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Vibrant Environment

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.

NEPA Compliance and Litigation: Maybe Not as Burdensome as Some Think

Courthouse
By Hallie Ruttum, J.D. Candidate, Vanderbilt University Law School, and Linda Breggin, Senior Attorney; Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs
Wednesday, May 5, 2021

In “Measuring the NEPA Litigation Burden: A Review of 1,499 Federal Court Cases,” Prof. John C. Ruple and Kayla M. Race quantitatively demonstrate that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance and litigation burdens may be overstated—findings they argue should inform any revisions to NEPA. The article was originally published in Lewis & Clark Law School’s Environmental Law in 2020. The piece was also selected as a top 20 article for the Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review in 2020, an ELI-Vanderbilt Law School project that identifies innovative environmental law and policy proposals each year.

Groundbreaking Releases of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Hold Enormous Promise for Public Health Worldwide

Mosquito on leaf
By Keith A. Matthews, Of Counsel, Wiley Rein LLP
Monday, May 3, 2021

Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, Zika, Yellow Feverwhat do all these diseases have in common? They are caused by viruses that enter human bloodstreams via mosquito bites. The culprit that transmits these viruses is the Aedes aegypti mosquito. On April 26, Wiley Rein LLP client Oxitec, Ltd.

Seven Areas for Taking Action to Reduce Food Waste

Apples in harvest
By Dana Gunders, Executive Director, ReFED
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Food waste is a systemwide problem, affecting all stages of the supply chain. Therefore, solving it will take a systemwide approach. A new report by ReFED, Roadmap to 2030: Reducing U.S. Food Waste by 50%, was designed to provide food businesses, governments, funders, and more with a framework to align their food waste reduction efforts.

Another Successful Western Boot Camp on Environmental Law

Gavel and textbooks
By Cora Martin, Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Monday, April 26, 2021

This past March, ELI wrapped up its 17th Annual Western Boot Camp on Environmental Law. With a record-breaking 86 participants, this year’s virtual event brought together legal experts and attorneys for three days to explore in-depth issues in U.S. environmental law and policy.

Sustainable Development Recommendations for the Biden Administration

Earth in space
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved in 2015 by member nations including the United States, provide a nonbinding framework for countries to improve their quality of life and environmental protection. In this month’s issue of ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter, John Dernbach and Scott Schang compile 22 authors’ expert recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration to accomplish these Goals while also fulfilling the Administration’s key promises.

U.S. Whistleblower Law: A Key to Fighting International Fisheries Crime (Part Two)

Whistle
By Maraya Best, Associate Attorney/Attorney-Advisor for International Human Rights, Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, and Kelsey Condon, Attorney-Advisor for Environmental Protection, Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto
Monday, April 19, 2021

Part One of this blog examined various U.S. whistleblower laws that could be applied to international fisheries crime. Part Two will continue a discussion of the Lacey Act, perhaps the most powerful whistleblower reward law addressing illegal trade in fish, wildlife, and plants. The Lacey Act makes it unlawful for any person subject to U.S. jurisdiction to import, export, transport, sell, or purchase fish, wildlife, or plants in violation of any U.S. or foreign law, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Navigating the Public Comment Process for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Project

Bridge over Mississippi River
By Dominic Scicchitano, Research Associate
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, is seeking comment on the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion (MBSD) restoration project. If approved, the MBSD would reconnect the Mississippi River to Louisiana’s Barataria Basin and, through the controlled release of sediment-laden freshwater from the river, allow sediment and nutrients to flow into the basin with the goal of restoring wetlands and slowing the rate of coastal land loss. (Read more about sediment diversions in our earlier blog post.)

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