The Federal Multiagency Collaboration on Unconventional Oil and Gas Research Strategy: What Have We Learned?

The Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency recently released the long-awaited research strategy on unconventional oil and gas research. Its mandate was to produce timely, policy-relevant research questions that support sound policy decisions and prudent oil and gas development. It also was to “analyze and synthesize the state of […]

Managing the Risks of Shale Gas Development Using Innovative Legal and Regulatory Approaches

At the heart of the US shale gas boom is a tense relationship between the desire for its economic benefits and the fear of its environmental costs. Regulatory measures and industry best practices can be adjusted to ease this tension, but the potential for incorporating innovative tools into new measures has been relatively understudied. Both […]

Twitter Q&A Roundup: EPA’s Clean Air Plan

On June 5, RFF hosted a seminar titled, “Making Sense of EPA’s Proposed Rule for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants.” We did not have time to answer all of the questions posed by our Twitter audience during that event due to time constraints. Below are our responses to some of those questions. #askRFF […]

Identifying “Known Unknowns” in the Natural Gas Revolution

Last week, my colleagues and I released a new RFF report, The Natural Gas Revolution: Critical Questions for a Sustainable Energy Future. At one point, I began referring to this document as the “Known Unknowns” report, in reference to a widely quoted Donald Rumsfeld speech. As the former secretary of defense noted, there are certain […]

Fixing Emissions Trading Imbalances with a Price Floor

The centerpiece of Europe Union’s climate policy, the cap-and-trade Emissions Trading System (ETS), is being hobbled by a large oversupply of emissions allowances in the market. Since 2008, the ETS has rapidly accumulated a two gigaton surplus of allowances. The oversupply of allowances and low level of emissions is the result of a number of […]

Small Changes, But an Important Signal in New Power Plant GHG Proposal

Update: I’ve revised my understanding of EPA’s proposal and this post is no longer correct. See the update here. EPA released a major and long-awaited proposed regulation today, but the most important news might be something it didn’t do, and how that affects the next major step in regulating carbon under the Clean Air Act. […]

Technology Flexibility and Stringency for Greenhouse Gas Regulations

The Clean Air Act provides the current regulatory framework for climate policy in the United States. A key component of US policy as called for in President Obama’s recent memorandum to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be the use of flexible approaches in achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. EPA is expected to […]

Are New Shale Gas Regulations in Illinois the Strongest in the Country?

Last month, Illinois passed new legislation (SB 1715) strengthening and updating its oil and gas regulations. Governor Pat Quinn and sponsors of the new law claim it will give the state “the strongest, most effective drilling safeguards enacted by any state in the nation” while still allowing the industry to “develop in a responsible manner.” […]

The State of State Shale Gas Regulation

For the last year or so, we’ve been cataloging and analyzing state-level shale gas regulations, as part of our larger project on managing the risks of shale gas development. Regular readers may remember the previews of that research posted here and on the RFF website, featuring maps of regulatory variation. I’m happy to announce that […]

The New CAFE Standards: Are They Enough on Their Own?

The new CAFE standards may require complementary policies to meet the ambitious goals of reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In a new RFF discussion paper, I examine the new footprint standards, their implications for changes to the size mix of vehicles, and the role of credit policies on compliance and cost-effectiveness of the […]