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An Assessment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Performance Track Programby Rena Rudavsky Noreen Clancy Nicholas Burger Christopher Nelson Scott Hassell
This report addresses the conceptual basis, design, and implementation of the National Environmental Performance Track program. The voluntary program sought to encourage facilities to improve their environmental performance and provide a more collaborative relationship between facilities and regulators. While the program had mixed success, EPA should continue to seek out new approaches to complement and enhance traditional regulatory approaches.
Countering Piracy in the Modern Era: Notes from a Rand Workshop to Discuss the Best Approaches for Dealing with Piracy in the 21st Centuryby Peter Chalk Nicholas Burger Laurence Smallman
In March 2009, the RAND Corporation convened a small group of experts from the U.S. government, allied partner nations, the maritime industry, and academic organizations to discuss piracy in the modern era. Participants concluded that mitigating the complex nature of maritime crime requires the input of all stakeholders--state, national, private, and nongovernmental--and must embrace measures beyond the reactive deployment of naval assets.
Choosing policy responses to mitigate greenhouse gases (GHGs) is one of the great challenges that the United States faces. It will require balancing cost-effectiveness and other objectives that reflect the institutional and political realities of passing major federal legislation with widespread impacts on U.S. producers and consumers. This paper develops a framework for evaluating U.S. GHG-mitigation policy that balances several criteria.
Mitigating Corruption in Government Security Forces: The Role of Institutions, Incentives, and Personnel Management in Mexicoby Mary Manqing Fu Nicholas Burger Beth J. Asch
Mexico has undertaken reforms in recent years to professionalize its police. This report draws on the literature on corruption and personnel incentives and analyzes police reform in Mexico. It addresses the roots of corruption and the tools that could be used to mitigate it and provides an initial assessment of the reforms' effectiveness. The results suggest some progress, though police corruption still remains high and more work is needed.
Biomass is an increasingly important source of electricity, heat, and liquid fuel. One near-term option for using biomass to generate electricity is to cofire biomass in coal-fired electricity plants. This report focuses on two aspects of biomass use: plant-site modifications, changes in operations, and costs associated with cofiring biomass; and the logistical issues associated with delivering biomass to the plant.
Federal spending on surface-transportation infrastructure outpaces federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel. Increasing fuel efficiency means that fuel-purchase expenditures have dropped, so real revenue generated from these taxes has declined. A percentage tax on crude oil and imported refined-petroleum products consumed in the United States could fund U.S. transportation infrastructure.
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