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Vibrant Environment

Tying the West’s Energy Knot: Challenges and Recommendations in Interstate Transmission Siting (Part 3)

Solar voltaic system
By Nareg Kuyumjian, Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Parts One and Two of this blog series covered the debate and regulatory framework regarding interstate electricity transmission. Part Three will conclude the series by identifying key challenges energy policymakers should expect to face regarding interstate transmission siting, and policy recommendations on how to mitigate them.

A Breeding Ground for Wetlands Preservation

A shallow and humble vernal pool holds a secret under its surface - thousands of
By Sonja Michaluk , Research Scientist and First-Year Student at Carnegie Mellon University
Tuesday, June 1, 2021

I am honored to be invited as a guest blogger for ELI’s Vibrant Environment Blog. As a first-year student at Carnegie Mellon University, I am studying computational genomics, statistics, and water sustainability.

When in Doubt, Reach Out: The Role of Environmental Ombudsmen in Compliance Assistance

Leaves of an oak tree
By Kevin Si, Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Friday, May 28, 2021

Local and tribal governments are on the hook to meet a multitude of environmental requirements. Consider the effort needed to comply with NPDES permitting requirements for municipal wastewater and stormwater facilities, drinking water standards for public water systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act, and regulations governing municipal landfills under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, to name just a few. Hard-working officials and environmental managers must ensure that these requirements are met, often with their agencies strapped for funding and operating with a limited staff.

Visionaries: Working Together to Restore Wetlands in Rhode Island

Point Judith Light at Narragansett Bay
By Wenley Ferguson, Director of Habitat Restoration, Save The Bay
Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Paul McElroy saw potential for restoration in areas often overlooked and considered blighted by most. From the banks of the Woonasquatucket River to an abandoned landfill in Narragansett Bay, he saw what could be.

Wetlands Warrior Lauren Driscoll Recognized for National Wetlands Leadership

Lauren Driscoll
By Marcus Humberg, Communications Specialist, Washington State Department of Ecology
Monday, May 24, 2021

As we celebrate National Wetlands Month in May, one of the Washington State Department of Ecology’s best and brightest—and a longtime “hero” of Washington State’s wetlands—Lauren Driscoll has been recognized for her lifetime of wetlands program development work by ELI.

The Reclamation Project: Engaging Community for 15 Years Through Participatory Eco-Art

Reclamation Project installation of mangrove propagules
By Xavier Cortada, Artist and Professor of Practice, University of Miami’s Department of Art and Art History
Thursday, May 20, 2021

I was introduced to mangroves early in my childhood during family trips to Bear Cut in Key Biscayne, Florida—the same plants that grew in my family’s hometown on the northern coast of Cuba. In 2003, I first used mangrove imagery in my artwork as a metaphor for the immigrant. I imagined the mangrove propagules floating along the water and setting root on a sandbar. Little by little they would grow alongside each other, capture sediment, create land, and build new habitats. Like immigrants in a community who come together to support one another, the roots of each mangrove tree come together to create a formidable structure that protects against the dangers of storm surge.

Now Is the Time to Address the Hidden Health Risks of Home Cooking

Cooking over a stove top, Joshua Resnick/shutterstock.com
By Amy Reed, Senior Attorney
Monday, May 17, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has focused increased attention on indoor air quality and ventilation. Yet, many people remain unaware of the health risks posed by an activity that occurs every day in their homes: cooking.

Stewarding Natural Resources for Intergenerational Well-Being Through the Endangered Species Act

Head of bald eagle
By Emily Chen, Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Friday, May 14, 2021

Climate change and environmental degradation not only pose visible threats to the well-being of millions today, but also present hazards to future generations—challenging the principle of intergenerational equity. Intergenerational equity, a concept that calls for fairness and justice between generations, requires that past, present, and future generations share the Earth’s resources in a fair and equitable manner. Related to this is the concept of intergenerational well-being, which calls on present generations to live and govern in a way that will allow future generations to live healthy and complete lives.

Tying the West’s Energy Knot: The Regulatory Framework of Interstate Electricity Transmission (Part 2)

Wind mills at sunset
By Nareg Kuyumjian, Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Part One of this blog series discussed interstate electricity transmission as an integral part of grid resilience through a California and Western EIM case study. Part Two builds on this background by evaluating the regulatory framework that underpins the division of transmission siting authority and analyzing its legal implications.

Tying the West’s Energy Knot: Interstate Transmission Development (Part 1)

Solar photovoltaic panels
By Nareg Kuyumjian, Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Monday, May 10, 2021

Last August, over half a million California residents simultaneously lost power during the state’s first rolling blackout in 20 years. Critics of renewable energy have pointed to California’s recent gains in wind and solar power penetration to argue that the large-scale outage suggests a correlation between increased variable renewable energy and increased grid vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, in an analysis released in January, CAISO, California’s energy market operator, attributed the large-scale outage to a climate change-induced heat wave, which led electricity demand to exceed existing resource adequacy. In the same report, CAISO proposes “consideration of transmission build out” to overcome transmission constraints across multiple interstate electricity lines as a key to preventing future outages. Whether and how to move electrons across state borders, however, has been at the center of California’s energy transition debate for years.

All blog posts are the opinion of its author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of ELI the organization or its members.