The production of crude oil and natural gas from unconventional reservoirs has become a growth sector within the North American energy industry, and current projections indicate that the production of some of these unconventional fossil fuels will continue accelerating in the foreseeable future. This shift in the energy industry has been accompanied by rising concerns over potential impacts on water resources because producing these fuels is thought to require more water per unit of energy produced than conventional sources and may lead to greater degradation of water quality. In this paper, we address these emerging environmental issues by (a) providing a comprehensive overview of the existing literature on the water quantity and quality implications of producing the main unconventional fossil fuels in North America and (b) characterizing the differences in social costs that arise from the extraction and production of these fuels versus those from conventional fossil fuel production.
Common Resources — Nov 14, 2013
Unconventional Fuel Production and Water Resources
Crude oil and natural gas production from unconventional reservoirs is experiencing accelerated growth in North America, much of which is expected ...
Common Resources — Sep 16, 2021
Under Construction: The Build Back Better Act
RFF experts assess early committee drafts of the Build Back Better Act, a far-reaching bill designed around the Senate’s unique reconciliation process that addresses clean energy and infrastructure spending.
Press Release — Sep 16, 2021
A Clean Electricity Performance Program and Tax Credits Could Drive Emissions Reductions—But Alone Are Not Enough to Meet US Climate Goals
New analysis from a team at Resources for the Future finds that a carbon price alongside a clean electricity performance program and clean energy tax credits could help the United States halve emissions–but without a carbon price or other substantial climate policies, reductions fall short.