April 24, 2013–Government rulemaking takes place with everything on the record in a public docket, right? Well ... actually not. EnergyWire reporter Mike Soraghan revealed in an April 12, 2013 story that presidential aide Heather Zichal met more than 20 times with industry groups lobbying on the proposed rule for fracking on federal lands.
March 13, 2013–Now you can read reports on key topics on the environmental beat — compiled by the Congressional Research Service and paid for with your tax dollars. Congress does not allow CRS to release them to the public. Thanks to the Government Secrecy Project at the Federation of American Scientists for making them available.
January 15, 2013–In this excerpt from the latest issue of SEJournal (Winter), Peter Dykstra's analysis helps environmental journalists sort through the convergence of money, politics, ideology and nature.
January 2, 2013–If you want to know the latest on what chemicals might give your kids learning disabilities, asthma, and other health problems, the White House Office of Management and Budget intends to keep you in the dark. It has buried since March 2011 the 3rd edition of EPA's report "America's Children and the Environment."
January 2, 2013–Too often stories fail to disclose such industry ties, which might call into question the experts' objectivity. The Checks and Balances Project, an energy watchdog group, did an analysis of coverage in 60 publications over a five-year period with very interesting results.
January 2, 2013–EPA had on December 3, 2012, published a final rule requiring reporting of unpublished cadmium-related health and safety studies by manufacturers and importers. This rule prompted industry objections, resulting in EPA's withdrawal of the rule less than 2 weeks later.
October 17, 2012–Danielle Ivory reports for Bloomberg: "At least 25 federal agencies are outsourcing parts of the FOIA process. The contractors, sometimes using workers with security clearances, are building FOIA software, corresponding with requesters, redacting documents and recommending what information should be withheld."
June 27, 2012–That left journalists and the taxpayers — for now — at least partly in the dark about where tax dollars subsidizing agriculture are really going. But disclosure advocates think they may get another opportunity when the House takes up its own version of the Farm Bill.
May 30, 2012–Claims of trade secrecy — often unsubstantiated — are a huge barrier to environmental reporters and others trying to find the truth about chemicals that may harm human health and the environment. But the FBI's billboards urge Americans to be vigilant against corporate insiders who may appear suspicious, and presumably to turn them in.