News - Environmental Inequality

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Utilities and their customers face growing challenges to the affordability of basic water services in communities across the country. Over the last year, the Nicholas Institute’s Water Policy Program has been exploring the causes and scale of these challenges and ways to potentially address them.

Frequent use of exemptions may undermine public health protections of oil and gas setback policies, according to a new study led by researchers at the research institute PSE Healthy Energy, Harvard University, and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Solutions at Duke University.

In addition to keeping people safe and warm in their homes, bans on evictions and utility shutoffs might also limit the spread of COVID-19, new research from Duke University suggests. Kay Jowers told HealthDay that people forced to leave their homes may have to move to places with less social distancing, making them more vulnerable.

A new economics working paper from Duke University underscored the public health dimension of concerns that utility shutoffs are being kicked down the road during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bloomberg CityLab reported.

Kay Jowers told Energywire that a new Duke University analysis found moratoria on utility service shut-offs were "actually an effective intervention for stopping the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19."

A new working paper from researchers at Duke University has found that policies that secured access to housing and utilities like water and electricity played a major role in preventing COVID-19 infections and deaths. Kay Jowers told The Appeal that the research "shows how important it is to public health that we have access to housing and water and electricity overall."

Policies that helped financially struggling Americans stay in their homes and keep access to water and electricity during the COVID-19 pandemic also helped reduce the spread of the virus, according to a new analysis by Duke University researchers.

A suite of executive orders that President Biden will reportedly issue on Wednesday represent an important first step in combating climate change, Tim Profeta tells The New York Times.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and protests of disproportionate police killing of Black Americans opened up political opportunities for addressing racial disparities across our social institutions in the United States, including greater consideration of environmental justice. Kay Jowers and Kate Konschnik write about movement on environmental justice at both the state and federal levels over this year.

The Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI)—a collection of Northeast and mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia—is considering a carbon price on transportation fuels, with revenues to be invested in modernizing the transportation sector. Three organizations—Resources for the Future (RFF), Environmental Defense Fund, and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions—organized a two-day virtual workshop to inform conversations among the states about how this effort can be most effective.