations in the energy sector have increased demand for semiskilled labor in southwestern Pennsylvania. How can postsecondary educational and training programs adapt to the evolving skills demand?

    Aug 31, 2015

  • Pipeline construction


    Energy-Sector Workforce Development in West Virginia

    The production of natural gas and gas liquids from shale in West Virginia has increased demand for workers. Ten action items can help the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia and other stakeholders support a well-aligned and coherent workforce-development pipeline.

    Aug 31, 2015

  • Workers prepare to change drilling pipes on the rotary table of a natural gas rig near Towanda, Pennsylvania, February 3, 2010

    Research Brief

    Aligning Education and Training to Meet Energy Workforce Needs

    Energy-sector employers in West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania report having difficulty filling semiskilled jobs. And the sector's technology is changing quickly. How can the region's leaders improve the workforce-development pipeline?

    Aug 31, 2015

  • Tourists walk past the entrance to the Hurricane Katrina Memorial, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 23, 2015


    Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years After the Storm

    This weekend marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. As the region struggled to cope and rebuild after the storm, RAND experts worked on solutions to the region's long-term challenges.

    Aug 27, 2015

  • View of the Earth from space


    Interdependence Day: Contending with a New Global Order

    A team of RAND experts took a sober look at the threats facing the United States and developed a playbook of strategies to address them.

    Aug 21, 2015

  • Residents do morning exercises at a park on a hazy day in Shenzhen, Guangdong province February 12, 2015


    China at Home: Marrying Prosperity and Well-Being

    As China strives to sustain its upward economic trajectory, it must also address its domestic problems—such as air pollution and the challenges presented by its aging population—if its people are to share fully in the rewards of economic development and expansion.

    Aug 21, 2015

  • Engineer looking at factory emissions


    Climate Targets: Values and Uncertainty

    Policymakers know that the risks associated with climate change mean they need to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. But uncertainty surrounding the likelihood of different scenarios makes choosing specific policies difficult.

    Aug 11, 2015

  • The U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC


    The 2015 Summer Reading List for Congress

    With Capitol Hill slowing for August recess, this list of must-read research and commentaries will help ensure that policymakers are ready to dive right back in this fall.

    Aug 5, 2015