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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.

Cleaner Power: The Benefits and Costs of Moving from Coal Generation to Modern T

Cleaner Power: The Benefits and Costs of Moving from Coal Generation to Modern Technologies

Byron Swift, Environmental Law Institute
May 2001

This paper analyzes benefits and costs of reducing by half the use of coal for electric generation in the United States by the year 2010, making use of the Haiku electricity market model developed and maintained at Resources for the Future. The analysis indicates that the coal generation would be replaced by generation from modern power technologies such as natural gas turbines, together with a small contribution by wind power and other sources. Read More >

New York State Biodiversity Project Needs Assessment

Environmental Law Institute
March 2001

The loss of New York''s natural heritage is caused, in part, by direct threats which include ill-planned development, land use and land management. Thus decision makers - from state and local government, private industry, and conservation organizations - must become better informed on how to incorporate biodiversity information into their activities and how to assess the potential effects of their decisions on biodiversity in the State. Without such biodiversity knowledge, decisions cannot effectively protect the State''s natural resources even where a decision maker desires to do so. Read More >

Smart Growth in Small Towns and Rural Communities: Maryland's Eastern Shore

Susan Casey-Lefkowitz and Rebecca Jensen
February 2001

Smart growth tools can be useful for small towns and rural communities as well as for major metropolitan areas and rapidly growing localities. States and localities across the country are crafting growth management tools to meet their needs. In most cases, rapidly growing localities and metropolitan areas have felt the strongest need to guide their growth by taking advantage of smart growth tools. Yet, as states put frameworks for smart growth in place, all communities can benefit from regulations and incentives that help them take charge of their future development. Read More >

Virginia's Economic Incentives: Missed Opportunities for Sustainable Growth

Virginia's Economic Incentives: Missed Opportunities for Sustainable Growth

February 2001

This report examines several major economic incentive programs and funds used in the Commonwealth of Virginia to attract new businesses and to support the expansion of existing businesses. Virginia operates a number of programs that provide loans and grants to businesses for economic development and job creation purposes. The programs reviewed in this report provide nearly $30 million per year in government support to businesses. Read More >

Status of the States: Innovative Strategies for Biodiversity Conservation

Jessica Wilkinson, Environmental Law Institute
January 2001

The United States now faces a biodiversity crisis of historic proportions. It is estimated that "one-third of the native U.S. flora and fauna is considered to be of conservation concern." States are currently facing unprecedented habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation due to sprawl development, agriculture, and other land modifications. Many states are also being confronted with contentious Endangered Species Act battles. However, few, if any, federal laws or programs address protection of the broader array of plants, animals, and ecosystems before they become imperiled. Read More >