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The Current 2018 Q4

Welcome to The Current, 2018 - Q4 Edition

For this issue, the editors at The Current sought insight on science and its role in contemporary environmental policy. Looking at issues from risk assessment in the age of climate change, to water quality and fracking projects, this issue takes a closer look at how current science is being applied to environmental regulations, policies, and frameworks across the nation. 

WCEE Updates

This year, the WCEE Board of Directors is delighted to recognize the work and achievements of Colette D. Honorable as the WCEE 2019 Woman of the Year. Throughout her distinguished career in utility regulation, Honorable has served as Chairman of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, President of the Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and as a Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She is also a member of multiple think tanks and research institutes focused on energy policy as well as a proud member of the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment. A highly regarded leader in the domestic and international energy sectors, Honorable is currently a Partner at Reed Smith LLP’s Energy and Natural Resources Group in Washington DC. 

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Changing Behaviors Matter, For People and the Climate

Paula Gold-Williams

Psychologists Albert Ellis, Walter Mischel and B.F. Skinner coined the phrase, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” This phrase contextually has focused on helping us increase human productivity and the potential predictive accuracy of achieving execution success.


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Risks in the Age of Extreme Weather Events: Chemical Releases, Exposures, and Human and Ecological Impacts

By: Paul D. Boehm, Robert I. Haddad, Susan C. Paulsen, Ann Michelle Morrison, Adam Hatzikyriakou, James R. Bailey

Though the potential and actual impacts of extreme weather events (EWE) pose serious concerns for the public and private sectors, a systematic understanding of these threats is only now emerging. Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted a retrospective of impacts by analyzing the frequencies and types of EWEs that have resulted in major financial costs, while the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) conducted a prospective analysis of causation or attribution of nine specific types of extreme events, both natural (climate related) and human influenced. Concurrent with these efforts, the scientific literature is being rapidly populated with highly relevant and useful analyses.



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Scientific Defensibility of Natural Resource Damage Assessment Implementation

By: Paul D. Boehm & Roxolana Kashubar

The process of Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) evaluates and restores environmental services affected by the release of hazardous substances or oil. NRDA quantifies injuries to biota, ecological habitats, and human uses of the environment (e.g., fishing, swimming) and calculates economic damages associated with those injuries based on the type and amount of restoration required to compensate the public for the loss of environmental services that accrues from the time of a release or spill until the return of the services to baseline levels. While NRDA includes an economic analysis component to quantify damages, the damages must be based on knowledge of ecology, toxicology, chemistry, and environmental engineering to develop a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between injury and environmental service losses.

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New Research Highlights Dramatic Increase in Fracking’s Water Footprint

By: Miriam Aczel

A new study conducted by researchers at Duke University shows a dramatic increase in the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ to extract shale oil and gas in all of the main production areas in the United States. Published mid-August in Science Advances, the study compared the quantities of water used in major shale production areas from 2011 to 2016 and found that the total water quantities had grown dramatically by 770% over the six-year period.

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Stay Connected with WCEE!

Connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and by using #WCEE_DC to stay up to date about all our events and keep in touch with other WCEE members.

Write for The Current

The Current is looking for writers and editors for our issues throughout the year. The next issue will be coming out in March of 2019. Interested in editing or have a story idea? Reach out to today!

WCEE is grateful to our Woman of the Year sponsors:

Angel Sponsors
Booz Allen Hamilton 
PG&E Corporation 

Sustaining Sponsors

Akin Gump 
Bracewell LLP 
Berkeley Research Group LLC 
Customized Energy Solutions 
ClearView Energy Partners LLC 
Edison Electric Institute
Hogan Lovells US LLP 
Thompson Coburn LLP 
Van Ness Feldman LLP 
Winston & Strawn LLP

Women in Leadership

Holland & Knight LLP

Husch Blackwell LLP
Reed Smith LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
United States Energy Association
Wright & Talisman PC


The Current Team

Marketing and Communications Section Chair:
Kate Courtin

Managing Editor:
Jake Shimkus

Marketing and Communications Section Members:
Molly Bauch, Olga Chistyakova, Mary Fay, Meghan Gross, Jennifer Saunders, Jessie Stolark, Doreen Wong

Copyright 2018 WCEE. Reproduction of material from The Current without permission is strictly prohibited.
All rights reserved. 816 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20006

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WCEE's February 2020 Happy Hour

WCEE Board of Directors February 2020 Meeting

Lunch & Learn: Energy & Environment Media 101

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