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

  • The humanoid robot AILA (artificial intelligence lightweight android) operates a switchboard during a demonstration at the CeBit computer fair in Hanover, Germany, March, 5, 2013

    Commentary

    How to Overcome the Risks of Artificial Intelligence

    The warnings and promises of artificial intelligence aren't new, but advances in technology make them more pressing.

    Oct 22, 2015

  • Global climate change visualization

    Commentary

    Adapting to a Hotter World

    Because climate change is largely irreversible, mitigation alone won't solve the problem. While mitigation will prevent even greater, future climatic changes, adaptation — efforts to adjust to climate change's effects — will prepare the world for a new set of living conditions, whatever they may be.

    Oct 2, 2015

  • Cooling towers of a nuclear power plant

    Report

    Overcoming Obstacles to Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technologies

    If nuclear fission is to play a big role in the future of the U.S. energy supply, a more cost-effective type of nuclear power plant must be commercialized. But there are barriers to commercializing next-generation nuclear reactors. How can policymakers overcome them?

    Aug 31, 2015

  • Residents do morning exercises at a park on a hazy day in Shenzhen, Guangdong province February 12, 2015

    Commentary

    China at Home: Marrying Prosperity and Well-Being

    As China strives to sustain its upward economic trajectory, it must also address its domestic problems—such as air pollution and the challenges presented by its aging population—if its people are to share fully in the rewards of economic development and expansion.

    Aug 21, 2015

  • Engineer looking at factory emissions

    Commentary

    Climate Targets: Values and Uncertainty

    Policymakers know that the risks associated with climate change mean they need to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. But uncertainty surrounding the likelihood of different scenarios makes choosing specific policies difficult.

    Aug 11, 2015

  • A road cuts through a forest on the island of Senja, north of the Arctic Circle in Norway

    Commentary

    Health Benefits of Addressing Climate Change

    Opponents of action to mitigate climate change often suggest that regulation could have a negative impact on jobs, but stakeholders need to consider benefits, too. For instance, lower emissions could produce savings in the form of lower health care costs, reductions in premature death, and greater well-being.

    Feb 4, 2015

  • Forbidden City on a foggy day in Beijing, China

    Commentary

    China Can Fix Its Severe Pollution Problem

    China's economic transformation over the last three decades has produced potentially deadly air pollution its people inhale every day. But an investment of $215 billion annually could substantially reduce pollution, lessen its drag on productivity, spare the lungs of countless people, and save lives.

    Jan 19, 2015

  • A man wearing a mask looks up as he walks on a street on a foggy day in Bozhou, China, January 30, 2013

    Report

    How Can China Reduce Its Air Pollution, and How Much Will It Cost?

    Air pollution has been one of the most harmful consequences of China's last three decades of economic transformation and growth. China must address its air-pollution problem soon, but approaches to improve air quality come at a cost.

    Jan 12, 2015

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    The Political Sustainability of Carbon Control Policies in an Evolutionary Economics Setting

    Analyzes the long term coevolution of market structures, technological change and government institutions.

    Sep 29, 2014

  • EPA administrator Gina McCarthy announces steps under the Clean Air Act to cut carbon pollution from power plants during a news conference on June 2, 2014

    Commentary

    New Coal Plant Rules Need Sustained Support to Succeed

    Stopping climate change will require the U.S. and the rest of the world to virtually eliminate emissions over the course of the 21st century. Getting anywhere close to zero emissions demands sustained political and public support, driven by an energy production sector given enough incentives.

    Jun 30, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Links Between Air Quality and Economic Growth: Implications for Pittsburgh

    This report assesses what evidence exists for the ways in which local air quality could influence local economic growth and how those effects might be relevant to the Pittsburgh region.

    Dec 20, 2013

  • illustration of cars, trucks, buses, and helicopter traveling in a city

    Blog

    What Mobility Might Look Like in the U.S. in 2030

    Mobility — the ability to travel from one location to another — may look very different in the United States in the year 2030. Three key drivers differentiate possible scenarios: the price of oil, the development of environmental regulations, and the amount of highway revenues and expenditures.

    Oct 28, 2013

  • depiction of fast-moving traffic at night

    Report

    Scenarios Examine Future of Mobility in the United States

    What might one expect for the future of mobility in the U.S. in 2030? A six-step scenario development process resulted in two thought-provoking scenarios that address this question, and three key drivers differentiate the scenarios: the price of oil, the development of environmental regulation, and the amount of highway revenues and expenditures.

    Oct 24, 2013

  • Electric power plant

    Report

    Modeling Industry Transformation and the Political Sustainability of Emission Control Policies

    Limiting climate change will require transformation of energy and other systems. A new model that uses Robust Decision Making tools enables decisionmakers to compare the long-term sustainability of alternative carbon emission reduction policies.

    Sep 6, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Creating Constituencies for Long-Term, Radical Change

    This essay will argue that long-term emissions reduction goals currently proposed before Congress at best only highlight the magnitude of the climate change challenge, without contributing much to a solution.

    Apr 1, 2013

  • Report

    Report

    The Industrial Base for Carbon Dioxide Storage: Status and Prospects

    If policies aimed at large reductions of carbon dioxide emissions are enacted, more carbon capture and storage will be needed. RAND researchers explored the ability of the industrial base to support the expansion of carbon storage.

    Mar 18, 2013

  • lab partners discussing research

    Report

    Regulatory cultures and research governance

    This is a comparative study of the practice of those who are subject to regulatory requirements in the health research, medical drugs, environmental and financial sectors conducted to assist understanding of health research governance in the UK.

    Mar 1, 2013

  • A natural gas well is drilled near Canton, in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, January 8, 2012

    Commentary

    The Environmental Costs of Emissions from Shale Gas Extraction

    Further study, including primary data collection in regions where extraction is occurring, will be important to track the magnitude of emissions and to ensure that Pennsylvania's permit requirements are adequate to protect human health and the environment, writes Aimee Curtright.

    Feb 14, 2013

  • An ocean gas rig emits plumes of smoke

    Commentary

    Global Methane Initiative: Converting Harmful Emissions to Usable Energy

    Carbon dioxide has garnered the most attention in the climate change debate because it accounts for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions. But there is good reason to worry about methane, say Nicholas Burger and Noreen Clancy.

    Feb 6, 2013

  • An ocean gas rig emits plumes of smoke

    Report

    Outcome Evaluation of U.S. Department of State Support for the Global Methane Initiative

    A RAND study evaluated U.S. Department of State contributions to the Global Methane Initiative, an international partnership to promote methane recovery and reuse. The study focused on the strategic contributions and program activities and outcomes.

    Jan 30, 2013