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

  • Tongass National Forest, Alaska, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tongass_National_Forest_17.jpg">photo</a> by <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Gillfoto">gillfoto</a>/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>

    Commentary

    Local Communities Need a Voice in How to 'Build Back Better'

    Jan 12, 2021

    Long before it was popularized and made its way into political slogans and economic recovery battle cries, the phrase “building back better” was a central tenet of disaster recovery and community resilience. How should community voices be incorporated into “building back better” processes?

  • People walk near India Gate on a smoggy afternoon in New Delhi, India, November 15, 2020, photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Curb Climate Change After COVID-19? Fast-Growing India and Brazil Are Key

    Dec 15, 2020

    India and Brazil are facing pressure to launch recoveries after the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. Will they backslide on their Paris climate agreement commitments, or will the expected return of the United States to the pact encourage them to build a more sustainable economic future?

  • Blog

    Restoring Public Trust, COVID-19 and Thanksgiving, Vaccinating Teachers: RAND Weekly Recap

    Nov 26, 2020

    This weekly recap focuses on how the Biden-Harris administration can restore public trust, the risk of Thanksgiving becoming a super-spreader event, why teachers should be among the first to get a COVID19 vaccination, and more.

  • The hydroelectric dam Cachi in Ujarras de Cartago, 60 miles of San Jose, Costa Rica, May 25, 2007, photo by Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

    Report

    The Benefits and Costs of Decarbonizing Costa Rica's Economy

    Nov 24, 2020

    Costa Rica set the ambitious goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. An evaluation of the benefits and costs of its National Decarbonization Plan finds that under most plausible assumptions about the future, the plan would achieve or nearly achieve its goals and do so at a net economic benefit.

  • Joel Martinez takes a photo of Washington Gardens Apartments, which collapsed from winds brought by Hurricane Zeta in New Orleans, Louisiana, October 28, 2020, photo by Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

    Commentary

    Disaster Reporting and Its Impacts on Policy and Inequities

    Nov 16, 2020

    Disaster news tropes may capture audience attention, but they ultimately frustrate progress in mitigating the short- and long-term effects of disasters on communities. It's more important than ever that news stories about disasters frame the effects of environmental phenomena in meaningful ways.

More Research on Energy and Environment

Briefings

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

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

    Jan 23, 2013

    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.

  • The Impact of Air Pollution on Hospital Spending in California

    Jun 24, 2010

    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.

  • Improving the Energy Performance of Buildings

    Apr 12, 2010

    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.

  • Costs and Benefits of Importing Oil into the United States

    May 11, 2009

    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.

  • What Constitutes an Effective Approach to Limiting Greenhouse Gases?

    Apr 13, 2009

    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.

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.

  • Lightbulb in a natural landscape, photo by Thinkstock

    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.

  • State of the Union address January 2011

    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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Testimony

2010 and prior

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