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.
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.
Oil shale from the Western United States could become the source of millions of barrels of competitively priced oil each day in 20 to 30 years if technological, environmental and governance issues are resolved.
Higher world oil prices and recent technological achievements are generating renewed interest in oil shale. However, based on technical design needs, initial commercial operations are likely more than a decade away.
Oil refiners expect fuel supplies and prices will remain volatile around the United States in the next few years, as refineries work to churn out fuels at near capacity levels in response to rising demand for petroleum products.
A RAND report recommends a new and more comprehensive approach that land management agencies and energy consumers can use to better evaluate proposals for future natural gas and oil development on public lands.
This report presents a new approach to assessing natural gas and oil resources that is intended to help guide strategic land use planning by expanding the scope of these assessments to include economic and environmental considerations.