Fossil Fuels

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • A U.S. Navy boat patrols the waters of Nigeria's Lagos harbor, March 24, 2009

    Commentary

    Why the Dangerous New Turn for Piracy Matters

    Off the western coast of Africa, just north of the equator, the Gulf of Guinea has endured piracy for decades. But recent spikes in new, more dangerous forms of piracy imply a troubling sense of invincibility in the minds of the perpetrators.

    Apr 29, 2014

  • A truck is filled with sand at Wellsboro & Corning Railroad in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

    Commentary

    As U.S. Energy Booms, Don't Forget About Roadway Infrastructure

    Natural gas production is growing and many states and communities are reaping the economic benefits. One of the costs, however, will be damage to roads. One hydraulic fracturing operation requires about 600 to 1,100 one-way, heavy truck trips to bring equipment, materials, and sometimes water to and from a well site.

    Mar 11, 2014

  • Atlanta traffic and skyline

    Event

    The Future of Mobility: Transportation 2030

    What will transportation look like in the United States in the year 2030? Multiple mobility scenarios are possible. Come hear how policymakers and planners can shape the future of mobility in the United States and what factors will influence the creation of the future transportation system.

    Dec 3, 2013

  • illustration of cars, trucks, buses, and helicopter traveling in a city

    Blog

    What Mobility Might Look Like in the U.S. in 2030

    Mobility — the ability to travel from one location to another — may look very different in the United States in the year 2030. Three key drivers differentiate possible scenarios: the price of oil, the development of environmental regulations, and the amount of highway revenues and expenditures.

    Oct 28, 2013

  • maritime training in the Gulf of Guinea

    Blog

    Using Air Power Against Pirates Off West Africa

    A U.S. Official has confirmed that two mariners thought to be U.S. Citizens were kidnapped from an American ship in a pirate attack off of the West African coast — the 40th such attack reported in the Gulf of Guinea in 2013. The current security situation in the Gulf has affected petroleum and natural gas production.

    Oct 25, 2013

  • depiction of fast-moving traffic at night

    Report

    Scenarios Examine Future of Mobility in the United States

    What might one expect for the future of mobility in the U.S. in 2030? A six-step scenario development process resulted in two thought-provoking scenarios that address this question, and three key drivers differentiate the scenarios: the price of oil, the development of environmental regulation, and the amount of highway revenues and expenditures.

    Oct 24, 2013

  • quality engineer

    Testimony

    Refinery Process Safety Performance and Models of Government-Industry Relations

    U.S. safety performance at refineries has not been good by international standards. However, Cal-OSHA inspections of refineries typically find so few hazards that they contribute relatively little to refinery safety.

    Jun 12, 2013

  • South China Sea map

    Testimony

    The Relationship between Natural Resources and China's Maritime Disputes

    Media and policy sources often cite natural resources as a primary driver of tensions in the South and East China Seas. In reality, the region’s hydrocarbon potential is moderate. Resource issues function primarily as focal points for more powerful underlying drivers of domestic political legitimacy, popular nationalism, and regional order.

    Apr 4, 2013

  • coal and dollars

    Commentary

    A Gradually Escalating Carbon Tax Would Allow Businesses and Consumers Time to Prepare

    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.

    Mar 29, 2013

  • paying for gas at pump

    Commentary

    Prices Will Still Be Dictated by World Markets and the Middle East Will Continue to Bedevil Policymakers

    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.

    Mar 27, 2013

  • Report

    The Industrial Base for Carbon Dioxide Storage: Status and Prospects

    If policies aimed at large reductions of carbon dioxide emissions are enacted, more carbon capture and storage will be needed. RAND researchers explored the ability of the industrial base to support the expansion of carbon storage.

    Mar 18, 2013

  • natural gas drilling in Dimock, PA

    Commentary

    The Environmental Costs of Emissions from Shale Gas Extraction

    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.

    Feb 14, 2013

  • gas compressor plant piping

    Multimedia

    Estimating Regional Air-Quality Damages from Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Extraction in Pennsylvania

    RAND physical scientist Aimee Curtright describes RAND research that provides a first-order estimate of air emissions, and the monetary value of the associated damages, from the extraction of shale gas in Pennsylvania.

    Jan 31, 2013

  • Marcellus Shale rig and gas well operation

    Journal Article

    Estimating Regional Air-Quality Damages from Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Extraction in Pennsylvania

    Producing natural gas from shale generates air pollutant emissions. RAND researchers provided a first-order estimate of air emissions, and the monetary value of the associated damages, from the extraction of shale gas in Pennsylvania.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • Report

    Can More Be Done to Improve Energy Security in the Gulf of Guinea?

    Improving the security of the Gulf of Guinea's oil infrastructure would increase output and promote additional investment, to the benefit of oil importing nations. The U.S. Air Force has expertise that could help build local security capabilities.

    Nov 21, 2012

  • Periodical

    Research Offers Viable Options for U.S. Energy Policy

    Obama has championed an "all-of-the-above strategy" to develop every available source of American energy "while making sure we never have to choose between protecting our environment and strengthening our economy." Romney would not provide support for ventures in new energy technologies. RAND's research on renewable fuels, oil shale development, and fuel taxes provides options.

    Sep 21, 2012

  • Commentary

    Assessing the Iranian Sanctions

    The sanctions have imposed economic costs and have effectively signaled that not only the United States, but much of the rest of the world, see Iran's policies on nuclear enrichment as a serious potential threat to the region and the world, writes Keith Crane.

    Jul 9, 2012