Long-standing disputes over exploitation of public lands bubble over as the Trump administration advances campaign promises to ease restrictions on energy development. A special TipSheet, part of our 2018 Journalists' Guide to Energy & Environment, has resources for covering public lands-related issues as they play out in the coming year.
Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)
"When the Trump administration announced the appointment of Anne Idsal as the new regional EPA administrator, Adrian Shelley, the director of Public Citizen Texas, had just one thought: Who?"
"The federal government’s boldest land grab in a generation produced the first border wall — and a trail of abuse, mistakes and unfairness."
Almost a dozen investigations are underway at the U.S. EPA and the Interior Department, including of unusual travel, private sector connections and staff/advisory panel moves. This week's TipSheet runs down the probes in detail, and offers resources for coverage of developments in 2018.
"U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has picked Anne Idsal, a well-connected Texas state official, to lead the agency's Region 6 office."
"A government program to clean up 503 contaminated military sites across Oklahoma will have cost an estimated $677 million by the time it concludes at the end of the century, Department of Defense records show."
Trying to figure out the air quality in your coverage area? The EPA may not be much help. But this week's TipSheet suggests some effective work-arounds for your reporting. Get the backstory on ozone standards, tips on how to track ozone "nonattainment" for your area and learn why smog matters so much to public health.
"Native American activists and tribal leaders from around New Mexico are joining the chorus of environmentalists who have been fighting for years to stop oil and gas development."
"Prior to the chemical fire at its Crosby plant, Arkema underestimated the potential for storm damage and failed to keep essential backup power protected from rising floodwaters, documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle show."