Peter Dykstra's analysis helps environmental journalists sort through the convergence of money, politics, ideology and nature.
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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.
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A fatal November 30, 2012, collapse of part of a coal-slurry impoundment in West Virginia served as a reminder of safety issues that may not be adequately regulated in some states and localities. You can locate local coal-slurry impoundments and information on their status with an online public database.Region:
Is the public entitled to see documents that may bear on the safety of a for-profit utility's plan to restart the flaw-stricken San Onofre nuclear plant in California? Maybe not. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled the utility must turn the documents over to the board — but currently plans to keep them secret from the public.Region:
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was joined by the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter in a suit to unseal records of the July 2011 settlement of a case in which a family had sued four natural gas companies over damages they claimed were caused by hydraulic fracturing. The appeals court said a lower court had erred in throwing out the newspapers' case.Region:
A geeky nonprofit watchdog group has done what government and private industry have failed to do; the group, SkyTruth, has made data about the ingredients in fracking fluid easily accessible to the public.
Here are more Congressional Research Service reports relevant to the environment/energy beat, published by the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy.
The gas industry won itself an exemption from disclosure requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005. But now environmentalists have a new angle, claiming EPA has authority to compel disclosure under a different law (the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act) — and urging EPA to use it.
The two New York Times journalists were working on private land with the permission of the landowner, near Winnsboro in northeast Texas, when they were detained, according to the online energy publication FuelFix. The 78-year-old owner of the land, who objects to the routing of the pipeline across it, was also arrested for trespassing on her own land.Region: