Resources Magazine

Resources magazine is RFF’s flagship publication. Since 1959, it has served as a forum for RFF experts and invited scholars, policymakers, and business leaders to offer insight into today’s most pressing environmental, energy, and natural resource issues.

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Resources 192 cover
Spring/Summer 2016

Resources 192

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From the President: A Fond Farewell

Phil Sharp

Infographic: Who Pays to Plug Inactive Oil and Gas Wells?

Jacqueline Ho and Alan J. Krupnick

Goings On: Highlights from Recent Events at RFF

Commentary: Environmental Policy Issues in the “New Normal” Era of China

Mun Ho

Q&A: Karen Palmer and Anthony Paul on Helping States Prepare for the Clean Power Plan

Inside RFF


Leadership on Climate Change: A Conversation with Québec Premier Philippe Couillard

At an RFF Policy Leadership Forum, the premier highlighted the importance of state-level climate initiatives.

The Sage Grouse Listing Decision: How Changing Expectations Could Affect Private Conservation

Rebecca Epanchin-Niell, Kimberly Rollins, and Michael H. Taylor

What does the decision not to list the sage grouse as endangered mean for the voluntary programs that put the bird on more sustainable footing?

The Value of Milder Weather

Maureen L. Cropper

A look at the amenity value of climate suggests that estimates of the benefits of climate change policy should be higher.

Responding to the Clean Power Plan and the Utility of the Future: Recommendations for States

Joseph Kruger

Using the same guiding principles to navigate two transformational trends in the electricity sector will carve a path to a lower-carbon electric grid.

US Energy Policy in an Interdependent World

Phil Sharp

Although US dependence on foreign oil has lessened, there are many ways our energy future will be affected by what happens elsewhere in the world.

Harmonizing North American Electricity Policy and Planning: An Action Agenda

Alan J. Krupnick, Daniel Shawhan, and Kristin Hayes

Coordinated electricity policymaking and planning across North America can help lower electricity costs, increase reliability, and tackle climate change.

Data from Drones: A New Way to See the Natural World

Molly K. Macauley and Timothy Brennan

The use of drones offers a game-changing means to gather environmental and resource economics data.

Resources 191 cover
Winter 2016

Resources 191

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From the President: Building on Success in Paris

Phil Sharp

Infographic: Exploring the Water–Energy Nexus: Water Use for Fossil Fuel Extraction and Processing

Yusuke Kuwayama

Goings On: Highlights from Recent Events at RFF

Commentary: Does Bicycle Infrastructure Reduce Traffic Congestion?

Casey J. Wichman

Q&A: Richard Morgenstern on the Real Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulations

Inside RFF

Why I Support RFF: An Economically Sensible Energy Transition

Anthony Bernhardt


The Impacts of Biofuel Mandates on Food Prices and Emissions

Ujjayant Chakravorty

Renewable fuel standards have been blamed for rising food prices, but population growth and dietary shifts play a significant role.

Dam Construction on International Rivers

Sheila M. Olmstead and Hilary Sigman

Countries tend to overdevelop shared rivers if they can pass on some of the costs of dams to their downstream neighbors.

Clearing the Air: How Market-Based Policies Help Meet the Tighter US Ozone Limit

Alan J. Krupnick, Joshua Linn, and Kristen McCormack

Many existing policies can help states cost-effectively meet the new ozone standard.

How Climate Change Affects Traffic Accidents

Benjamin Leard and Kevin Roth

Warmer, wetter weather may lead to an increase in traffic fatalities unless policies are implemented to adapt.

Are We Becoming Greener? Trends in Environmental Desire

James W. Boyd and Carolyn Kousky

The question of whether humanity’s environmental attitudes are changing lies at the heart of environmental policy decisions.

Global Benefit–Cost Analysis in US Climate Policy: Heresy or Evolutionary Logic?

Joel Darmstadter

Accounting for the global benefits of domestic policy represents a challenging departure from the traditional approach to benefit–cost analysis.

A Look at 35 Years of Flood Insurance Claims

Carolyn Kousky and Erwann Michel-Kerjan

An analysis of more than one million flood claims reveals insights to help homeowners choose the right insurance coverage.

Resources 190 cover
Fall 2015

Resources 190

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Welcome: Creating Equity in Environmental Policy

Phil Sharp

Infographic: The Benefits of Preventing Invasive Species: Timing Matters

Rebecca Epanchin-Niell and Andrew Liebhold

Goings On: Highlights from Recent Events at RFF

Commentary: Adaptation: An Essential, but Lagging, Part of Global Warming Policy

Joel Darmstadter

Inside RFF


How Costly Are Driving Restrictions Programs? Evidence from Mexico City

Allen Blackman, Francisco Alpízar, Fredrik Carlsson, Marisol Rivera Planter

A novel approach to calculating the costs of Mexico City’s “Day Without Driving” program estimates that roughly 3 percent of the country’s GDP is spent on the program—and that the costs are disproportionately burdensome for lower-income drivers.

How Do Environmental Policies Affect Employment?

Marc Hafstead, Roberton C. Williams III

A carbon tax is unlikely to reduce the number of jobs in the US economy, contrary to what some critics suggest. Instead, jobs will shift away from polluting industries toward cleaner ones, a transition that can be made smoother by sound policy design.

The Costs of Competing Goals in Fishery Management

Kailin Kroetz, James N. Sanchirico

Market-based permit trading programs can help ensure that fisheries are both sustainable and profitable. Many also use trading restrictions to meet social goals. But this can diminish economic efficiency, a trade-off that policymakers should consider.

The Impacts of a US Carbon Tax across Income Groups and States

Roberton C. Williams III, Dallas Burtraw, Richard D. Morgenstern

A tax on carbon dioxide emissions would generate huge revenues, and how those revenues are used will determine whether the policy leaves households better or worse off.

Designing Rebates to Protect Low-Income Households under a Carbon Tax

Chad Stone

A climate rebate delivered through existing tax and benefit systems can shield low- and moderate-income households from the rising prices of electricity, gasoline, and other energy-intensive goods that would occur under a carbon tax regime.

Thoughts on the Future of Environmental Regulation

J. Clarence (Terry) Davies

The US approach to environmental regulation has evolved in piecemeal fashion, resulting in a fragmented network of agencies that often lack the resources and authority needed to carry out their missions. What would a more integrated approach look like?

New Markets under US Vehicle Fuel Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Standards: Credit Trading

Benjamin Leard, Virginia D. McConnell

Under the new CAFE standards, US automakers can buy and sell emissions and fuel consumption credits for the first time. This added flexibility could lead to significant cost savings, but there are challenges to establishing a well-functioning market.

Resources 189 cover
Spring/Summer 2015

Resources 189

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Welcome: On the Frontiers of Climate Policy

Phil Sharp

Infographic: Pits versus Tanks: Comparing Storage Methods for Fluids Used in Fracking

Goings On: Highlights from Recent Events at RFF

Commentary: Getting Past the “Yuck” Factor: Recycled Water in Florida and Other States

Yusuke Kuwayama and Hannah Kamen

Q & A: A View of the Environmental Policy Landscape from Outside the Beltway

An Interview with Paul Portney

Inside RFF


Should We Price Carbon from Federal Coal?

Alan Krupnick, Nathan Richardson, Joel Darmstadter, and Katrina McLaughlin

About 40 percent of coal production in the United States takes place on federal lands. Since the government is required to consider the environment when determining how this land should be used, it could decide to incorporate a carbon charge in its planning processes or leases.

The Road to Paris and Beyond: Comparing Emissions Mitigation Efforts

Joseph E. Aldy and William A. Pizer

Understanding how countries’ climate change pledges measure up will play a critical role in the negotiating process for a global climate agreement. Three principles can help guide which metrics experts should use for this complex task.

America’s Awakening as an Arctic Nation

David J. Hayes

The time is ripe for the United States to become a global leader in balancing economic development with environmental and cultural preservation in the resource-rich and rapidly changing Arctic.

The Promise of US Arctic Oil and Gas Potential

Carol Lloyd

A recent report by the National Petroleum Council brings together diverse perspectives on drilling in the Alaskan Arctic, exploring the state of technology and research on several key topics, including one at the heart of the issue—the risk of an oil spill in Arctic waters.

Complying with EPA’s Clean Power Plan: Policy Options for States

Karen Palmer and Anthony Paul

Under EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide regulations for power plants, states are faced with the opportunity—and challenge—to craft compliance plans tailored to their needs. They can choose from a number of policy options that are administratively simple, flexible, and cost-effective.

Falling Oil Prices: Implications in the United States

Stephen P.A. Brown

Oil prices have fallen nearly $50 per barrel since June 2014, providing a mild stimulus to the US economy. Yet national energy security may be reduced, and oil-related pollution is expected to rise.

Resources 188 cover
Winter 2015

Resources 188

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • Wood Energy: An Overlooked Renewable
  • Conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • What Homeowners Say about Energy Audits
  • Green Growth for China?

Resources 187 cover
Fall 2014

Resources 187

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • Combating Invasive Species
  • A Financial Approach to Environmental Risk
  • Utilities Confront a Shifting Energy Landscape
  • What Americans Think about Climate Change

Resources 186 cover
Spring/Summer 2014

Resources 186

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • In Search of Blue Skies for China
  • The Case for Eliminating US Fossil Fuel Subsidies
  • Lifting the Oil Export Ban
  • The Drawbacks of Private Funding for Public Parks

Resources 185 cover
Winter 2014

Resources 185

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • Fueling America's Cars: Prospects for Natural Gas
  • Long-Lived Environmental Problems
  • What Motivates Green Business Decisions?
  • Negotiating a Post-2020 Climate Agreement

Resources 184 cover
Fall 2013

Resources 184

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • The Endangered Species Act at Forty
  • Designing a Fair Carbon Tax
  • How Electric Cars Can Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Reforming the National Flood Insurance Program

Resources 183 cover
Spring/Summer 2013

Resources 183

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • The Controversy over US Coal Exports
  • Intergenerational Discounting
  • Whither Markets for Environmental Regulation?
  • Sizing Up the Energy-Efficiency Gap

Resources 182 cover
Winter 2013

Resources 182

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • Joseph Stiglitz on Inequality and Environmental Policy
  • Options for US Climate Policy
  • The Institutional Blind Spot in Environmental Economics
  • Ecological Loss: The Limits to Ingenuity

Resources 181 cover
Fall 2012

Resources 181

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • America's Changing Energy Landscape
  • High-Speed Rail Passions
  • The Future of Natural Gas Vehicles
  • Does Speculation Drive Oil Prices?

Resources 180 cover
Spring/Summer 2012

Resources 180

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • Balancing Economic and Environmental Progress in Developing Countries
  • Old and Battle-Tested Friend: Funding the Agenda
  • Eco-certification: Truth in Advertising?
  • Decentralizing Forest Management in China

Resources 179 cover
Winter 2012

Resources 179

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • State Parks: Assessing Their Benefits
  • Loan Guarantees Reconsidered
  • Shopping for Emissions Reductions at the Lowest Price
  • Oil, Copper, Rare Earths: Confrontation Ahead?

Resources 178 cover
Fall 2012

Resources 178

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See the full contents, including these features:

  • Climate Change in the United States: Expected Environmental Impacts
  • Investing in Information to Respond to a Changing Climate
  • The Risk of Ecosystem Service Losses: Ecological Hedging Strategies
  • Decarbonizing the Power Sector: Are Freebates Better Than a Clean Energy Standard?

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