Annual Summary of Grants
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  Brookings
Policies to Assist Coal Workers and Their Communities
In this project, Brookings scholar Adele Morris will participate in field-based listening sessions with community development and economic transition leaders in coal-reliant communities, as organized by the Partnership for Responsible Growth (PRG). She will also conduct research and engagement on the issues independently of the PRG. Brookings plans to submit a second proposal in January 2019 in which Morris will incorporate her findings from this work into a policy brief. The goal is to inform the provisions of carbon tax legislation that could provide funding for assistance to these workers and communities.
Purpose: This project will allow us to conduct further research contributing directly to the Walker Foundation’s purposes: • It investigates the underlying causes of economic imbalances, such as depressions, recessions and unemployment, and the factors which contribute thereto; • It investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-enterprise system; • It explores market-based solutions; • It investigates approaches that can be applied to solving economic imbalances that may affect the United States, and challenges to the free enterprise system;
Our project will directly serve these objectives by exploring the range of pragmatic approaches to ameliorate the disproportionate impacts that a carbon tax will have on those reliant on the coal industry.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates the effect of the global financial system and/or the monetary system in fostering a sustainable economy.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.

  • Policies to Assist Coal Workers and Their Communities – Part 2
    In this project, Brookings scholar Adele Morris will work with the Partnership for Responsible Growth (PRG) on their field-based listening sessions with community development and economic transition leaders in coal-reliant communities. She will also conduct research and engagement on the issues independent of the PRG. This is Brookings’ second proposal to the Walker Foundation for this two-part project in which Morris will incorporate her findings from this work into a policy brief. The goal is to inform the provisions of carbon tax legislation that could provide funding for assistance to these workers and communities.
    Purpose: This project will allow further research to be conducted, which will contribute directly to the Walker Foundation’s purposes:
    • it investigates the underlying causes of economic imbalances, such as depressions, recessions, and unemployment, and the factors which contribute thereto; • it investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-enterprise system; • it explores market-based solutions; and • it investigates approaches that can be applied to solving economic imbalances that may affect the United States and challenges to the free enterprise system.
    The project will directly serve these objectives by exploring a range of pragmatic approaches to ameliorate the disproportionate impacts that a carbon tax will have on those reliant on the coal industry.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates the effect of the global financial system and/or the monetary system in fostering a sustainable economy.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.
  •   Center for Sustainable Economy
    Fossil Fuel Risk Bonds, No Tar Sands By Rail in Pacific Northwest
    Fossil fuel risk bond programs provide a way to ramp up the funding necessary to put scores of people to work – including displaced oil, gas, and coal workers – while ramping down fossil fuel consumption, decommissioning obsolete fossil fuel infrastructure, and implementing climate adaptation projects to help make communities safe in the face climate disasters. CSE's Fossil Fuel Risk Bond program addresses the hidden subsidies we all pay in the form of externalized costs of fossil fuel extraction, transport, storage and combustion. In line with the internationally recognized “polluter pays" principal, our work on fossil fuel risk bonds is an effort to get these costs borne by the polluter. As set forth in our report available on our website, fossil fuel risk bond programs are systematic efforts by state and local governments to evaluate and respond to the financial risks they face at each stage of the fossil fuel lifecycle in their jurisdictions.
    Purpose: The fossil fuel industry is exacting a growing cost on the lives of all people, and the planet overall. The costs of climate change alone is as Lord Richard Stern noted in his "Stern Review of Climate Change" in 2006, the "greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen, presenting a unique challenge for economics." This market failure means that the market for oil, gas and coal is distorted in favor of these polluting energy resources over carbon-free and low carbon energy solutions. One way of preventing this market distortion from continuing is to put a price on carbon at the national level. Our project is exploring an alternative approach - fossil fuel risk bond programs. These programs would empower state and local governments to enact a range of financial assurance mechanisms to ensure that fossil fuel corporations, and not taxpayers, bear the full costs catastrophic accidents, leaks, spills, and climate change.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates the effect of the global financial system and/or the monetary system in fostering a sustainable economy.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.

  • US Forest Carbon Pricing Initiative
    CSE will continue work to transform industrial forest practices to climate smart alternatives through market-based solutions. Our work will emphasize the Pacific Northwest and Southeast regions and bolster the campaigns of climate coalitions and forest protection advocacy organizations. Specific activities will include: (1) publishing high quality information about the impacts of industrial forestry on carbon emissions and climate resiliency; (2) designing and advocating for market based solutions such as redirecting subsidies, cap and invest or forest carbon tax and reward to put a price on forest carbon and the externalities associated with industrial forestry emissions; (3) building strong partnerships with conservation and climate communities in each region to help advance these solutions and call public attention to the urgency of this issue, and (4) making the case for transformation of industrial forest practices to decision makers charged with developing climate solutions.
    Purpose: Climate change has been referred to as the most spectacular market failure ever. The market’s failure to incorporate the costs of climate change into prices of wood and paper products supports a tremendous level of over-production, over-consumption, and wasteful uses of these commodities.

    Putting a price on high-emissions logging operations is a critical market-based solution for internalizing the catastrophic costs associated with climate change and making wood product markets more efficient.

    CSE has pioneered several market based solutions including forest carbon tax and reward, subsidy reform, cap and invest and climate resiliency plans for large owners. In 2019, we will work with public officials and partners in Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, Georgia and other states to advocate for these interventions within ongoing decision-making processes and campaigns.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.

  • US Forest Carbon Pricing Initiative
    In 2019 CSE will continue work to transform industrial forest practices in the US to climate smart alternatives through market-based solutions. Our work will emphasize the Pacific Northwest and Southeast regions and bolster the campaigns of climate coalitions and forest protection advocacy organizations we work with. Specific activities will include: (1) publishing high quality information about the impacts of industrial forestry on carbon emissions and climate resiliency; (2) designing and advocating for market based solutions such as redirecting subsidies, cap and invest or forest carbon tax and reward; (3) building strong partnerships with conservation and climate communities in each region to help advance these solutions and call public attention to the urgency of this issue, and (4) making the case for transformation of industrial forest practices to decision makers charged with developing climate solutions.
    Purpose: Climate change has been referred to as the most spectacular market failure ever. The market’s failure to incorporate the costs of climate change into prices of wood and paper products supports a tremendous level of over-production, over-consumption, and wasteful uses of these commodities.
    Putting a price on high-emissions logging operations is a critical market-based solution for internalizing the catastrophic costs associated with climate change and rebalancing markets to support climate smart forestry.
    With respect to forestlands, CSE has pioneered the world’s first-ever forest carbon tax and reward program concept, which is now being considered in Oregon by the Legislative Assembly. We also developed model language for folding the timber industry into the cap and trade framework, now operational or close to it in 20 states and provinces in North America.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.

  • Fossil Fuel Risk Bonds, No Tar Sands by Rail
    CSE's Fossil Fuel Risk Bond program addresses the hidden subsidies we all pay in the form of externalized costs of fossil fuel extraction, transport, storage and combustion. In line with the internationally recognized “polluter pays" principal, our work on fossil fuel risk bonds is an effort to get these costs borne by the polluter. In addition, we unexpectedly began working on fighting tar sands by rail coming from Canada to two ports: Portland, OR and Port Westward, OR.
    Purpose: The fossil fuel industry is exacting a growing cost on the lives of all people, and the planet overall. The costs of climate change alone is as Lord Richard Stern noted in his "Stern Review of Climate Change" in 2006, the "greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen, presenting a unique challenge for economics." This market failure means that the market for oil, gas and coal is distorted in favor of these polluting energy resources over carbon-free and low carbon energy solutions. One way of preventing this market distortion from continuing is to put a price on carbon at the national level. Our project is exploring an alternative approach - fossil fuel risk bond programs. These programs would empower state and local governments to enact a range of financial assurance mechanisms to ensure that fossil fuel corporations, and not taxpayers, bear the full costs catastrophic accidents, leaks, spills, and climate change.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates the effect of the global financial system and/or the monetary system in fostering a sustainable economy.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.
  •   Cook Inletkeeper
    The Pebble Mine & the Economic Implications for Tourism in Southcentral Alaska
    Lower Cook Inlet boasts a world-class population of brown bears (Ursus arctos) which drive a thriving, non-consumptive bear-viewing industry. The region includes Katmai National Park and the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary & Refuge. The proposed Pebble mine would industrialize the heart of this unparalleled bear habitat with a large deepwater port facility and accompanying infrastructure. This development would invariably impact a sustainable bear-viewing industry, but to date, we do not understand the investments behind or the revenue generation from such operations. This project aims to quantify the investments in and revenues from bear viewing, to help level the playing field in the debate our Pebble mine development.
    Purpose: This project will investigate the causes of economic imbalances in the permitting process for the Pebble mine by driving the value of non-consumptive bear viewing into the state and federal regulatory decisions that will shape project development. It will also investigate the causes tending to distort the free market system by internalizing the costs and impacts from the Pebble mine on bear viewing businesses and clients into the permitting process.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  •   Environmental Progress
    Saving Nuclear Power Plants from Premature Closure
    Environmental Progress, a 501c3 tax exempt organization, has emerged as the world’s leading environmental organization taking action to protect nuclear plants. EP was founded to address the two most serious threats to environmental progress: continued dependence on wood & dung in poor countries, and climate change. EP’s approach emphasizes educating the public on why nuclear power is important to both lifting everyone out of poverty and saving the natural environment.
    Purpose: EP researches energy transitions and their social and economic implications for U.S. states and other nations, from analyzing the feasibility of nations meeting their Paris agreements, to studying the risks associated with an increasing reliance on natural gas, among other topics.
    EP looks at the role that the World Bank, national ex-im banks, and other financial institutions play in shaping the global energy mix and their potential to promote clean energy development.
    EP will continue to pursue the most up-to-date data on discriminatory energy subsidies and investigate the causes tending to destroy or impair free-enterprise.
    EP research and work helped pass legislation that adequately values carbon-free electricity in NY, IL, CT, and NJ. And EP continues to improve its understanding of accident tolerant fuel development and its potential role in reducing regulatory burden, which may reduce construction delays, and thereby costs, on new builds.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates the effect of the global financial system and/or the monetary system in fostering a sustainable economy.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.

  • Saving nuclear power plants from premature closure
    Save the climate and environment by saving nuclear power through public education and movement-building
    Purpose: EP’s nation and state work involves analyzing the economic implications of legislated and proposed energy policies. State-side, EP continues to report on energy subsidies and investigate the causes tending to destroy or impair free-enterprise.
    EP researches energy transitions and their social and economic implications for U.S. states and other nations. This research helps investigate the greater economic imbalances in relation to climate change, energy security and other environmental matters.
    EP looks at the role that the World Bank, national ex-im banks, and other financial institutions play in shaping the global energy mix and their potential to promote clean energy development and thus a sustainable economy.
    EP explores and develops market-based solutions to maintaining and expanding clean energy. EP has helped states save their nuclear power plants by helping pass legislation that adequately values carbon-free electricity.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates the effect of the global financial system and/or the monetary system in fostering a sustainable economy.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.
  •   Institute for Justice
    Restraining Unlawful Private Pipeline Condemnations
    Increasingly, private corporations are using government power to take private property in order to construct pipelines to move commodities like oil or natural gas. Many of these projects, properly understood, are illegal—either because of the private nature of the pipeline project itself, or because the project provides landowners with insufficient due-process protections. Nonetheless, courts and legislatures more or less ignore these legal problems and allow private companies to steamroll property owners. The Institute for Justice proposes to help change that by filing amicus curiae briefs in strategically selected cases and engaging in limited and targeted educational efforts surrounding proposed changes to laws governing pipeline condemnations.
    Purpose: Property rights are fundamental to the free-market system. But increasingly, those rights are being undermined by condemnations for private pipelines, which frequently receive far less judicial scrutiny than other takings of private property.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.

  • Ending Civil Forfeiture and Protecting Private Property
    Civil forfeiture is the ability of law enforcement to seize homes, cars, cash, and other property on the mere suspicion that it was involved in a crime—no conviction or arrest required. The Institute for Justice is working to counter this unconstitutional practice through path-breaking litigation, strategic research, legislative reform, and award-winning communications.
    Purpose: Property rights are the foundation of all our rights in a free society. But across the country, governments violate property rights through the practice of civil forfeiture. Civil forfeiture laws allow cash, cars, homes, and other property to be seized when the property is merely suspected of being involved with criminal activity. Under these laws, property owners can permanently lose their property without even being charged or convicted of a crime—a gross violation of people’s fundamental constitutional rights.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.

  • Restraining Unlawful Private Pipeline Condemnations
    Increasingly, private corporations are using government power to take private property in order to construct pipelines to move commodities like oil or natural gas. Many of these projects, properly understood, are illegal—either because of the private nature of the pipeline project itself, or because the project provides landowners with insufficient due-process protections. Nonetheless, courts and legislatures more or less ignore these legal problems and allow private companies to steamroll property owners. The Institute for Justice proposes to help change that by filing amicus curiae briefs in strategically selected cases and engaging in limited and targeted educational efforts surrounding proposed changes to laws governing pipeline condemnations. We envision this project as a pilot program that would allow us to gauge the effectiveness of these tactics in combating the threat pipeline projects can pose to property rights.
    Purpose: Property rights are fundamental to the free-market system. But increasingly, those rights are being undermined by condemnations for private pipelines, which frequently receive far less judicial scrutiny than other takings of private property.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.

  • Ending Civil Forfeiture and Protecting Private Property
    Civil forfeiture is the ability of law enforcement to seize homes, cars, cash, and other property on the mere suspicion that it was involved in a crime—no conviction or arrest required. What’s worse, civil forfeiture allows law enforcement to keep forfeited property or the proceeds for its own use. The Institute for Justice is working to counter this unconstitutional practice through path-breaking litigation, strategic research, legislative reform, and award-winning communications.
    Purpose: Property rights are the foundation of all our rights in a free society. But across the country, governments violate property rights through the practice of civil forfeiture. Civil forfeiture laws allow cash, cars, homes, and other property to be seized when the property is merely suspected of being involved with criminal activity. Under these laws, property owners can permanently lose their property without even being charged or convicted of a crime—a gross violation of people’s fundamental constitutional rights.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  •   Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
    Building Support in 2019 for Carbon Pricing
    In 2019, the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding will continue to assist the Pricing Carbon Initiative, as it has done in 2011 and 2014 through 2018, in building consensus around policies and bipartisan legislative solutions that price carbon. Together, we will continue to design, organize and facilitate dialogues with an expanding network of influential decision makers; support action-oriented initiatives; and develop systems for sharing and disseminating information.
    Purpose: Participants in the PCI network share a steadfast belief that correcting the price distortion that excludes the climatic and social costs of fossil fuels from their pricing is more timely and urgent than ever. Market-driven solutions are central to PCI's mission. PCI’s ongoing bi-partisan, multi-stakeholder dialogues continue to build consensus across party lines and with ideologically diverse interest groups.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates the effect of the global financial system and/or the monetary system in fostering a sustainable economy.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.

  • Building Support in 2018 for Carbon Pricing
    In 2018, the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding will continue to assist the Pricing Carbon Initiative, as it has done in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, in building consensus around policies and bipartisan legislative solutions that price carbon. Together we will continue to design, organize and facilitate dialogues with an expanding network of influential decision makers, support action-oriented initiatives, and develop systems for sharing and disseminating information.
    Purpose: Participants in the PCI network share a steadfast belief that correcting the price distortion that excludes the climatic and social costs of fossil fuels from their pricing is more timely and urgent than ever. Market-driven solutions are central to PCI's mission. Their ongoing bi-partisan, multi-stakeholder dialogues continue to build consensus across party lines and with ideologically diverse interest groups.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates the effect of the global financial system and/or the monetary system in fostering a sustainable economy.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.
  •   Loon Preservation Committee
    Lead Fishing Tackle Buyback Program
    The Loon Preservation Committee (LPC)’s science-based approach to conservation has more than tripled New Hampshire’s threatened loon population over the past 40 years; however, the population remains far below its historical abundance, and loons remain at risk from human activities. Lead poisoning from ingested fishing tackle is the leading cause of adult loon mortality in New Hampshire, accounting for 152 adult loon deaths (44% of documented deaths) between 1989 and 2017. LPC is seeking to reduce the use of lead tackle by establishing additional incentives and opportunities for disposal and expanded education about alternatives. In May of 2018 LPC launched a market-based pilot buyback program to remove lead tackle from circulation. If awarded, funds from the Alex C. Walker Foundation will allow LPC to add buyback program locations on Squam Lake and Ossipee Lake, increase its marketing efforts to reach anglers, and cover staff and consultant time to maximize program impact.
    Purpose: Legislative efforts supported by LPC resulted in restrictions on the sale and use of lead fishing tackle in New Hampshire; however, loon deaths continue from lead tackle currently in use. LPC is seeking to reduce use of lead tackle by establishing market-based incentives for disposal and expanded education about alternatives.
    Funds from the Alex C. Walker Foundation would expand LPC’s Pilot Lead Tackle Buyback Program to improve accessibility to the program for anglers and give LPC a broader presence in the angling community. Providing staff and consultant time for coordination with retailers, advertising, and other facets of the pilot would ensure that shops have a positive experience and receive adequate value exchange in the form of promotion and customer traffic. This market-based initiative is designed to reduce poisoning of loons by building lasting conservation partnerships with anglers—who can help with education—as well as collecting lead tackle.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.
  •   MDI Biological Laboratory
    Adding New Features on Anecdata.org to Promote Civic Action
    We plan to build out the capacity of Anecdata.org, a free online data portal that we created for collecting and sharing crowdsourced environmental data, to meet the growing needs of numerous organizations that are collecting information and observations on the environment, especially as it relates to climate change. Anecdata already has many valuable features including mapping, photo up loading and archiving, and data visualization through graphing. In preparation for adding communication and civic action tools to promote a “Data to Action” ethos among project participants, we conducted a needs analysis of multiple King Tides and other Sea Rise projects in the US.
    Purpose: Investigate Causes of Economic Imbalances: Economic imbalances exist where climate change and other environmental problems affect human health, safety, and livelihoods. Anecdata.org is an online tool to help individuals and organizations create projects, and collect, share, and visualize data in order to mitigate problems, effect change, and address economic imbalances in communities. Explore and Develop Market-Based Solutions: Anecdata.org will help organizations explore and develop market-based solutions to problems like sea level rise, ocean acidification, and coastal flooding. The Anecdata software has applications beyond collecting environmental data and can be used to crowdsource information in public health or economics, for example, on emerging diseases or costs associated with climate change.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.
  •   National Wildlife Federation
    Wildlife Conflict Resolution Program 2019
    The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) resolves conflicts between wildlife and livestock through the market-based approach of compensating ranchers for retiring problematic grazing leases on federal land. Restoring wildlife populations has been linked to recovering healthy, functioning ecosystems. Thanks to the Walker Foundation and other funders, NWF has been able to retire 70 grazing allotments, totaling approximately 1.3 million acres. This approach establishes an important national model for resolving chronic conflicts between wildlife and livestock. Following the success of the program in the Northern Rockies, in 2017 NWF decided to expand the scope of the project to the Southern Rockies, the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah.
    Purpose: As a matter of law, wildlife conservation interests are not allowed to compete with livestock producers for grazing leases on public lands. As a result the market system is constrained from finding an appropriate balance between the need for livestock grazing and the need for wildlife. Our approach recognizes the economic value of grazing permits and compensates livestock producers fairly for giving them up. NWF's approach of paying ranchers to retire grazing leases where there is chronic conflict between livestock and wildlife provides a market- based solution for resolving these conflicts.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.
  •   Niskanen Center
    Climate Litigation Initiative
    The explosion in U.S. shale gas and shale oil has caused an unprecedented building spree of oil and gas pipelines. Our concern is that massive investment in natural gas (and to a lesser extent, crude oil) infrastructure may become the largest impediment to transitioning to zero-carbon. One of the ways to prevent this is by curtailing the ability of pipeline companies to use eminent domain to take property (or interests in property). Because Niskanen has a strong commitment to free market principles and the protection of property rights, it is perfectly situated to lead such legal efforts. In addition, Climate-related litigation has had a major impact on public policy. Currently, the most promising legal avenue is using common law suits in state courts to force fossil fuel companies to compensate property owners and taxpayers for climate-related damages.
    Purpose: At Niskanen Center, we are convinced that climate change is real, that it is caused by human activity, and that it poses significant risk. While we acknowledge that global warming can produce a wide range of possible outcomes—from modest to catastrophic—we believe that any reasonable risk management response points toward rapid decarbonization. Accordingly, we educate policy actors about climate science and directly confront climate skeptics while also promoting ambitious, market-oriented policy responses to climate change.
    Niskanen is perfectly positioned to engage in this legal work because many libertarians and hardline conservatives have long argued that disputes surrounding pollution are often best handled via common law tort liability than via legislation and regulation (which leaves individual rights and property rights hostage to political considerations regarding the public good).
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.

  • Climate Common Law Nuisance Litigation Campaign and Eminent Domain Litigation to Prevent Abuse
    Climate-related litigation has had a major impact on public policy. The most promising avenue for legal action at present is the use of common law suits in state courts to force fossil fuel companies to compensate property owners and taxpayers for present and future climate related damages. Accordingly, we have been consulting with the lawyers who have brought the first such cases (e.g., San Francisco, New York, etc.), and we are co-counsel representing several municipalities in the first such case to be brought in a "purple state" (Boulder County and San Miguel County, along with the city of Boulder). This is the first case where the impacts beyond sea-level rise, e.g., drought, wildfires, flooding from extreme precipitation, etc., will be front and center.
    Purpose: Damages from climate change are driven by industrial emission, and the products manufactured by the oil industry are the source of much of those emissions. The costs are imposed on people around the globe, and those damages will only get larger and more severe over time. Climate change-related litigation risks have the potential to act as both a material driver, and consequence, of the energy transition. Climate litigation risks are material for potential defendants. First, claims have a direct impact on earnings and liabilities. Thus, risk exposure should factor into discount rates, and as a key driver in ratings metrics or outlooks. Also, regulatory scrutiny can cause significant reputational damage, loss of political/social capital, market exclusions and restriction of insurances, and provide a platform for subsequent private damages settlements. Finally, emerging claims patterns can drive industry-wide strategic pivots as regulators tighten rules and disclosure requirements.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.

  • Defending against eminent domain abuse and nuisance by fossil fuel industry
    Lawyers representing affected Texas landowners asked us to assist in litigation strategy against the proposed Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline ("PHP"), 430-miles from the Waha, Texas, area to the Gulf Coast and Mexico markets. We are now working on three separate, but extremely intertwined, cases: a state court case against the Texas Railroad Commission on the grounds that PHP is not a "public use" under the Texas Constitution's Takings Clause, along with federal and state Due Process claims based on the lack of any state oversight for pipeline siting; a case against the Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and possibly other federal agencies in federal court for their failure to require NEPA analysis for PHP; and a case against Kinder Morgan and possibly FERC in federal court arguing that PHP is not an intrastate pipeline subject only to the Texas regulatory regime, but an interstate pipeline subject to FERC's jurisdiction.
    Purpose: A victory on the public use and/or Due Process claims, or a decision holding that PHP is an interstate pipeline, would not only stop PHP, but have huge ramifications for every intrastate pipeline in Texas. These are the two of the three cases in which Niskanen would appear publicly as counsel; we would not appear as counsel in the NEPA case as that raises only environmental issues outside of Niskanen's interests.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.
  •   OneReef
    Negotiating a National-Scale Agreement for Palau
    OneReef is creating a portfolio of marine conservation agreements across Micronesia that provide services and co-financing needed by local stewards. As a next step toward scaling our model under an efficient finance plan, we will negotiate a national-scale agreement with the Republic of Palau. The agreement will allow us to consolidate our work under the Office of the President, and explicitly align our funding with public funds generated through tourism user fees. Politically, the agreement will allow us to institute greater financial leverage through explicit arrangements not only with local communities, but also with Palau's national government. In effect, it allows us to better utilize support from President Remengesau to raise private funds and capitalize working capital funds that can be used to create financial incentives for greater and more secure investment of public resources to maintain Palau's unique environment.
    Purpose: Coral reefs are among the biologically richest ecosystems on the planet; moreover, they are instrumental in attracting more than 125,000 tourists to Palau annually.
    Yet, none of the economic proceeds from the tourism sector in Palau are re-invested in management of coral reef ecosystems to ensure their capacity to continue attracting (and feeding) tourists, and provide economic benefits to the people of Palau.
    Palau has started to correct this imbalance by instituting a tourism user fee that by law must be re-invested in ways that support environmental management. However, communities who manage reefs still need greater access to technical support, and greater financial predictability and security.
    This is an important step toward building on this success by attracting and combining additional private funds under a master agreement that can be expanded over time to incorporate more communities and the growing global community who value healthy reefs.
  • Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.
  •   OneReef
    A Market-Based Private Revenue Stream to Support Coral Reefs
    Working with Richard Thaler and the University of Chicago, we will set the stage to pilot and test a new market-based model for generating private revenues to support coral reefs. The new private stream is needed to co-finance long-term agreements under an emerging public-private partnership in Palau.
    Purpose: An economic imbalance occurs because many people value the existence of coral reefs but as yet do not exercise those values by contributing to beneficial management and protection. Ultimately, we will leverage the corporate and finance sector to create a way for those who value the existence of reefs to contribute in ways that are beneficial to all parties. In essence, we will apply the user pays principle, extending it to "non-consumptive" use of coral reefs by those willing to contribute to continued existence of coral reefs.
  •   Our Children's Trust
    Atmospheric Trust Campaign
    We support a network of youth, lawyers and top scientists, economists and experts from around the world in multiple disciplines, to bring about systemic governmental action at the federal, state, and global domestic levels that drives systemic market incentives and public policy to place our society on a scientific prescription for atmospheric health, climate stability and ocean de-acidification.
    Purpose: We explore and advocate for market approaches that promote a sustainable economy as they relate to climate change, energy security, food production and other environmental matters.
    Economic imbalances that favor carbon intensive goods and services continue to dominate our economy. We seek legal requirements to drive economic, market-based and governmental policy solutions that realign those imbalances toward a sustainable economy and stabilization of our climate system.
    We seek a court ordered systemic, national, science-based climate recovery plan that we envision will include critical market based policies including: realignment of tax incentives and subsidies away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy; establishment of a carbon fee system reflecting the true costs of carbon intensive goods and services; allocation of R&D funding toward innovation that develops the market readiness and economic viability of new and existing climate stabilizing technologies; etc.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.

  • Atmospheric Trust Campaign
    We elevate the voice of youth around the globe to secure the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate system. We support youth climate advocates in legal actions against federal and state governments, advancing constitutional and public trust rights to a safe climate. We seek court ordered implementation, by federal and state governments, of systemic science-based Climate Recovery Plans and policies that will reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to below 350 parts per million before the year 2100, in accordance with scientific prescriptions for climate stabilization.
    Purpose: We support a network of youth, scientists, economists and experts from multiple disciplines, to bring about macro governmental action at the federal, state, and global domestic levels that drives systemic market incentives and public policy to place our society on a scientific prescription for atmospheric health, climate stability and ocean de-acidification.
  • Explores and develops market-based solutions.

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