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

  • Report

    China's Global Energy Interconnection Initiative

    China aims to build a worldwide power grid that addresses the growing demand for electricity while supporting the transition to net zero. Could the potential global security implications of a super grid governed by China outweigh its benefits?

    Dec 5, 2023

  • Commentary

    Can NATO Supercharge Military Greening?

    NATO has taken significant steps to reduce environmental impacts of military activities and has set voluntary emissions reduction targets for its member states. By leveraging its existing standardization processes to encompass a wider range of equipment, supplies, and practices, NATO can solidify its role as the preeminent military leader on climate.

    Dec 1, 2023

  • Commentary

    One More Chance for COP Reform

    The 28th U.N.-sponsored Conference of the Parties (COP) on climate change looks set to be a replay of earlier COPs. The consistent shortfall in achieving climate goals has meant that the parties to COP discuss the same items year after year. Perhaps it is time for COP to take a new look at its own decisionmaking process?

    Nov 30, 2023

  • Research Brief

    What Climate-Related Conflict Could Mean for U.S. Central Command

    Climate change will hit the Middle East and Central Asia especially hard, with effects on both personal well-being and regional stability. It will likely create increased demand for stabilization operations, non-combatant evacuation operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • Commentary

    Budget Models Are Underselling the Benefits of Solving Climate Problems

    When Congress considers a new law or spending package, analysts calculate its likely impact on the federal budget. When it comes to climate change legislation, those numbers don't capture the whole picture. Potential savings and other benefits get significantly underestimated.

    Nov 15, 2023

More Research on Energy and Environment


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Climate and Energy Policy in the 118th Congress

    What are the biggest climate and energy policy issues facing the 118th Congress? RAND experts offer up insight on a variety of energy, natural resources, and climate topics, including adaptation, resilience, and hazard mitigation.

    Jan 18, 2023

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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2010 and prior

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