RFF on the Issues

RFF on the Issues: Cross-Border Energy Sector Coordination in North America

Oct 27, 2016 | Peter Nelson

Last week, in the final presidential debate ahead of November’s election, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton commented that the United States would benefit from “an energy system that crosses borders.” The idea of harmonizing energy systems across North America is the subject of major ongoing research at Resources for the Future. Together with partners in Mexico and Canada, RFF experts are exploring a number of potential opportunities for both economic and environmental benefits in all three countries from increased coordination on energy policy, planning, data, and analysis.

Harmonizing energy in North America could include a range of activities, such as sharing information, streamlining and coordinating electricity-sector operations and planning, developing integrated policies for exploiting oil and gas resources in the Gulf of Mexico, and collaborating on policies to address climate change. According to RFF’s Alan J. Krupnick, Daniel Shawhan, and Kristin Hayes, among a variety of benefits, “[h]armonization is also advantageous if it reduces transaction costs. If regulatory requirements are sufficiently similar on both sides of a border, for instance, companies can use just one set of procedures for complying with them, saving the expense of having to follow two different sets.”

Learn more about this ongoing work, including recommendations from RFF experts on how to move toward harmonization and prioritize specific action items to that end:

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