Nuclear power provides about one-quarter of the electricity in the Southeast and the majority of the region's non-fossil generation. Beginning in 2030, the region's nuclear power plants will begin to retire unless they receive an operating license extension. If a high percentage of the units do retire, simultaneously replacing them with new units would be difficult. A new Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions policy brief explores how the potential loss of nuclear plants interacts with the region's other electricity sector challenges and how states can address them.
Given the growing and seemingly limitless capacity to industrialize the oceans, there is a need to reimagine how to effectively measure, monitor and sustainably manage this seventy-one percent of the Earth's surface. In a commentary for the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the Nicholas Institute's John Virdin and co-authors write that we are now at an inflection point in history, where we no longer look to the ocean solely for protein and waterways, but also as a source for many more aspects of our increasingly industrialized society. While much of our focus has been terrestrially based where impacts are easier to identify, the authors write, greater attention is needed on the industrialization of our oceans, which have long been considered as a source of inexhaustible resources and reservoirs for unwanted terrestrially generated waste. 
California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act calls on local agencies to make better use of groundwater. A new Nicholas Institute working paper seeks to help the 127 basin communities required to develop sustainability plans by presenting a mockup of a water-sharing system that could be used to bring local groundwater use within sustainable limits. The proposed system draws on global experience and is designed to avoid mistakes made elsewhere by incentivizing innovation, stimulating investment, and facilitating low-cost adjustment to changes in groundwater demand.
Following recent droughts in North Carolina, the General Assembly convened the Ecological Flows Science Advisory Board to develop a strategy for establishing flow regimes that could protect the ecological integrity of the state's streams and rivers. A new article in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association describes the method developed to characterize fish and invertebrate responses to flow alterations in North Carolina, a method that will aid in setting ecologically sensitive flows that achieve appropriate environmental objectives. The article was part of a featured collection on North Carolina ecological flows that included two other articles by the Nicholas Institute's Lauren Patterson.
An Emissions Containment Reserve for RGGI: How Might It Work?
February 7, Webinar
An Accounting Approach to Ecosystem Services for Public and Private Sector Decision Making in the U.S.
February 23, 2017, Webinar
2017 National Association of Environmental Professionals Conference
March 28, Durham, North Carolina
Incorporating Ecosystem Services into NEPA
March 28, Durham, North Carolina
Calculating the Social Cost of Carbon
In an interview with Public Radio International's Living On Earth, Nicholas Institute faculty fellow Billy Pizer discusses recommended changes in the social cost of carbon, the subject of a recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report he co-authored, and why social cost evaluations are crucial to tackling carbon pollution. Pizer noted that such evaluations have been used in more than 100 government cost-benefit analyses, most notably for the Clean Power Plan. 
UpwellingUpdate on the Nicholas Institute's Ocean and Coastal Policy Program
Power MagazineExperts: If Clean Power Plan Perishes, GHG Regulation Almost Certain under NAAQS Program
ClimateWire, Where will Clean Power Plan Organizers Refocus their Efforts? ($)
Duke Today, $500,000 USDA Grant Funds Study on Impacts of Using Oilfield Wastewater for Irrigation

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