Natural Resources

"Obama Will Move to Protect Vast Arctic Habitat in Alaska"

"President Obama will ask Congress to increase environmental protections for millions of acres of pristine animal habitat in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, in a move that has already led to fierce opposition from the state’s Republican lawmakers."

Source: NY Times, 01/26/2015

More Secret Reports from Congressional Research Service

Nobody has ever explained why Congress refuses to release the tax-funded explainers produced by the Congressional Research Service. They are a gold standard for journalists needing quick background. Here are some recent CRS reports relevant to environmental journalists, helpfully released by the Federation of American Scientists.

Waiting for Ansel Adams: Will 114th Congress Legalize Park Photography?

You may have read in recent WatchDogs about controversial federal laws and rules that could restrict photojournalism in federal parks, forests, and rangelands. Now comes the "Ansel Adams bill" that would make it legal to do an activity that is Constitutionally protected. Only someone has to introduce the bill. Photo: Ansel Adams, by J. Malcolm Greany.

"5 Years After Crisis, U.S. Remains Dependent on China's Rare Earth Elements"

"In 2010, China set in motion a wave of worry around the globe when it dramatically lowered quotas on its exports of rare earth elements, which are crucial to the making of everything from cellphones to missile systems to electric-car batteries. China held 95 percent of the world's supply."

Source: EnergyWire, 01/13/2015

"South American Commodity Boom Drives Deforestation And Land Conflicts"

"A commodity boom has helped pull millions out of poverty across South America over the past decade. It has also unleashed a new scramble for oil, minerals and cropland that is accelerating deforestation and fueling a new wave of land conflicts from Colombia to Chile."

Source: Wash Post, 01/01/2015

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