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Research Reports

ELI publishes Research Reports available for free download that present the analysis and conclusions of the policy studies ELI undertakes to improve environmental law and policy. These reports contribute to education of the profession and disseminate diverse points of view and opinions to stimulate a robust and creative exchange of ideas. Those publications, which express opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of the Institute, its Board of Directors, or funding organizations, exemplify ELI’s commitment to dialogue with all sectors.

Delaware Offshore Alternative Energy Framework Review & Recommendations

James McElfish, Read Porter, and Jordan Diamond
June 2011

This report explores Delaware’s framework for managing offshore alternative energy. Read More >

State Enabling Legislation for Commercial-Scale Wind Power Siting and the Local

State Enabling Legislation for Commercial-Scale Wind Power Siting and the Local Government Role

James M. McElfish, Jr. and Sara Gersen
May 2011

Wind power currently provides less than 2 percent of the nation’s electric power, but the U.S. Department of Energy plans for an increase to 20 percent within the next 20 years. Wind energy is a growing industry sector with the potential to transform much of the nation’s industrial and energy economy, while avoiding harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Read More >

Siting Wind Facilities on State-Owned Lands and Waters

Siting Wind Facilities on State-Owned Lands and Waters

James M. McElfish, Jr. and Catherine McLinn
April 2011

Siting Wind Facilities on State-Owned Lands and Waters examines opportunities that states have explored for siting commercial-scale wind facilities on lands and waters that are government-owned. State trust lands and forests and the beds of rivers and the Great Lakes offer potential opportunities for wind power that can help advance state renewable energy goals. States own large parcels that may facilitate siting commercial-scale facilities; they also control lands that may be intermingled with private or federal lands suitable for wind development. Read More >

Mapping the Energy-Water Policy Landscape

Mapping the Energy-Water Policy Landscape

James M. McElfish, Jr., Read Porter, and Adam Schempp
August 2010

This publication identifies the laws and policies that affect water use in the energy sector within the United States. Water quality and quantity are integral to many energy production activities. Most thermoelectric power generation plants require substantial amounts of water for steam generation and cooling, while disposal of combustion byproducts raises issues of water quality. Likewise, the extraction of oil and natural gas using enhanced recovery techniques, and handling of injected and produced water, raise state and federal concerns for oil, gas, and geothermal energy production. Read More >

NEPA Success Stories: Celebrating 40 Years of Transparency and Open Government

NEPA Success Stories: Celebrating 40 Years of Transparency and Open Government

The Partnership Project, the Grand Canyon Trust, and the Environmental Law Institute
August 2010

This report presents 13 vignettes of how the National Environmental Policy Act helped improve government decisionmaking through public comment and vetting ideas with other agencies. This is a joint project of the Environmental Law Institute along with the Grand Canyon Trust and the Partnership Project. Read More >