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Vibrant Environment

Forests of the Tide: Mangrove Trees, Blue Carbon Sequestration, and the Need for Mangrove Policy and Protection in Indonesia

By Lauren Gode, Research and Publications Intern
Thursday, August 27, 2020

From land, the small, shrub-like mangrove trees that line tropical coastlines appear rather ordinary—a closer look, however, tells a completely different story. Hidden underwater, mangrove trees have spindly roots overflowing with marine biodiversity. These roots allow mangroves to survive in brackish coastal waters, an environment most trees could never tolerate. Just like their peculiar beauty, mangroves’ importance in the global carbon cycle is also widely overlooked. Mangroves are critical blue carbon sequesters, storing thousands of tons of carbon dioxide in their oxygen-poor soil.

E-Waste Management in Taiwan: A Replicable Model for the United States?

E-waste
By Paloma Quiroga, Research and Publications Intern
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Among the dizzying array of commercials and advertisements we see every day, a new electronic product seems to join the lineup every other month. Almost like clockwork, for example, Apple releases its newest edition of the iPhone early in the fall. The company generates worldwide anticipation for the new model, with people frantically pre-ordering and lining up hours in advance to purchase a phone they only plan to use until the following year, when Apple will once again release a newer, sleeker generation of the iPhone.

COVID-19 Reveals Environmental Justice Gaps in National Environmental Policy

Air quality
By Ananya Bhattacharya, Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Numerous studies have shown that Black and Latinx communities in the United States face higher hospitalization and mortality rates from COVID-19 and are disproportionately harmed by the virus. While many cite comorbidities and underlying health issues as the reasons for this disparity, the root of this problem is systemic racism. Recent research has found that social determinants like access to healthcare, employment, and clean air and water are the true inequities that have made COVID-19 deadliest for communities of color.

ELPAR 2020: Opportunities and Challenges for FERC to Price Carbon Emissions

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Electricity generation, one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions, rarely accounts for the social cost of damages caused by carbon dioxide emissions. Embedding these costs into market rates is one way to address the pressing need for decarbonization. In this year’s Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR), a special issue of The Environmental Law Reporter, authors Bethany Davis Noll and Burcin Unel argue that addressing the price of emissions falls within the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The authors examine how imposing a cost on carbon aligns with FERC’s main goal of ensuring just and reasonable rates, and they explore opportunities and limits for FERC’s authority.

Bioremediation: The Power of Biotech for Greening Contaminated Site Cleanups

By Margaret Badding , Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Monday, August 10, 2020

Though the remediation of Superfund and brownfield sites protects the environment by removing harmful contaminants, the cleanup process itself can produce a significant environmental footprint. Remediation often involves technologies and heavy-duty construction equipment that is powered by fossil fuels and emits air pollution. How can we reduce the environmental footprint of the remediation process at these contaminated sites?

Regulating PFAS at the Federal Level: Deriving Policy Options for the U.S. from Existing EU Regulations (Part 2)

By Mahima Chaudhary, Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

In Part One of this blog, I discussed the negative impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the lack of regulation in the United States as compared to the European Union (EU). This second part proposes three policy options for the U.S. government to consider: (1) regulating the production of PFAS; (2) limiting the ingestion of PFAS through drinking water; and (3) providing funding for federal cleanup of PFAS-contaminated sites.

We Have What We Need to Address Climate Change Equitably

By Lovinia Reynolds , Policy Analyst and Environmental Justice Coordinator
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

We have the solutions we need to build an equitable and just climate resilient future. Over the past year, coalitions of frontline environmental groups, labor organizations, tribal groups, and other mission-driven organizations in the United States have developed and published comprehensive policy platforms to address the climate crisis. These platforms outline federal, local, and state policy for building resilience and transitioning to renewable and regenerative economies.

No Trespassing: The U.S. Environmental Movement’s Long History of Exclusion

road closed
By Dominic Scicchitano, Research Associate
Monday, July 27, 2020

In recent years, scholars, journalists, and activists have drawn attention to the sexist, racist, classist, and homophobic attitudes that surround the U.S. environmental movement. Though the movement’s problematic aspects may come as a surprise to some, the exclusionary nature of mainstream contemporary environmentalism is no accident. The crusade to address the nation’s environmental issues was designed this way from the outset.

Regulating PFAS at the Federal Level: Deriving Policy Options for the United States From Existing EU Regulations (Part 1)

By Mahima Chaudhary, Research and Publications Intern, ELI
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Whether or not you follow chemical regulations, you’ve probably heard of PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of over 4,700 synthetic compounds. While many have discussed the risks of PFAS for human health, regulation is lacking in the United States to limit its use. So, what are the risks posed by PFAS and what policy measures might prove effective in mitigating their potential harm? This two-part blog will explore the answers to these questions.

And You Can't Get Out of the Game

Earth basketball
By Stephen R. Dujack, Editor, The Environmental Forum®
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

When I was a philosophy student at Princeton in the 1970s, our department was rated number one nationally because of its stars in analytic theory. But the hottest department was Harvard’s, where two professors who were office neighbors held opposing viewpoints on social philosophy and wrote bestsellers — an anomaly for such scholarly works.

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