Common Resources

Welcome to Common Resources, RFF’s blog, where RFF experts and other professionals examine the economics of environmental and natural resource policies, provide policy-relevant insight and commentary, and unveil new RFF research. 

For questions about the blog, contact Pete Nelson, RFF communications director and managing editor of Common Resources, at

Common Resources

  • RFF on the Issues: Movement to Price Carbon

    Apr 28, 2016 | Shannon Wulf Tregar

    Leaders of major global institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have been pressing governments to charge polluters for emitting carbon dioxide.

  • RFF on the Issues: Addressing Water Scarcity

    Apr 26, 2016 | Shannon Wulf Tregar

    Many cities and regions of the United States, particularly in the West, are at risk of water shortages so sudden and severe that the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence now considers water scarcity as a major threat to national security.

  • Evaluating Fishery Catch Share Programs in a Developing Country Context

    Apr 26, 2016 | Kailin Kroetz, James N. Sanchirico, Julio Peña Torres, David Corderi Novoa

    Are catch share programs effective for the management of fisheries in developing countries?  Ongoing research on major management programs in Peru and Chile is investigating the extent to which an individual vessel quota (IVQ) program that allows for quota transfers through the formation of associations can generate economic benefits while also potentially taking into account some of the governance issues associated with establishing effective property right regimes in a developing country context.

  • The Storm Gathering over Public Lands

    Apr 25, 2016 | Margaret A. Walls

    Last week, US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell gave a speech on the future of conservation and public lands in this country. One important topic was the Antiquities Act—a piece of federal legislation that many Americans have probably never heard of but that is part of the gathering storm over public lands management and policy.

  • RFF on the Issues: Signing the Paris Agreement: What’s Next?

    Apr 22, 2016 | Shannon Wulf Tregar

    World leaders from 175 countries signed a landmark climate change agreement in Paris today. Some question whether the agreement is ambitious enough to deliver on its promise to fight climate change. In the New York Times, the Union of Concerned Scientists notes that the high number of countries involved indicates momentum, “But there is still a lot of work to do, not just in the U.S. but around the world, to nail down these domestic actions.”

  • This Week in the RFF Library Blog

    Apr 21, 2016 | Chris Clotworthy

    Each week, I review the papers, studies, reports, and briefings posted over at the RFF Library Blog.

  • RFF on the Issues: Senate Passes Energy Policy

    Apr 21, 2016 | Shannon Wulf Tregar

    On Wednesday morning, the Senate passed the first broad energy bill since the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The measure, known as the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, includes provisions to enhance the electric grid, improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and speed the export of natural gas from US producers.

  • Protecting Our National Parks: Changing the Structure of Entrance Fees Can Help

    Apr 18, 2016 | Margaret A. Walls

    National Park Week started on Saturday, April 16. This year, the event is a celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. From April 16 through April 24, entrance fees are waived at all parks.

  • RFF on the Issues: Making Efficient Decisions to Reduce Deforestation

    Apr 18, 2016 | Shannon Wulf Tregar

    A new initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank, the government of Honduras, and the Climate Investment Fund is helping to replace open-fire cookstoves in Honduras with “ecostoves,” which use less wood and emit less smoke. While the country faces significant forest loss, using less wood is an important step to reducing deforestation and forest degradation.

  • The Economics of the ‘Economic Argument for Environmental Protection’

    Apr 12, 2016 | Alan J. Krupnick

    Doubtlessly few of this blog’s readers have taken a course in environmental economics, but as the commentaries on this blog indicate, grounding in the principles of environmental economics would be very helpful in wading through proposals for or against environmental protection.