Journalism & Media

Sunshine Events, Standing Rock, FERC and Pruitt

It's Sunshine Week, and open government events are scheduled around the United States. This month's WatchDog TipSheet has a rundown, plus news on SEJ concerns over restrictions to press access at FERC meetings, on a 7,564-page FOIA email dump on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and more. 

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EPA Budget Cuts Threaten a Program Near You

As the Trump administration proposes big cuts at environmental agencies like the U.S. EPA, the latest TipSheet explores how to dig up local angles from the budget action. Examples: Tracking changes at EPA regional offices and labs, at Superfund or at state revolving funds for clean water and safe drinking water programs.

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"San Jose Flood: City Knew About Flood Risk, Discussed Evacuations"

"SAN JOSE — New records and details emerged Friday about the disastrous Coyote Creek floods showing that San Jose officials were aware of the risks and prepared extensively for flooding, yet held off alerting residents as waters rose out of fear of unnecessarily alarming people."

Source: San Jose Mercury News, 03/06/2017

Pruitt Told Senate He Didn't Use Personal Email for Gov Business: He Did

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t the only Trump Cabinet official being pressed to explain omissions in congressional testimony at his confirmation hearing. An environmental group and several Democratic senators are demanding a review of the personal email account of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, after he said during confirmation hearings that he never used that account for official business as Oklahoma state attorney general."

Source: Washington Post, 03/03/2017

Okla. AG's Office Confirms Pruitt Used Private Email For State Business

"The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office confirms former Attorney General Scott Pruitt used a private email for state business. The information comes a week after FOX 25 first revealed the emails that appeared to be sent from Pruitt’s private email account."

Source: KOKH, 02/27/2017

SEJ Objects to Non-Public FERC Comment Meeting Format

In the face of rising protests from anti-fracking and anti-pipeline activists, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has adopted a format for some meetings that prevents the press from covering public comment in real time. The Society of Environmental Journalists has expressed concern to FERC about this practice, which also prevents the public from engaging in dialogue. The text of SEJ's Feb. 23, 2017 letter is here.

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Climate Scientists Face Threats And Fears Of 'Mccarthyist Attacks'

"A little less than seven years ago, the climate scientist Michael Mann ambled into his office at Penn State University with a wedge of mail tucked under his arm. As he tore into one of the envelopes, which was hand-addressed to him, white powder tumbled from the folds of the letter. Mann recoiled from the grainy plume and rushed to the bathroom to scrub his hands."

Source: Guardian, 02/23/2017

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