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–Designating lands as wilderness or some other highly protected status always is contentious, but the BLM has identified 24 areas in 9 western states the agency says have significant local support for this idea: CA (9 areas), CO (3), ID (1), MT (1), NM (2), NV (2), OR (2), UT (3), and WA (1).
November 9, 2011–The agency says the remaining 17 sites covering ~285,000 acres in six states have the best solar gain and energy transmission traits, the fewest conflicts with environmental, cultural, and historic resources, and the best compatibility with each state's efforts. Public meetings commence Nov 30 and a 90-day public comment period ends Jan. 27, 2012. A variance process could be used to approve additional solar development elsewhere.
October 26, 2011–The naturally-occurring erionite causes malignant mesothelioma and evidence suggests it is much more toxic than asbestos. Concern is rising as development that disturbs erionite deposits occurs in 12 western states.
October 19, 2011–The latest episode is an internal Interior Dept. probe into the work of two scientists who study the tiny but endangered smelt which live in the Sacramento River delta that feeds into San Francisco Bay.
September 28, 2011–Sites in CA, GA, IL, IN, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OR, SC, TN, and TX received a final designation of Superfund status, meaning they are among the most toxic in the country, due to contamination from industrial operations, mining, military activities, landfills, and other sources.
August 17, 2011–USDA continues to expand its Biomass Crop Assistance Program that provides financial incentives for producers of various biomass products with the latest selected project areas for growing camelina in CA, OR, WA, and MT, poplar trees in OR, and switchgrass in KS and OK.
August 17, 2011–Greater sage-grouse are at just 3% of their historical numbers, and warrant protection, according to the Bureau of Land Management. But since other species are in even more dire straits, the birds haven't been declared a threatened or endangered species. The US Dept. of Agriculture money is a work-around aimed at saving the birds and their habitat.
July 15, 2011–In the Summer issue of SEJournal, Bill Dawson gets the inside story from the Monterey County Weekly's assistant editor Kera Abraham (pictured at left) and her award-winning stories involving clashing shades of green.
June 22, 2011–Are you looking for a story of interest to consumers, retailers, manufacturers, lawyers, politicians, health officials, and editors of the business, politics, health, energy, science, and environment beats? Here are some starting points for coverage of plastics issues. Once you delve into this topic, other angles and sources will emerge.