In the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential upset, U.S. environmental and energy policy may undergo dramatic change. SEJournal Online has prepared a reporter’s watchlist of 12 stories with local angles and broad impact, ranging from fossil fuels to renewables, clean air to clean water, and infrastructure to public lands. Read on.
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While issues like climate change have gained little traction in the presidential race, environmental topics are playing a clearer role in some congressional contests, as well in statehouse and local elections. At the same time, a number of controversial ballot initiatives are tackling environmental topics ranging from plastic bag bans to solar energy. Get info and resources in our Election 2016 Issue Backgrounder.SEJ Publication Types:Topics on the Beat:Region:
The public is still in the dark about the environmental impacts of the open-pit Rosemont copper mine proposed near Tucson. The documents are sought by Arizona Daily Star reporter and SEJ member Tony Davis, who has doggedly reported on the impacts, largely utilizing FOIA request results. Image: © Clipart.com
The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which takes money the feds get from offshore drilling and parcels it out to federal, state and local agencies for parks and conservation land, is a goldmine for environmental stories by enterprising reporters. And now InvestigateWest, a non-profit watchdog journalism outlet, has made LWCF sleuthing easier by compiling an easy-to-use database of LWCF grants made between 1965 and 2011.Topics on the Beat:
The U.S. Department of the Interior is not winning many awards for openness. A House subcommittee recently took up the complaint that Interior's Office of the Solicitor would not even honor the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) ombudsman's office with a response to repeated letters.
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The Senate Energy Committee last November approved a different version of the bill which seems to include an exemption from fees and permits for "news gathering." But whether it will pass on the floor or get reconciled with the House bill in an election year is unknown.