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ELI In the News

'No Free Lunch' When It Comes to Coastal Resiliency

WCAI Living Lab Radio (story by Heather Goldstone & Elsa Partan)
April 16, 2018

Severe coastal flooding during storms in January and March of this year jolted Massachusetts residents and officials into an unwelcome awareness of just how vulnerable we are to rising sea levels. Last month, Governor Baker announced a 1.4 billion dollar bond bill to finance climate resilience efforts. . . .

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Many States Unprepared for Climate Change Impacts on Water Supplies

Environmental Leader (by Alyssa Danigelis)
March 23, 2018

The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) released their 2017 Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard this week, and the results around climate resiliency planning were eye-opening. Most US states have a long way to go to shore up their legal frameworks and improve requirements contributing to water conservation, efficiency, and long-term resiliency, according to the AWE and ELI. The two nonprofits released the first scorecard in 2012.

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Artificial Intelligence and the Environment

WCAI Radio (by Heather Goldstone & Elsa Partan)
March 12, 2018

When it comes to artificial intelligence, a lot of attention has been focused on issues of privacy and economics – what happens if AI makes human workers obsolete. Now, a new report from the non-profit Environmental Law Institute highlights the potential environmental impacts of AI-driven technologies, from autonomous cars to smart thermostats. Listen . . . .

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What impacts could Trump's proposed offshore drilling plan have on MPAs and other current closures in US waters? Here's a primer

MPA News
February 22, 2018

In early January 2018, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released a draft five-year program to guide leasing of the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas for oil and gas drilling, from 2019-2024. The draft, which reflects the views of the administration of President Donald Trump, is aggressive. It would make over 90% of the nation’s total OCS area available to exploration and development. By comparison, the current five-year program puts 94% of the OCS off-limits to oil and gas exploration.

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Environmental Peacebuilding

BioScience, by Lesley Evans Ogden
January 30, 2018

As the River Jordan meanders between Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, disease-causing microbes that thrive in water contaminated with sewage pass over geopolitical lines without passports or border checks. By drinking or bathing in that contaminated water, children on each side of the border get sick. But proposed solutions could provide an opportunity to heal more than just disease. Cross-border investment in water treatment can be a mechanism for brokering peace.

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Zinke cut Fla. from 5-year plan. Can he do that?

E&E EnergyWire
January 11, 2018

The Interior Department's decision this week to withdraw Florida's federal waters from the agency's five-year offshore drilling plan brought more questions than answers. Chief among those queries: Can Interior do this? The answer: Yes?

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Furthering Civic Engagement in the Environmental Arena

JOTWELL - Journal of Things We Like (Lots)
December 13, 2017

Since January 2017, the news headlines have been screaming about one administrative law issue after another—everything from the Congressional Review Act to regulatory rollbacks, from Executive Orders to agency enforcement priorities. These news headlines have quite understandably prompted a flood of questions about what the law does, and does not, allow the president and others within the Executive Branch to do. For example, can a president use an Executive Order to unilaterally revoke an agency rule that is already on the books?

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China Needs Urgent Oversight of Investments

China Dialogue
December 1, 2017

With the advent of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s ever-increasing overseas investments have been attracting more attention. In Latin America alone, China has direct investments worth over US$110 billion, and in countries such as Brazil, China’s investments rank alongside those of the US and Spain.

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Report: Illegal Fishing Should be Major National Security Issue

November 16, 2017

Illegal and unregulated fishing supports transnational crime, piracy, insurgency and terrorism and should be treated as a national security issue, a new report from the National Geographic Society and the Center for Strategic and International Studies says.

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Hurricane Harvey: Texas' buyout plan to cope with floods may be unprecedented

E&E EnergyWire
November 8, 2017

Officials in the Houston area have asked Congress to pay for one of the largest home buyout programs ever, maybe even the biggest, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. If the money is approved in Washington, which is by no means certain, the Harris County Flood Control District would buy and demolish 5,000 homes and other buildings in the floodplain, using $800 million in federal money. Two other branches of Harris County's government have asked for $329 million to buy out 1,725 homes. . . .

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