Year In Review: 2023 at the State Impact Center

The State Ener­gy & Envi­ron­men­tal Impact Cen­ter is a non­par­ti­san aca­d­e­m­ic cen­ter at NYU School of Law that is dedicated to working towards a healthy and safe environment, guided by inclusive and equitable principles. We study and support the work of state attorneys general in defending, enforcing, and promoting strong laws and policies in the areas of climate, environmental justice, environmental protection, and clean energy. Keep scrolling to see what we were up to in 2023!

Highlights

Below is a list of new resources, projects, and reports that we published in 2023. We also have many evergreen databases, trackers, and other resources that we updated throughout the year. You can check out those resources on our Insights page.

Recycling symbol

What’s in a Label? The FTC’s Green Guides in Context

February • Issue Brief
Our analysis of the Federal Trade Commission’s “Green Guides” and how they affect regulation of “recyclable” labels was cited extensively in a comment letter that AGs sent to the commission.

An envelope opening to reveal a piece of paper that says "News"

Newsletter Redesign

March • Newsletter

We redesigned our newsletter, Legally Speaking, to give you a more balanced mix of technical and lighter content! This updated look also aligns with our website (which we redesigned last year).

Traffic cone

Just Transition Recs Matched to Possible AG Tools

March • Resource

We published takeaways from our “A Role for State Attorneys General in a Just Transition” report, offering recommendations for how AGs can apply their existing tools to facilitate a just transition.

Justice scales

Expanding AG EJ Practice — A Resource

March • Resource

We relaunched our online EJ resource with new sections and an updated design. The resource, created in partnership with WE ACT for Environmental Justice, highlights moments in EJ history, looks at state mapping tools, and identifies current federal and state EJ policies and practices.

A microphone with a soundwave behind it

Recharged with the State Impact Center

May • Podcast

Recharged is the State Impact Center’s podcast where we tackle the latest legal and policy debates about how to protect the planet and people’s health with a focus on the powers and duties of state AGs. Subscribe today.

Comment bubble

Climate Friendly Idioms

June • Newsletter Bonus

Do you ever use an idiom, only to pause and realize what it really means? Fossil fuel references sneak up everywhere, but with the tide turning (😉🌊) towards clean energy, you might be looking for alternatives. We included a roundup of our staff favorites in our June newsletter.

A question mark

What is a State Attorney General?

August • Resource

The State Impact Center supports the work of state attorneys general in defending, enforcing, and promoting strong climate, EJ, and clean energy laws and policies. But what exactly is a state attorney general, and what do they do? Take a look at this resource to find out!

A magnifying glass

Can You Tell Which Headlines Aren’t Real?

August • Newsletter Bonus

After a summer of non-stop climate news (some of it good, much of it bad), we tested our newsletter readers on how well they were paying attention. Take a look and see if you can tell which headlines aren’t real!

Instagram logo

We Joined Instagram!

November • Outreach

The State Impact Center is on Instagram! Follow us @StateImpactCenter to stay up to date on all of our events, projects, and more. We also joined Threads, where we have been posting #StateImpactAlerts and other content!

A document with a check mark

AGs Advancing Environmental Protections: An Overview

December • Resource

This new resource tracks the status of active cases and regulatory matters advancing climate, environmental justice, environmental protection, and clean energy. It describes AG engagement, and flags what to expect as these matters progress.

⭐️ New Milestone!

1,000 AG Actions Logged in Our Database

Our AG Actions Database tracks actions taken by state AGs since 2017 to advance, protect, defend, and enforce laws and policies related to climate, environmental justice, clean energy, and the environment. In 2023, we reached 1,000 actions logged in the database! Click on a state below to see the latest actions taken by the state’s attorney general.


We strive to include all relevant AG activity in our database, but cannot guarantee that this database is comprehensive. To alert us to an action that should be added, please email [email protected].


By the Numbers

A gif of a blog post on a laptop

26 Blog Posts

Our blog takes on timely topics, ranging from the latest developments in clean energy to legislation and advocacy around extreme heat, climate curricula, sustainable agriculture, and more. Sign up for our newsletter to follow along.

A gif of a newsletter opening on a computer

20 Issues of “Legally Speaking”

Legal­ly Speak­ing, our bi-week­ly newslet­ter, pro­vides time­ly updates on state attor­neys gen­er­al fil­ings, hear­ings, deci­sions, and oth­er notable devel­op­ments on clean ener­gy, climate, and environmental matters. Subscribe now!

A gif of a calendar filling up with events

8 Events

In 2023, the Center hosted a wide range of events, including conversations with state attorneys general, career-focused webinars for students, and technical trainings on topics like transmission, environmental justice, and the Inflation Reduction Act. Sign up to hear about our next event.

A gif of searching for an article on a website

6 Staff Publications

Staff from the Center occasionally publish articles in external publications. For example, our Executive Director Bethany Davis Noll publishes a bi-monthly “In the Courts” column in the Environmental Law Institute’s The Environmental Forum.

A gif of a hashtag on a social media post

324 #StateImpactAlerts

The Center uses the hash­tag #StateIm­pactAlert on Twitter to flag the lat­est sig­nif­i­cant cli­mate, ener­gy, and envi­ron­men­tal actions at var­i­ous fed­er­al agen­cies. Read more about the breakdown of this year’s alerts in our [#SIA roundup resource].

A gif of a news article opening on a smartphone

24 Press Hits

The Center frequently provides expertise to reporters and journalists, and Center staff are often quoted on climate, environmental, and clean energy issues of regional and national importance in outlets such as E&E News, Grist, The Hill, Law360, Bloomberg Law, and the National Law Journal.

In 2023, Our Team...

...expanded!

We welcomed many new members to the State Impact Center team in 2023! Take a look below to meet our newest staff members.

Megan Abron

Megan Abron

Associate Director for Operations and Budget

Megan Abron (she, her) is the Associate Director for Operations and Budget, and supports strategic planning, fund development and operations work at the center. Previously, she was the Operations Manager at the Institute for Policy Integrity, and worked in the immigration field in New York. She earned an MSc in Politics of Population, Migration and Ecology from Birkbeck, University of London and a BA in Global Liberal Studies from New York University.

Read More
Christine Billy

Christine Billy

Senior Legal Fellow

Christine Billy (she, her) has devoted her career to developing and implementing policies for a sustainable and equitable future. She is an adjunct professor of clinical law at NYU School of Law with over a decade of law and policy experience in climate and environmental law, food law, labor and employment law, human rights law, and local and state authority. She has advised on local and state emergency powers during multiple emergencies, including Superstorm Sandy and the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, she served as Chief Legal Counsel for the NYC COVID-19 Food Czar where she worked on the largest municipal emergency food delivery program in the nation – serving over 200 million meals at the height of the pandemic.

Read More
Kwolanne Felix

Kwolanne Felix

Communications & Program Assistant

Kwolanne Felix is a writer and an advocate of gender equality and the environment. Prior to joining the Center Kwolanne worked at UN Women, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Women Environmental Development Organization. At the Center, Kwolanne works with the communication and programs team and provides day-to-day support.

Read More
Lauren McCrea

Lauren McCrea

Clean Energy Legal Fellow

Lauren McCrea (she, her) is an attorney with experience in energy and environmental law with a dedication to serving the public interest. She previously worked in state government focusing on environmental issues.

Read More
Tatiana Zapata

Tatiana Zapata

Legal Fellow

Tatiana Zapata is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law. She was the Co-Founder and Vice President of the school’s Environmental Law Society, as well as a student member of the NYCBA Committee on Environmental Law. Tatiana is a first-generation law school graduate and Colombian immigrant dedicated to advocating on behalf of historically marginalized communities. She previously worked as a legal intern at the Center before joining staff full time.

Read More

...offered up their best recs!

You got to know our team a bit better through their recommendations in our new “Staff Recommendations” section of Legally Speaking! Here is a roundup of everything we recommended this year.

  • Books

    The City We Became
    A fictional novel by N.K. Jemisin about six protectors who must come together to stop a “roiling, ancient evil” that channels the forces of racism, patriarchy, and gentrification, and threatens to destroy New York City. Recommended by Tatiana.

    We are Water Protectors | Coyote and the Sky | What’s My Superpower
    Three children’s picture books to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day—written by Carole Lindstrom, Emmett Garcia, and Aviaq Johnston, respectively. Recommended by Christine and Jessica.

  • Podcasts

    My Ocean
    A podcast from Ocean Wise that features conversations with “some of the world’s true ocean champions,” including scientists, surfers, judges, and fishers. Recommended by Jasmine.

    Blame Capitalism
    A collection of podcast episodes from Vox Media’s Today Explained podcast series, which discusses how capitalism-fueled growth is killing the planet. Recommended by Carlos.

  • More!

    Postcolonial Love Poem
    A collection of poetry by Natalie Diaz that touches on colonialism, environmental destruction, and institutional racism. Recommended by Christine.

    Artwork by Jill Pelto
    An artist and science communicator who incorporates environmental data in her paintings of natural environments affected by climate change. Recommended by Tiernaur.

    Electrify Everything
    A coloring book by artist Nicole Kelner. The book is available as a digital download, and includes 50 pages of educational coloring pages about clean energy. Recommended by Jessica.

Eager for more recs? Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know!

...connected virtually & in person!

From volunteering at public parks and outings around New York City to gatherings on Zoom, our team had many opportunities to gather and connect throughout the year. Get a glimpse below!

Thank you to all those who contributed to, provided feedback on, and read our work this year. We appreciate all your support, and we look forward to continuing this important work in 2024! If you have enjoyed our work this year, please consider supporting the Center.