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INSTITUTE INDEX: Confronting the GOP's poll watcher threats

October 2, 2020 - This presidential election will be the first in 40 years to take place without a consent decree in place requiring the Republican National Committee to refrain from voter intimidation under the guise of ballot security. With President Trump urging his supporters to go to the polls and "watch very carefully," we look at what the law says about such activity and how voting rights advocates are responding.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Pipeline resistance pushes Dominion, Duke Energy to a greener future

July 14, 2020 - Facing mounting costs and legal challenges, the Southern energy giants have canceled the $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline planned to carry fracked gas from West Virginia to Virginia and North Carolina. The move came after intense opposition to the project from environmentalists, racial justice advocates, and local communities, and it will allow the companies to focus on meeting state renewable mandates.

COVID-19 and the unfunded Black Belt commission

April 10, 2020 - The Southeast Crescent Regional Commission was created in 2008 to provide economic development assistance to Black Belt states but has never received its full appropriation from Congress — even while its counterpart covering whiter, richer Northern states has. With Black Belt communities being ravaged by the pandemic, it's past time for action.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Taking the census in a pandemic

April 9, 2020 - The decennial U.S. population count is underway and will be used for everything from drawing new congressional districts to deciding where to allocate federal resources — including any potential coronavirus vaccine. But the pandemic is complicating the process and raising concerns about potential undercounts, which would inflict more pain on suffering communities.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Rethinking the South's electric utility monopolies

January 28, 2020 - With Southern states' monopoly electric utilities clinging to a business model that's worsening the climate crisis, polluting the environment, and costing consumers dearly, there's growing interest in opening markets to competition. While a ballot initiative to end Florida's electricity monopoly was recently rejected by the state Supreme Court, there are efforts underway to end Virginia's monopoly system and to study the question in the Carolinas.