"Genetically engineered crops appear to be safe to eat and do not harm the environment, according to a comprehensive new analysis by the advisory group the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine."
"Earlier this month, a U.S. satellite known as F17 — which was primarily used for meteorological measurements — experienced operational failures that compromised the integrity of its data. And while there are similar satellites in orbit that can take over the data collection for now, they’re old enough that scientists are unsure how much longer they’ll last."
For environmental reporters, pipelines are a frequent source of major news stories. Enterprising journalists may want to find nearby pipelines before they leak or blow up. The National Pipeline Mapping System is a basic tool that can help.
"Most food, if we trace it back far enough, began as a seed. And the business of supplying those seeds to farmers has been transformed over the past half-century. Small-town companies have given way to global giants."
"An electrical plant on the Saskatchewan prairie was the great hope for industries that burn coal. ... But the $1.1 billion project is now looking like a green dream."
"The development of offshore wind farms took another halting step forward Thursday with the federal approval of a research facility off Virginia’s coast to test wind turbines in a harsh open seas environment."
"A cutting-edge satellite-based alert system could help policymakers and conservationists put a dent in illegal logging by notifying users in real time of new bald patches in the world's rainforests."
Some chemicals that are common in commercial products and processes are known to find their way into the environment and seriously (even fatally) harm human health. Yet current U.S. law makes it hard for EPA to keep companies from using them. Sometimes the chemicals used to replace them are just as bad, but the law does not even require those to be tested. A vast regime of secrecy based on unchallenged claims of "confidential business information" makes the danger to public health worse. Often, not even the EPA employees responsible for protecting people can access information about the toxic chemicals. The chemical reform bills now pending in Congress won't fix the problem.
"A US government agency says it has attained the “holy grail” of energy – the next-generation system of battery storage, that has has been hotly pursued by the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk."
The availability of government data has soared over the last decade — offering a huge opportunity for watchdog journalists to find stories that advance the public interest. The environmental beat is the Saudi Arabia of data (yes, that means vast, rich, accessible, and untapped reserves).