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 ocr@rand.org or (703) 413-1100 x5643.

Recent Findings

  • People working together to implement an idea, illustration by VectorMine/Adobe Stock

    Report

    The Nature and Potential of Community Citizen Science

    Jun 18, 2019

    Community citizen science offers unique opportunities to engage the public in science and to enhance civic life. It is used for activities like monitoring ecosystem health and enhancing disaster preparedness. But there are challenges to translating citizen science research into action.

  • Engineers are using this specially constructed five-story building to study how high-value buildings, such as hospitals and data centers, can remain operational after an earthquake, in San Diego, California, April 17, 2012, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Report

    Seismic Safety Upgrades May Cost California Hospitals Billions

    Mar 28, 2019

    California hospitals are required by law to reduce their buildings' risk of collapse by 2020 and to remain operational after an earthquake by 2030. Hospitals have to pay for the upgrades, which could cost between $34 billion and $143 billion statewide. One third of California hospitals are already in some form of financial distress.

  • Five glasses of water, with dirty water in the center, photo by hdere/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Ensure Quality Drinking Water Service for All? One Option Is Fewer Utilities.

    Mar 26, 2019

    California's Human Right to Water Bill declares that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.” One clear barrier to reaching this target is the sheer number of small water utilities that pose service sustainability and public health risks to their customers.

  • Department of Water and Power employees assess the damage from a broken 30-inch water main on Sunset Boulevard, next to the UCLA campus in the Westwood section of Los Angeles, July 30, 2014, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Commentary

    How Water Systems Can Learn From Smart Electric Grids

    Mar 22, 2019

    As drought and population growth place increasing pressure on water supply, the need to save and efficiently manage Southern California's water resources becomes increasingly critical. A single information and communication technology platform could go a long way toward moving water utilities from reactive to proactive maintenance practices.

  • Oil barrel leaking oil grass, photo by RuslanDashinsky/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Increasing Groundwater Reliance in L.A. County Means Dealing with Extensive Contamination

    Mar 12, 2019

    As the Los Angeles region increases its reliance on groundwater sources to become more resilient in the face of drought and to reduce demand for imported water sources, advances in the information available on groundwater quality and contamination could help community water systems avoid health hazards and better ensure a safe drinking water supply.

More Research on Energy and Environment

Briefings

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.

  • Tungsten or wolframite ore

    Critical Materials and U.S. Import Reliance

    Dec 21, 2017

    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.

  • Electric towers

    Getting Smarter About Smart Grids

    May 21, 2015

    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.

  • Hurricane Evacuation Route sign

    RAND Experts Available to Discuss Hurricane and Natural Disaster Preparedness

    Aug 26, 2014

    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.

  • map of the Colorado River Basin

    Adapting to a Changing Colorado River

    May 29, 2014

    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.

  • RAND.org's Redesign: New Homepage and Navigation Optimization for All Devices

    Mar 20, 2014

    RAND.org 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.

  • 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

    Mar 13, 2014

    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.

  • maritime training in the Gulf of Guinea

    Using Air Power Against Pirates Off West Africa

    Oct 25, 2013

    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.

  • Managing Spent Fuel and Nuclear Waste

    Mar 26, 2013

    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?

  • SOTU Policy Preview

    Feb 11, 2013

    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.

  • Converting Harmful Methane Emissions Into Useful Energy

    Feb 11, 2013

    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.

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

    Jan 11, 2013

    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.

  • Looking Beyond the 2012 U.S. Election

    Oct 3, 2012

    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.

  • Reusing Coal Mine Water for Marcellus Shale Extraction

    Apr 27, 2012

    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.

  • Earth Day: RAND Energy and Environment Research

    Apr 19, 2012

    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.

  • Senior Staff SOTU Debrief from RAND Corporation

    Jan 25, 2012

    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.

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2010 and prior

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