Resources Article

Goings On: Highlights from Recent Events at RFF

Sep 10, 2014

Natural Resources, Ecology, and Public Policy: Time for Some Unconventional Ideas?

“If productivity can increase and we can produce enough food by 2050, after that . . . we won’t need more food. So what are we going to do with all of that extra productivity? For the very first time in human history, we can take those productivity gains and actually decrease the amount of land [we use].”

Jack Bobo, senior advisor for biotechnology, US Department of State, on basing agricultural planning on future demographic trends. May 28, 2014.

Making Sense of EPA’s Proposed Rule for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Existing Power Plants

“Our goal throughout this—and we talked a lot to stakeholders—was to ensure that we continued to maintain an efficient, affordable, and reliable energy system, and you’ll see that the flexibility provided in this rule will help us achieve that.”

Reid Harvey, director, Clean Air Markets Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, US Environmental Protection Agency, on the considerations involved in the development of the Clean Power Plan. June 5, 2014.

Considering the Contributions of Forests in the Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

“We’re finding many ways to use [Forest Inventory and Analysis Program] data and expertise to help us at least answer big questions—not just about carbon but also about carbon and its relation to other ecosystem services. That’s where I think the policy issues are going to be.”

David A. Cleaves, climate change advisor to the chief, US Forest Service, on the range of applications for forestry data. January 29, 2014.

Exploring the Local Impacts of Shale Gas Development

“We do find evidence that accident rates and the severity of accidents are increasing in the same county where shale gas development is occurring. These are costly by themselves but also have impacts on emergency medical services and the rehabilitation of injured individuals. Understanding these costs could direct resources toward prevention.”

Lucija Muehlenbachs, assistant professor, University of Calgary, and visiting fellow, RFF, on the effects of shale development on local transportation safety. April 10, 2014.

Limits to Securitization: The Future of Insurance

"Instead of taking all these risks and concentrating them in a handful of large reinsurers or insurance companies, you can actually turn these risks into securities and have pension funds invest in them.”

Peter Nakada, managing director of risk markets, Risk Management Solutions, Inc., on innovative ways to manage risks that are difficult to insure. June 4, 2014.

From the Gulf to the Arctic: What Have We Learned Since the Deepwater Horizon Spill?

“The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land. It’s an important distinction from the Antarctic, which is land surrounded by water. And although it’s an international space because it is surrounded by eight countries, it’s also very much a national space where countries have their own hopes, dreams, economies, and regulatory regimes. It’s a complicated place.”

Fran Ulmer, chair, US Arctic Research Commission, and member, National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, on understanding the inherent challenges of Arctic development. April 17, 2014.