July 6, 2011–The US Dept. of Agriculture is providing financial support for farmers to grow the grass in four project areas in four states. The goal is to substantially increase production of the crop, and USDA estimates about 4,000 jobs will be created.
July 6, 2011–Project Amp, expected to lead to the installation of photovoltaic solar panels on about 750 industrial buildings in 28 states, would feed enough energy to the grid to power 90,000-100,000 homes. Taking a different approach, Google and a company called SolarCity are teaming up to spur installation of solar panels to power individual homes, committing $280 million to the project.
June 15, 2011–Robert Foltz, host of the "Let's Talk" show on WMBS in Uniontown for 10 years, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he was fired just moments after a local municipal official said on his show that drilling for gas in the Marcellus shale formation had contaminated the local groundwater supply with bromine.
May 18, 2011–The spreadsheet covers 676 coal combustion waste impoundments at 240 facilities — making it much easier to cover the issue. After assessing many ponds, EPA rated at least 50 of the ponds as having high hazard potential.
May 18, 2011–ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten (left) revealed that some of the biggest fracking companies have been collecting extensive baseline data since 2008, keeping it concealed from public knowledge — including denying Duke University researchers the data when asked for it. The withheld data could either exonerate the companies or prove them responsible for pollution.
May 18, 2011–By publishing the list promptly, NRC lived up to the "reading room" provisions of FOIA — which require agencies to actively publish information likely to be the subject of multiple FOIA requests. As a reporter, see what your competitors are doing. As a FOIA requester, you may learn a lot about how to write a FOIA letter that is realistic yet effective.
May 11, 2011–The event will cover everything from the Gulf of Mexico's struggle to recover from the BP oil spill to protection of over-exploited commercial fish stocks … to ocean acidification, marine protected areas, offshore energy, and coastal ecosystem restoration.
May 4, 2011–In response to deep cuts in its budget, EIA announced that it would not be able to compile and publish products like its ongoing estimates of US oil reserves. In fact, EIA will not even be able to continue its investigation of whether speculators are driving up oil prices.
April 27, 2011–Public meetings in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming from April 26 to May 5, 2011 will likely be newsy events, with advocates and critics representing industry, environmentalists, local governments, and other interested groups and individuals voicing their opinions.
April 27, 2011–New tools provide limited information on substances used in specific wells during the oil and natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing. From 2005-2009, 780 million gallons of 750 substances were injected underground — a starting point for your coverage of this angle.