February 27, 2013–Such a move had been resisted for years by the few large companies that dominate the scientific publishing industry. Some open-access groups hailed the memo as a breakthrough that would really allow taxpayers to read the research they pay for. Still, the proof will be in the implementation.
February 13, 2013–A leaked draft of the replacement rule suggested Interior would leave handling of fracking data to the industry-run "FracFocus" project, which has come under criticism by environmental and watchdog groups for being hard to use and incomplete.
February 13, 2013–The United States, whose Minerals Management Service simply neglected to collect in-kind offshore oil royalties under President Bush, has yet to prove itself a paragon. Yet now a new Interior Department committee is poised to lecture other countries on how to do it right.
February 13, 2013–Among those that haven't updated FOIA regs since before Congress enacted FOIA amendments in 2007 are USDA, National Transportation Safety Board, DoE, National Indian Gaming Commission, DoJ, Chemical Safety and Hazards Investigation Board, OMB (which claims responsibility for FOIA discipline), Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and DHHS.
February 13, 2013–According to the Washington Post, the National Weather Service is firing William Proenza, who once headed the National Hurricane Center, for revealing to the Post that looming budget cuts would harm forecasting effectiveness (something that can affect public safety and the profits of business).
January 30, 2013–Sunlight cures many ills. A month after watchdog Sheila Kaplan exposed a White House blackout of an EPA report on children's environmental health, the Obama administration uncorked it. Of course, the timing may have had something to do with the election as well; EPA announced its publication January 25, just a few days after the inauguration.
January 30, 2013–The release this month of the draft National Climate Assessment garnered many headlines. But little notice went to the fact that it was released at all. Earlier versions of this assessment of climate change's impacts on the U.S. were suppressed — and even "unpublished". But a few voices did take note of the Assessment's release.
January 30, 2013–The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity filed suit in Alameda County Superior Court charging that the California Department of Conservation's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources was not following the state's own law.
January 30, 2013–Sunshine Week is a great opportunity for journalists to do the most important part of the job: spotlighting the very news that government officials are uncomfortable about disclosing. The website includes examples of good freedom-of-information stories, permission-free cartoons, logos and icons, and many all-purpose story ideas.
January 30, 2013–EPA had already released preliminary TRI data for the latest available year (2011), but its National Analysis makes for easier reporting as data is collated by state. It also offers analyses by industry sector and of toxics handling by collating the parent companies of each facility nationwide.