People Places Planet Podcast

Welcome to ELI’s People Places Planet Podcast. Here, listeners can gain insight on some of the thinking behind ELI's work. Below you will find our most recent episodes. Be sure to tune into our special series on Environmental Disruptors.

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As the agency responsible for regulating the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity, in addition to natural gas and hydropower projects, the Federal Electric Regulatory Commission (FERC) plays an integral role when it comes to U.S. environmental law and policy. In the latest episode of People Places Planet Podcast, Emily Mallen, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C, talks to Matt Christiansen, FERC’s General Counsel. Emily and Matt discuss a variety of topics, including climate change, renewable energy, the grid, and energy justice. To listen, visit or find us on your favorite podcast app.

The Martín Peña channel is an urban tidal channel connected to the San Juan Bay Estuary, located in Puerto Rico’s capital of San Juan. According to the 2020 Census, nearly 11,000 people live in the Martin Peña channel area. Sadly, flooding is a constant threat. In this episode, Elissa Torres-Soto, a Staff Attorney at ELI, speaks with three young activists from the area: Krystal Géigel, Mayrita Rosario, and Jeymi Benítez. The trio are members of Líderes Jóvenes en Acción (LIJAC), which in English translates to Young Leaders in Action.

El Caño Martín Peña es un canal urbano conectado al estuario de la Bahía de San Juan, ubicado en la ciudad de San Juan, la capital de Puerto Rico. Según el Censo de 2020, existe una densidad poblacional en el área de casi once mil personas. Desafortunadamente, un grave riesgo para los residentes son las constantes inundaciones. En este episodio, Elissa Torres-Soto, abogada de ELI, habla con tres líderes comunitarios jóvenes que viven en el área: Krystal Géigel, Mayrita Rosario y Jeymi Benitez. Los tres son miembros de Líderes Jóvenes en Acción (LIJAC), Young Leaders in Action en inglés.

Since 1989, ELI has honored over 200 champions of wetlands protection through the National Wetlands Awards program, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional effort, innovation, and excellence in protecting these critical ecosystems. In this episode, hear from our five 2022 awardees, who share their perspectives and insight on a variety of wetlands-related matters. 

More than 30 years ago, roughly 1,100 people attended the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., to discuss the environmental injustices they were experiencing in their communities. Considered by many as the birth of the environmental justice movement, the four-day summit concluded with the adoption of the 17 Principles of Environmental Justice, still relevant today. In this episode, ELI’s Arielle King meets with key organizers and leaders of the historical summit: Vernice Miller-Travis and Charles Lee. The episode is part of the Groundtruth series created in partnership with Beveridge & Diamond, one of the nation’s leading environmental law firms. 

ELI’s Climate Judiciary Project bridges the gap between the climate science community and the judiciary, providing judges with neutral, objective information about the science of climate change. In this episode, ELI Research Associate Heather Luedke talks to Sandy Nichols Thiam, ELI’s Director of Judicial Education, and Dr. Paul Hanle, the Project Founder, to learn more. 

One of the defining issues of our time – sea level rise – promises to impact millions of Americans in the coming years and decades.  But while the science of sea level rise is becoming more and more accurate and predictable, and the need to adapt to a changing future more clear, the legal and policy implications of doing so are anything but obvious. In this episode, Jarryd Page, a staff attorney at ELI, talks about sea level rise with Robin Kundis Craig, the Robert C. Packard Trustee Chair in Law at the University of Southern California School of Law.

As the Agency responsible for protecting human health and the environment across the entirety of the United States, EPA has developed EJSCREEN, a mapping and screening tool that combines environmental and demographic data to highlight areas with potential environmental justice concerns. In February, EPA released EJSCREEN 2.0, adding new indicators and datasets to the tool. In this episode, Nicole Noelliste, a managing associate in the environmental practice at Sidley Austin LLP, talks to Matthew Tejada, Director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, and Tai Lung, also with EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, to learn about EJSCREEN 2.0.

Linda Breggin, a Senior Attorney at ELI and Director of ELI’s Center for State, Tribal and Local Environmental Programs, talks to Professors Monte Mills and Martin Nie about their article, Bridges to a New Era: A Report on the Past, Present, and Potential Future of Tribal Co-Management on Federal Public Lands. In it, they posit that the United States can meaningfully connect public land law to the federal government’s long-standing trust-based and treaty-based responsibility to promote the sovereign and cultural interests of Native Nations and enhance and engage in a new era of tribal co-management across the federal public land system. The article received honorable mention in this year’s Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR), a 15-year collaboration between ELI and Vanderbilt University Law School. Vanderbilt Law students Connor Kridle and Thomas Boynton join in on the conversation.

As climate change impacts become more visible and the urgency for climate action continues, it is important to remember that we need to address emissions from all sectors, not just from fossil fuels. In this episode, we dig into the policies, legal reforms, and actions the United States should undertake to make the agricultural industry carbon neutral.