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The Future of the Endangered Species Act: Challenges, Opportunities, and Partnerships

Over the last year, RFF began hosting a series of meetings between the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), NGOs, and the business community to discuss future species listing and recovery decisions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). One goal is to take stock of the ESA’s many strengths and successes over the 40 years […]

New York State Fracking Ban: Gov. Cuomo Follows “Precautionary Principle”

New York State’s Governor Cuomo today issued a ruling, backed by a long awaited report on the public health implications of “high volume hydraulic fracturing for shale gas development,” to ban the practice in New York State. The report is as important for what it does not find as what it does. It does not […]

Falling Oil Prices and US Economic Activity

Weak demand and abundant supply are behind the recent trend in oil prices, which have fallen by more than $50 per barrel since June. This event is not unprecedented—in fact, the conditions associated with the 2014 crude price drop are very similar to those surrounding a similar drop during 1985 and 1986. In both cases, oil conservation […]

Resources Magazine: Developing Policies to Combat Invasive Species

Global trade—and now global warming—are making the problem of invasive species ever more challenging. From surveillance to cooperative management, Rebecca Epanchin-Niell explores options to control these damaging invaders. In 1909, Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki presented the US government with 2,000 young cherry trees to be planted around Washington, DC’s tidal basin. The gift was part of a […]

Fracking in Focus: A Look at Voluntary Environmental Information Disclosure and Firm Size

The potential environmental risks posed by fracturing fluids—usually some mixture of chemicals and water—make hydraulic fracturing a highly controversial industrial process. These risks have prompted many stakeholders to request chemical disclosure reports on the fluids used by well operators. The oil and gas industry has responded by creating a fracturing chemical registry website—www.FracFocus.org—that allows operators […]

Peak Water, or Peak Water Withdrawals?

A US Geological Survey (USGS) report released last month, “Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2010,” surprised many of us in the water research community. According to the report, about 355 billion gallons of water per day were withdrawn for use during 2010, which represented a 13 percent decrease relative to 2005 […]

Where Falling Oil Prices May Take Us Next

The world economy has seen a 40 percent drop in oil prices since mid-June, partly because of a recent Saudi Arabia decision to not cut oil production in the face of global oversupply.  This price drop, should it last more than a few months, raises the issue: Will low prices end or seriously diminish the […]

Land Conservation and Sea Level Rise—Florida Edition

If you’re a fan of crime fiction with a dash of humor, you might have read some of Carl Hiaasen’s books—Skinny Dip, Nature Girl, Paradise Screwed, to name three. If so, you’ve probably noticed Hiaasen’s love of nature, specifically the wild and woolly swamps and back woods of south Florida. In early November, Hiaasen wrote […]

Alternative Compliance Payments under the Clean Power Plan

This is the ninth in a series of questions that highlights RFF’s Expert Forum on EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Readers are invited to submit their own comments to the questions and/or the responses using the “Leave a Comment” box below. See all of the questions to date here. RFF asks the experts: Could an alternative compliance payment […]

Lifting the Oil Export Ban: A Staged Approach

In the debates surrounding a lifting of the oil export ban, what is sometimes missed is that exceptions—some big, some small—to permit exports have been made for decades.  President Reagan issued a finding in 1985 that exports to Canada for consumption in Canada would be in the national interest and such exports began to be […]