Infrastructure is much in the news these days, with battles over politics and funding yielding stories for environment reporters. In play are a Trump plan, who gets to pick projects, who pays and much more. But in an election year, how likely are infrastructure plans to move forward? The backstory, with angles for environment and energy, plus what to watch for in 2018, in our Backgrounder on infrastructure.
Covering local infrastructure projects often means covering energy and the environment. This week’s TipSheet offers a companion to our special backgrounder on the national infrastructure story emerging out of Washington. We’ve got dozens of resources and links for finding infrastructure news and information from Congress, executive agencies, infrastructure organizations and environmental groups.
"A new Interior Department plan to build roads in national parks, fix visitors centers and complete other infrastructure projects using money raised by drilling on public lands is facing skepticism from members of Congress and a former senior department official."
"Using selective logging and controlled burns, Ashland has reduced fire risk on thousands of acres in the forested watershed that provides the city’s drinking water. The partnership that made it happen could be a model for other fire-prone communities."
"Energy storage and distributed energy resources such as small-scale solar received a resounding vote of confidence from federal regulators on Wednesday."
"Animals that live in the ocean communicate with sound — humpback whales, for example. But these voices could soon be drowned out by powerful sonic booms from vessels searching for oil and gas."
"Greens notched a court victory Friday as a California judge ruled that U.S. EPA unlawfully delayed an Obama-era rule aiming at limiting formaldehyde emissions from wood products."
"An Arkansas judge on Friday dismissed a Monsanto Co lawsuit aiming to stop Arkansas from blocking the use of a controversial farm chemical the company makes, dealing a blow to its attempts to increase sales of genetically engineered seeds."
"As climate-change lawsuits against the oil industry mount, Exxon Mobil Corp. is taking a bare-knuckle approach rarely seen in legal disputes: It's going after the lawyers who are suing it."
A recently unearthed report reveals Bureau of Land Management plans to limit how many FOIA requests a single person or group can submit and to make government records more expensive to acquire.