Congress still forbids the Congressional Research Service to release publicly reports that taxpayers have paid for. Thanks to groups like the Federation of American Scientists, however, taxpayers can read the reports online despite the charade.
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There is local news in these USDA and USFWS grants. These on-the-ground projects involve specific groups and individuals, offering prime examples of programs you can investigate to see whether federal tax dollars are being effectively and efficiently spent.
Each decade, NOAA's National Climatic Data Center updates its data for 30-year averages for a range of climate indicators. The most widely used "normals" for the period 1981-2010 (including temperature, precipitation, snowfall, snow depth, and heating and cooling degree days) are scheduled to be released at the end of June 2011, with the rest by year end.Topics on the Beat:
In a court agreement filed May 22, 2011, University of Virginia agreed to release documents of former U.Va. researcher/climate scientist Michael Mann. The plaintiff is American Tradition Institute, which raises funds with the slogan "Crush Gang Green and their anti-business allies."Region:
The Bureau of Reclamation report says major changes often are expected, with the magnitude varying substantially by location. The data and information provided allow you to dig into the details to some degree for the watersheds of interest to your audience.Region:
To illustrate those impacts in each state — and related attempts at mitigation and collaborative projects — the US Fish and Wildlife Service is publishing a new article every weekday for fifty consecutive days. For example, one story is on Wisconsin's innovative native prairie restoration program.
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Last year's grant winners have efforts under way, so reporting can focus on progress that is being made, or not. Reporting on the new winners, announced in mid-April 2011, can inform the community about what is in the works, who is in charge, and what future benchmarks can be used to see if the money is being well spent.
As part of the continuing resolution (HR 1) the House approved largely along party lines an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) to cut an additional $8.5 million from the budget for EPA's Greenhouse Gas Registry.
The massive trove of diplomatic cables disclosed by Wikileaks disclosed one of the Obama administration's darkest environmental secrets — that the U.S. held secret diplomatic talks on climate change during the run-up to the December 2009 Copenhagen meeting.