U.S. international energy-assistance programs, a potentially important tool for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy security, are reviewed and compared with German programs; recommendations are made for further study.
In this Congressional Briefing held on May 11, 2009, Keith Crane, director of the RAND Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program, leads a discussion on the links between oil imports and U.S. national security.
While on a net basis the United States imports nearly 60 percent of the oil it consumes, this reliance on imported oil is not by itself a major national security threat. The study finds that the economic costs of a major disruption in global oil supplies—including higher prices for American consumers—pose the greatest risk to the United States.
Alternative fuels derived from oil sands and from coal liquefaction can cost-effectively diversify fuel supplies, but neither type significantly reduces U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions enough to arrest long-term climate change.
Instead of the complicated "cap-and-trade" system to reduce carbon emissions proposed in current congressional legislation, a tax on carbon dioxide refunded directly to individuals would cut emissions while cushioning the impact on the pocketbooks of American families, write Keith Crane and James Bartis.
Cars and light trucks powered by advanced diesel technology or hybrid technology can provide larger societal benefits than traditional gasoline-powered automobiles. Vehicles fueled by E85 compare unfavorably with the other two alternatives.