Energy and Environment Issues

This page offers an easy way for policymakers to access energy and environment research and analysis that is relevant to current Congressional agendas. For additional information, to request documents, or to arrange a briefing, contact the RAND Office of Congressional Relations at or (703) 413-1100 x5643.

Recent Findings

  • The deep sea mining vessel Hidden Gem returns to port after test mining in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, in Manzanillo, Mexico, November 16, 2022, photo by Gustavo Graf Maldonado/Reuters


    Is Seabed Mining an Opportunity to Break China's Stranglehold on Critical Minerals Supply Chains?

    China dominates global supply chains for nearly all critical mineral resources, including the rare earths that power decarbonization technologies. Seabed mining may be a way to diversify critical minerals supply chains and break China's stranglehold on supplies of some of the world's most important natural resources.

    Nov 21, 2022

  • Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the moon, illustration by NASA


    Governance in Space: Mining the Moon and Beyond

    Without further cooperation and agreement among space powers, multiple, competing governance systems may end up being established, further increasing potential for conflict. The time to address this issue is now, so that the use of deep-space resources contributes to prosperity, security, and freedom on Earth and throughout the solar system.

    Nov 18, 2022

  • Buildings equipped with photovoltaic panels, storage batteries, rainwater and wastewater recovery systems welcomed the first inhabitants in 2020, in Grenoble, France, photo by Joao Luiz Bulcao/Hans Lucas via Reuters


    Green Jobs and Skills Development for Disadvantaged Groups

    Many countries have plans to increase green job opportunities. To make sure that everyone can benefit from this promised green transition, it is important to understand how people with low qualifications, and other marginalised groups, might be able to access green jobs.

    Nov 8, 2022

  • Excavators are seen at a nickel ore mining area at Kolonedalle village near Morowali, Indonesia's Sulawesi island, January 14, 2014, photo by Yusuf Ahmad/Reuters


    China's Role in the Global Development of Critical Resources

    China's extensive foreign investments in energy infrastructure and critical minerals have raised concerns. Case studies in coal power, electricity transmission, and seabed mining examine China's behaviors and suggest ways to build capacity among host nations to minimize the potential effects of an overreliance on China.

    Nov 7, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Racism and Patient Safety, Abortion After Dobbs, Homelessness: RAND Weekly Recap

    This week, we discuss racism and patient safety, abortion in America after the Dobbs ruling, how to address homelessness in Los Angeles, and more.

    Oct 28, 2022

More Research on Energy and Environment


  • Aerial views of Hurricane Sandy damage to homes on Long Beach

    Adapting to Climate Change on the Coast: Lessons from Louisiana for Federal Policy

    What can be done to reduce the chances of widespread disaster when the next "Sandy" hits? Jordan Fischbach will discuss how climate change and other long-term challenges can affect coasts and the tools federal or state policymakers will need to address them.

    Jan 23, 2013

  • Event

    The Impact of Air Pollution on Hospital Spending in California

    John Romley presents findings from a study that suggests publicly funded insurers as well as employers and private insurers would benefit financially from reductions in air pollution—particularly in California, which has more people living in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards than any other state.

    Jun 24, 2010

  • Event

    Improving the Energy Performance of Buildings

    Ambassador Charles Ries discusses how energy efficiency in buildings affects energy security and climate change. He gives an overview of the European Union's and Australia's experiences driving energy efficiency in the building sector and the lessons the United States can learn from their efforts.

    Apr 12, 2010

  • Event

    Costs and Benefits of Importing Oil into the United States

    Director of RAND's Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program Keith Crane will present Imported Oil and U.S. National Security on May 11, 2009.

    May 11, 2009

  • Event

    What Constitutes an Effective Approach to Limiting Greenhouse Gases?

    The Obama administration and Congress have called enactment of a cap-and-trade program for limiting U.S. emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases a top priority. Our panelists will address some key questions about cap-and-trade programs that need to be resolved.

    Apr 13, 2009

More Energy and Environment Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

RAND periodically sends alerts and newsletters to update Congress on highlights of recent work about energy and the environment.

  • Flooded landscape with homes and a school bus, photo by James Brey/Getty Images

    Observed Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation Solutions to Climate Change

    The impacts of climate change have arrived and are widespread, pervasive, and in some cases irreversible. Robert Lempert describes where climate adaptation efforts are falling short and provided guidance on how adaptation might become more effective.

    May 3, 2022

  • A boy on a bicycle cools off from the extreme heat from an opened fire hydrant in Brooklyn, New York, July 2, 2018

    Climate and Resilience Policy in the 117th Congress

    What are the biggest climate and resilience policy issues facing the 117th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of topics, including climate science, decarbonization, resilience, adaptation, and more.

    Feb 11, 2021

  • Tungsten or wolframite ore

    Critical Materials and U.S. Import Reliance

    Richard Silberglitt recently testified before Congress on imported materials critical to U.S. manufacturing. He outlined potential actions to increase resiliency to supply disruptions or market distortions.

    Dec 21, 2017

  • Electric towers

    Getting Smarter About Smart Grids

    With a fully functional smart grid, society could benefit from more efficient management, transmission, distribution, and consumption of electricity–but there are barriers to implementing this technology. Experts recommend that performance standards are developed at the federal level and that regulators consider forward-looking test cases.

    May 21, 2015

  • Hurricane Evacuation Route sign

    RAND Experts Available to Discuss Hurricane and Natural Disaster Preparedness

    Although this year's hurricane season has been mild, communities should not be lulled into a false sense of security. Experts from the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute are available to discuss how communities can best prepare for and recover from hurricanes.

    Aug 26, 2014

  • map of the Colorado River Basin

    Adapting to a Changing Colorado River

    The Colorado River system is a critical resource for the southwestern U.S., providing power and water for nearly 40 million people. However, in part due to 14 years of drought, the River's reservoirs are being rapidly depleted. RAND helped define the key Basin vulnerabilities and identify strategies to reduce them.

    May 29, 2014

  •'s Redesign: New Homepage and Navigation Optimization for All Devices has been reimagined to make high quality research and insights more accessible to Hill staff like you. The new homepage and updated navigation optimize content delivery for your preferred device and place our most timely content at your fingertips.

    Mar 20, 2014

  • Houses are partially submerged in flood waters after a Hurricane Isaac levee breach in Braithwaite, Louisiana August 31, 2012

    RAND Can Help Policymakers Strengthen Coastal Resilience

    Tools developed by RAND for use in Louisiana can help policymakers in other coastal states weigh complex decisions on the many possible strategies to prevent coastal land loss, reduce flood risks, rebuild or restore coastal environments, and otherwise increase the resilience of developed coastlines.

    Mar 13, 2014

  • maritime training in the Gulf of Guinea

    Using Air Power Against Pirates Off West Africa

    Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has affected petroleum and natural gas production. RAND research recommends building the Nigerian Air Force's ability to provide surveillance and defend the offshore energy infrastructure.

    Oct 25, 2013

  • Newsletter

    Managing Spent Fuel and Nuclear Waste

    The Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future has called for creating a new, single-purpose organization whose sole task would be managing and disposing of nuclear waste. What model of governance is best suited to meet the substancial challenges of such a group?

    Mar 26, 2013

  • Newsletter

    SOTU Policy Preview

    Preparing for the State of the Union address? Here is a preview of topics from President Obama's inaugural address that he may cover on Tuesday night, along with helpful links to related RAND analyses, reports, and commentary.

    Feb 11, 2013

  • Newsletter

    Converting Harmful Methane Emissions Into Useful Energy

    Though methane does not stay in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, it has 20 times the global warming potential. But methane can be captured and used, not only reducing methane emissions, but offering a cost-effective source of energy.

    Feb 11, 2013

  • Newsletter

    Options for an Organization to Manage and Dispose of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-level Radioactive Waste

    The nation must agree upon a solution to the spent-nuclear fuel problem that meets safety and environmental standards. Congress will need to work with the Obama administration to determine the best governance form. A study finds that the two most promising models are a federal government corporation or an independent government agency.

    Jan 11, 2013

  • Lightbulb in a natural landscape, photo by Thinkstock

    Looking Beyond the 2012 U.S. Election

    As the U.S. presidential election draws to a close, there is increasing demand for simple answers to complex questions, immediate solutions to entrenched challenges, and ten-second sound bites to sum it all up. RAND has always focused on big, long-term, core public policy issues and has cultivated the farsighted perspectives required to address those issues.

    Oct 3, 2012

  • Newsletter

    Reusing Coal Mine Water for Marcellus Shale Extraction

    First-ever national standards for air emissions from shale gas extraction preceded new national regulations related to water pollution from hydraulic fracturing, another key issue which has thus-far been left to the individual states.

    Apr 27, 2012

  • Newsletter

    Earth Day: RAND Energy and Environment Research

    The RAND Corporation's Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program helps lawmakers put policy proposals in context by analyzing the effects of existing and proposed energy policies on the environment.

    Apr 19, 2012

  • State of the Union address January 2011

    Senior Staff SOTU Debrief from RAND Corporation

    We've assembled a selection of RAND reports, journal articles, commentary, videos, and experts on these SOTU topics that provide you with analysis, insights, and ideas you can use in the months ahead.

    Jan 25, 2012

Subscribe to Congressional Alerts & Newsletters


2010 and prior

More Testimony


More Research on Energy and Environment