Environmental Regulation

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Environmental regulations attempt to protect public health and the environment from pollution by industry and development. RAND research has sought to develop methods for collecting interpretable, quantitative information about the costs and benefits of environmental regulations in areas where compliance imposes a financial burden, awareness of the health risks of noncompliance is lower, and officials are less trusting of the data on which regulations are based.

  • A surfer makes his way to the beach during a King Tide event along the California coastline at Cardiff State Beach in California, November 16, 2020, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Commentary

    California Needs a More Flexible Approach to Sea Level Rise Planning

    Feb 18, 2021

    Rising seas create significant risk to the health, safety, and economic vitality of California's coast communities, and we must prepare. A contingency-planning approach would provide flexible action over time and would build capacity that California and the nation need to respond to the many other serious and growing climate-related risks.

  • A Chinese meteorological department worker burns catalyst for cloud seeding and snowmaking to end drought in Beijing, China, February 17, 2009, photo by Oriental Image via Reuters

    Report

    What Are the Geopolitical Risks of Geoengineering?

    May 25, 2021

    Geoengineering is the intentional manipulation of an environmental process on Earth to counteract the effects of climate change. Geoengineering implementation could introduce geopolitical risks. This raises the question of whether existing international governance mechanisms can manage these risks.

Explore Environmental Regulation

  • Solar and wind farm with sunset and clouds, photo by yangphoto/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Achieving Decarbonization and Energy Equity Through Reconciliation

    The past two years have witnessed increasingly vocal calls for rapid decarbonization of the global economy through a clean energy transition. How can Congress ensure that new costs associated with a clean energy transition do not fall disproportionately on lower-income ratepayers?

    Sep 9, 2021

  • Naval Research Lab Chemical Engineer Katherine Hinnant prepares to test an experimental aqueous film-forming foam to replace firefighting foams containing fluorine at the NRL in Washington, Sept. 23, 2019, photo by Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Manuel Najera/U.S. Department of Defense

    Commentary

    Arming the Department of Defense's Environmental Liabilities Program

    A new U.S. emphasis on sustainable environmental conditions is emerging just as budget pressures are increasing. The DoD could use this as an opportunity to develop a systematic approach to addressing its environmental liabilities.

    Jun 23, 2021

  • Tongass National Forest, Alaska, photo by gillfoto / CC BY-SA 4.0

    Commentary

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

    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?

    Jan 12, 2021

  • Cows line up for feeding on Salisbury Plain in Southern England, May 20, 2012

    Commentary

    Ammonia – Why the Big Stink?

    Ammonia pollution harms human health and reduces the richness and diversity of the environment. As new policy frameworks are implemented in the UK, there is an opportunity to support farmers to make the changes necessary to reduce ammonia pollution.

    Sep 18, 2018

  • Report

    Report

    Impact of ammonia emissions from agriculture on biodiversity: An evidence synthesis

    Ammonia emissions in the UK have been rising since 2013, with the main source being agriculture. The impacts on biodiversity are significant and together with the costs to human health could be equivalent to over £700m per year in the UK by 2020.

    Sep 16, 2018

  • Eco-friendly law and eco balance concept

    Commentary

    Suggestions to Help EPA Successfully Implement Retrospective Reviews

    The EPA's interest in including a systematic retrospective review element in new regulation has the potential to provide a transparent and well-structured method for assessing which decisions worked well and which didn't. If successful, it could serve as a role model for other regulatory agencies.

    Jul 19, 2018

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Green Industrial Policy in Emerging Markets

    In this article, we review the evidence on the design and implementation of green industrial policies. We focus on emerging markets, and emphasize five lessons for the use of green industrial policy.

    Aug 8, 2017

  • Steam rises from the coal-fired Jim Bridger power plant outside Rock Springs, Wyoming, April 5, 2017

    Commentary

    Impact on the Environment from President Trump's First 100 Days

    President Trump's actions have not yet resulted in demonstrable change in environmental conditions or funding. But the groundwork is being laid to unwind major regulations and diminish staff at the EPA and other federal agencies with climate-related research in their portfolios.

    May 4, 2017

  • Miami skyline at night

    Report

    Urban Responses to Climate Change

    More than 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas. Thus, cities lie at the epicenter of America's response to climate change. Analysis can inform how cities choose strategies and allocate resources.

    Dec 7, 2016

  • Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Shale Insight energy conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 22, 2016

    Commentary

    States Could Step Up on Climate Change

    The new administration has expressed skepticism about climate change. But states may choose to pursue their own climate change initiatives.

    Nov 26, 2016

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    Turning Policy Promises into Blue Skies: Mixed-Method Assessment of China's Past and Future Air Pollution–Reduction Efforts

    Assesses China's past and current efforts towards preventing and controlling air pollution and conducts a mathematical simulation to illustrate the potential effectiveness of the government's proposed Action Plan and consequences of noncompliance.

    Nov 18, 2016

  • High voltage power lines

    Report

    Policy Options for Better Service Outcomes from the Future Electric Grid: A Stakeholder Symposium

    This symposium's goal was to identify important policy questions related to the present and future electric power grid system. This convening aimed to identify problem areas that could benefit from stakeholder-driven objective research.

    Apr 18, 2016

  • People wearing masks walk in front of a statue of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong on a hazy day in Shanghai, December 26, 2013

    Commentary

    China Has Done More About Pollution Than You Think (But It Must Do More)

    It is not obvious from recent headlines, but China's central and local governments have done more to curb the nation's air pollution over the past two years than casual observers may realize.

    Jan 18, 2016

  • Participants are seen in silhouette as they look at a screen showing a world map with climate anomalies during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, December 8, 2015

    Commentary

    Paris Gets the (Decision) Science Right

    The framework for the Paris negotiations is in sync with what science tells us about how to make effective public policy decisions. This alone makes them historic and may provide a model for both local and global action on more than climate alone.

    Dec 18, 2015

  • Multimedia

    RAND Experts on the Paris Climate Change Accord

    RAND experts discuss the agreement adopted in Paris at the COP21 summit and discuss what comes next.

    Dec 17, 2015

  • Environmentalists hold a banner which reads in part, "For the Climate," near the Eiffel Tower during the World Climate Change Conference 2015

    Commentary

    COP21: Ambition and Momentum

    Negotiators in Paris achieved a historic breakthrough by adopting a fundamentally different, and likely more effective, institutional framework to address climate change. It builds on two concepts missing from past attempts to forge a global treaty: voluntary participation and adaptive policymaking.

    Dec 17, 2015

  • A man applies a sticker which reads 100% electric next to the logo of the upcoming COP21 Climate Change Conference on a Nissan LEAF electric car in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, November 16, 2015

    Commentary

    COP 21 Not a Silver Bullet on Climate Change

    The Paris climate conference cannot provide the engine that will drive a solution to the world's climate change challenge. Rather, it can best serve as a mediator that will help guide and structure the swirling, bottom-up process of radical change that is the best hope of preserving Earth's climate.

    Nov 24, 2015

  • Report

    Report

    Quality of Life Indicators and Policy Strategies to Advance Sustainability in the Pearl River Delta

    Proposes a system of quality of life indicators and identifies policy options to improve quality of life in the Pearl River Delta, a region of Guangdong Province in southeastern China.

    Nov 6, 2015