Hurricane Irma left millions of Floridians in the dark, while Maria stripped Puerto Ricans of power, potentially for months. Can the electric grid be made less vulnerable? Our Backgrounder has a dozen-plus angles to jump-start your power reporting, from stronger poles to microgrids. Plus, hurricane coverage resources.
Mountain West (CO ID MT NV UT WY)
"The cleanup of a northwest Montana community where health professionals say hundreds of people have been killed by asbestos exposure entered a new phase Thursday as officials turn their focus to keeping residents safe over the long term. The five-member Libby Asbestos Superfund Advisory Team met for the first time after being established by the Montana Legislature earlier this year."
"Once staring into the oblivion that is extinction, bison have rebounded in number and prestige to be called the United States’ national mammal. Yet those in Yellowstone National Park don’t fully carry the prestige that distinction bestows."
"Environmentalists have sued a U.S. agency to try to stop it from allowing oil and gas drilling on a vast stretch of federal land in Nevada, where the government is reversing protections put in place nine months ago under the Obama administration."
"An appeals court granted a request Monday from President Donald Trump's administration to halt a plan for new pollution controls at Utah's oldest coal-fired power plants aimed at reducing haze near national parks."
"Fire officials said on Monday they had effectively stopped the uncontrolled spread of the largest wildfire in Los Angeles history, with a little help from cooler weather, but were still working to contain it."
It's a deadly threat only fitfully reported by news media. But coverage of insect-borne diseases could be improved by environmental journalists who understand the intersection of bugs, humans and climate. A two-part Issue Backgrounder with basics, key resources and a rundown on significant illnesses brought by mosquitoes, and by ticks and other insects.
"Solar advocates win a surprising victory in Nevada."
"HELENA, Mont. -- Crews and equipment from 34 states arrived Monday to help fight four massive wildfires that have destroyed a dozen homes in eastern Montana and forced ranchers to let their livestock loose as the blazes spread unhindered across roads, rivers and man-made fire lines."
A federal court has ruled unconstitutional a Utah law that made undercover filming of livestock operations illegal. What's it mean for similar laws elsewhere? The latest WatchDog has the story, plus news on protecting whistleblowers, a digital journalist's legal guide, shielding of climate info and leaked government reports.