This is a decisive time on the energy and environment front, with challenges and confrontation expected over the consummation of the Trump deregulatory agenda. Our second annual issues guide provides a roadmap for covering the big stories. The guide's formal launch took place at an SEJ event in Washington, D.C. on January 26. If you missed it, the webcast is archived here.
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The 2018 elections may prove highly consequential for environment and energy policy, possibly slowing or even reversing the Trump-GOP deregulatory agenda. The latest Issue Backgrounder helps reporters frame the choices voters face, including environmental justice and offshore drilling.SEJ Publication Types:Topics on the Beat:Region:
The battle over environment and energy issues may ultimately come down to U.S. courts, where, unlike Congress and White House, the GOP doesn't hold sway ... yet. This week's TipSheet looks at a dozen major legal issues making news in 2018, like wetlands protection, and offers story ideas and resources to cover them.Region:
An EPA program that helps pay for municipal water infrastructure is facing Congressional appropriations scrutiny. But with the program looking like it may escape big cuts, it remains a reservoir of reportable local projects. Find out more in the latest TipSheet, plus get state-by-state resources.Region:
As the Trump administration proposes big cuts at environmental agencies like the U.S. EPA, the latest TipSheet explores how to dig up local angles from the budget action. Examples: Tracking changes at EPA regional offices and labs, at Superfund or at state revolving funds for clean water and safe drinking water programs.Topics on the Beat:Region:
Even if the incoming Trump Administration retreats from climate action, as many fear, state and local governments may fill the gap on climate policy. Our latest Issue Backgrounder takes a closer look, and offers sources and resources to help you cover the more localized climate stories that may result.SEJ Publication Types:Region:
Maine passed a law in 2015 that allowed railroads to keep oil-train routing information from the public — over the governor's veto. In the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting's Pine Tree Watchdog, Dave Sherwood reports how the provision was a bait-and-switch.Topics on the Beat:Region:
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Since U.S. oil production started booming, the news has been full of tanker trains blowing up. Under a May 2014 emergency order, the Federal Railway Administration increased requirements that railroads disclose oil train routes. But a new regulation issued May 1, 2015, leaves the public — and firefighters — with less information about the risks they face. Photo: The latest oil train derailment and explosion, today, in ND/Curt Bemson via AP.Topics on the Beat:
One way to deal with bad press is to make it illegal. Exposés of inhumane conditions at feedlots and slaughterhouses are being made illegal by state legislatures that pass "ag gag" laws. Now a case in Utah is challenging whether industrial agriculture's claims of secrecy trump the eating public's right to know. Image: Sows in 7'x2' Smithfield Foods gestation crates. By Humane Society of the US [CC], 2010.