December 14, 2011–The Portland judge ruled that blogger Crystal Cox, who published allegations against businessman Kevin Padrick and was subsequently sued by Padrick for defamation, was not a journalist as she lacked any conventional journalistic credentials or affiliations, and therefore was not entitled to the protections of the state's shield law.
December 14, 2011–Colorado, which adopted its disclosure rules December 13, 2011, joins Texas, Pennsylvania, and several other states in requiring some disclosure by drillers of the chemicals they pump into shale formations under high pressures to release natural gas. Scores of chemicals, some very toxic, may be involved.
November 30, 2011–The Center for Progressive Reform looked at public records on 1,080 meetings held between October 2001 and June 2011 between the White House Office of Management and Budget and lobbyists from various interest groups. Results show the Obama administration is as bad as the Bush administration when it comes to secret meetings with industry to weaken environmental health and safety regulations.
November 30, 2011–The San Francisco Chronicle revealed almost all records of the state's Public Utilities Commission, which regulates pipelines, are secret — and the PUC typically asks permission from the utility companies before releasing any information. In most other states, such information is freely available to the public.
November 23, 2011–On Nov. 9, 2011, EPA signed a consent decree that requires the agency to receive from and approve a State Implementation Plan for DC, VI, and 43 states that don't have a fully approved one. Each state can determine how it wants to reduce haze. In some cases, the plan will rely on actions already taken, such as reductions in emissions from power plants or vehicles.
November 16, 2011–The regulatory proposal was part of a large package of revised FOIA regulations, which will go forward without it. The Justice Department did not rescind the 1987 Meese memo the proposal was based on; instead it identified ways in which agencies could be unresponsive and uninformative without actually lying.
October 26, 2011–US EPA, under a court-ordered deadline of Oct. 31, 2011, is to release a final rule establishing a Pesticides General Permit process, which would establish ways to reduce certain pesticide applications on or near waterways for control of mosquitoes, other flying insects, weeds, algae, animals, and forest canopy pests.
October 26, 2011–As part of its push to improve the nation's power system, the Obama administration is trying to expedite construction of 7 transmission lines, in various stages of planning and design, spanning 3,100 miles in 12 states.
September 21, 2011–Judge Gregory Presnell ruled that the federal Freedom of Information Act did not allow an injunction before the agency itself had made its decision on whether to release the records.