News

Have 101 Utilities Cut their Rates Thanks to the GOP Tax Bill?

PolitiFact unpacks a tweet by President Donald Trump that indicated “101 utilities cut rates, credit GOP tax cuts.” They report that his statement, while mostly true, glosses over the role of energy regulations that mandate that utility savings be passed along to customers. It quotes Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions faculty fellow Billy Pizer: “Rates are set by public utility commissions through rate-making processes that would clearly identify the reasons for the rate change, up or down.”

Experts Gather At The Fisheries Meeting

Small–Scale Fisheries: Measuring Contributions to Catch and Culture

The Nereus Program quotes John Virdin, Ocean and Coastal Policy Program director at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, in an article about an expert workshop they hosted to plan and map out next steps of a global study of small-scale fisheries. It aims to fill the knowledge gaps that policymakers often overlook related to the nuanced social, cultural, nutritional and economic contributions to people and communities that small-scale fisheries support. 

Voices from World Ocean Summit: An interview with John Virdin

At the most recent World Ocean Summit in Cancun, the Economist's World Ocean Initiative team interviewed John Virdin, the director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Virdin, who has been working on fisheries and financing for a number of years, discussed opportunities to structure investment in fisheries and connect capital to policy. 

Catalyst Program Funding will Advance Five Duke Research Projects

Catalyst Program Funding will Advance Five Duke Research Projects

Five projects received funding in the second year of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions’ Catalyst Program.

The program aims to build on the Nicholas Institute’s mission by increasing engagement with Duke University faculty to incubate and advance new partnerships, enhance policy-relevant knowledge, and create innovative policy solutions based on new creative synergies. Funded in the program’s second year:

Duke Infrastructure Course

Rethinking How Fisheries Contribute to Global Food Needs

It’s often said that one in 10 people on the planet is hungry, and that number is on the rise. For Policy 360, Abigail Bennett, lead author of a new report on the contribution of fisheries to food and nutrition security, talks with Kelly Brownell, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. The report, which aims to provide a foundation of knowledge to inform research and policy on the role of capture fisheries in achieving sustainable development goals to end poverty and hunger, partners experts from the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Environmental Defense Fund, World Bank, Duke Marine Lab, and Duke University's World Food Policy Center. 

Why Should you Care about Fisheries? They can Help Feed the World.

This Environmental Defense Fund blog post discusses a new report partnering the Nicholas Institute's John Virdin that examines how wild capture fisheries fit into the complex discussion of food security. It summarizes what is known about the potential role of fish and other aquatic resources, like shellfish and crustaceans, to help feed an increasingly hungry world. 

Authors Discuss Research on the Nutrition and Food Security Contributions of Capture Fisheries

Author Discusses Research on the Nutrition and Food Security Contributions of Capture Fisheries

Capture (wild caught) fisheries are undoubtedly one of the world’s important food systems, providing nearly one-fifth of the average per capita animal protein intake for more than 3.1 billion people as well as essential micronutrients—vitamins and minerals—and omega-3 fatty acids that are needed to end malnutrition and reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable disease around the world. Yet the contributions of these fisheries to food and nutrition security remain relatively absent from a range of policy dialogues critical to helping the sector do more to end hunger and malnutrition say the authors of the new report Contribution of Fisheries to Food and Nutrition Security: Current Knowledge, Policy, and Research. It suggests that support of capture fisheries’ contributions could require development of policies to ensure the sustainability of resources and to recognize tradeoffs and synergies between conservation and food security objectives. Developing these policies will require a better understanding of the drivers and threats to these fisheries. 

PJM Meeting Speakers

Workshop Participants Say Technology, People Drive Change in PJM

What are the primary drivers of change in the PJM region? Technology and people. That was the message from air and energy regulators from states in the PJM electricity market when they descended on Washington, D.C. May 2-3, to study regional trends alongside utilities, other power providers, investors, and advocates. The expert stakeholder workshop was co-sponsored by the Great Plains Institute (GPI) and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

How Big can New England's Regional Cap-and-Trade Program Get?

The first U.S. cap and trade program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electric power sector has proven so successful that some supporters are now wondering if it ought to go national, reports Utility Dive. The article cites an analysis by the Nicholas Institute showing that without the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, emissions would have been 24 percent higher. 

Powelson Sees ‘Erosion of Confidence’ in Stakeholder Process ($)

Robert Powelson of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Wednesday reiterated his defense of organized markets but said he sees an “erosion of confidence” in RTO stakeholder processes, reports RTO Insider. Powelson, who made the observation in a speech at a PJM issues workshop sponsored by the Great Plains Institute and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. He cited concerns over escalating transmission rates and PJM’s February “jump ball” filing of two competing proposals for insulating its capacity market from state-subsidized generation.