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It was a crisis. Charleston, WV, residents had just been told not to drink city water because of a chemical spill upstream of its intake. It would seem routine to call the US EPA and ask for information or comment — and that's just what prize-winning Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward Jr. did. He waited a week for EPA to get back to him on the record. SEJ wants to know why such communication delays at EPA have become the norm.
Spin control and the security state may have taken large bites out of the First Amendment in recent years, but the pushback celebration known as Sunshine Week has never been more robust. Pushing for open government is a trend. Nowhere is this more true than on the environment and energy beats.
Maritime historian Jon Ottman has been denied a fee waiver on records he's requested about an aged U.S. Coast Guard cutter that was auctioned to a shipbreaker in Mexico without, he says, being thoroughly checked for toxic and hazardous materials. Photo: America's Queen — Coast Guard Cutter Storis, courtesy US Coast Guard.
After the SEJ and the Society of Professional Journalists complained January 20, 2014, about federal agency press office stonewalling in the face of the Charleston, WV, drinking water disaster, the agencies responded. Read the text of their replies here.Region:
Corporate lobby groups? Yeah, they can read it. Big campaign donors? They can read it, too. But can the news media and U.S. public read it? — No way! That would be un-American. Welcome to the secretly negotiated trade treaty known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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The startling admission only bolsters critics who say the conservative Harper government is suppressing science which does not support its politics — for example, its policies on global warming or oil sands.Region:
A study issued by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) using campaign contribution data found the fracking industry gave increasingly more in districts hosting fracking than in nonfracking districts between 2004 and 2012.
It's true. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) helps well-heeled industry lobbyists thwart rules to protect public safety and health. Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin proves it with documents and insider interviews showing how election politics trumped open government, regulatory law, and public health in the run-up to the 2012 election.