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 historical map of Philadelphia showing the outlines of the 'redlined' neighborhoods determined by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation.

    Project

    Environmental Racism

    Mar 31, 2022

    Past housing policies—such as redlining—have an enduring legacy on urban neighborhoods today, and have contributed to which communities enjoy more trees, less traffic, and better air quality, and which face hazards such as pollution, toxic waste sites, and flooding risk.

  • A still frame from a short film created by artist-in-residence V+J. The video summarizes RAND’s 2021 paper on geoengineering as a tool to address global warming.

    Project

    The Risks of Geoengineering

    Apr 27, 2022

    Geoengineering—the intentional manipulation of the climate—could help curb global warming, but it could also have world-altering consequences. In a new animated video, RAND artists-in-residence Juan Delcan and Valentina Izaguirre take a lighthearted look at this serious issue.

Explore Environmental Regulation

  • Multimedia

    Multimedia

    Update on Findings of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

    In this webinar, contributors to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and experts from the RAND Climate Resilience Center discuss findings from the report of the IPCC Working Group II.

    Aug 3, 2022

  • Clouds of pollution released by an industrial plant, photo by rui_noronha/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Could the United States Incentivize Investors to Decarbonize the Economy?

    While mandatory climate-related disclosure may improve information and decisionmaking for investors, it alone is unlikely to accelerate investment in decarbonization at the rate needed. To motivate private investment in climate mitigation, policymakers could explore additional policies.

    May 12, 2022

  • Active pumpjacks from oil wells at the Inglewood Oil Field in Culver City, California, March 10, 2022, photo by Bing Guan/Reuters

    Commentary

    How We Might Better Live with Oil in California

    As California grapples with the question of balancing environmental stewardship with the recent renewed focus on “local oil,” lawmakers could look to local communities for the best answers to avoid future petro-disasters.

    Apr 1, 2022

  • An illustration of a globe and climate control, image by T.L. Furrer/Adobe Stock

    Essay

    Manipulating the Climate: What Are the Geopolitical Risks?

    Geoengineering technologies that could block the sun's rays or siphon huge amounts of carbon from the air are not that far out of reach. Yet the international community has not established the kinds of guardrails you might expect for potentially world-changing technologies.

    Dec 29, 2021

  • 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

  • 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?

    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.

    May 25, 2021

  • 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

    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.

    Feb 18, 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