December 12, 2012–Is the public entitled to see documents that may bear on the safety of a for-profit utility's plan to restart the flaw-stricken San Onofre nuclear plant in California? Maybe not. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled the utility must turn the documents over to the board — but currently plans to keep them secret from the public.
December 12, 2012–The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was joined by the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter in a suit to unseal records of the July 2011 settlement of a case in which a family had sued four natural gas companies over damages they claimed were caused by hydraulic fracturing. The appeals court said a lower court had erred in throwing out the newspapers' case.
December 12, 2012–The Society of Environmental Journalists wrote Interior Secretary Ken Salazar about the Election Day incident of attempted intimidation in Colorado, when the Secretary threatened to "punch out" SEJ member Dave Philipps, senior investigative reporter with the Colorado Springs Gazette.
November 28, 2012–A geeky nonprofit watchdog group has done what government and private industry have failed to do; the group, SkyTruth, has made data about the ingredients in fracking fluid easily accessible to the public.
November 28, 2012–After wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on a non-working program aimed at protecting the US public from biological attack, the Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control may be refusing to give documents on the program to House Energy Committee investigators.
November 28, 2012–President Obama on November 27, 2012, signed into law a bill beefing up previously flimsy protections for federal employee whistleblowers who disclose waste, fraud, and abuse. The legislation was supported by good-government watchdog groups.
November 14, 2012–In September, South Dakota meat processor Beef Products, Inc., had sued ABC, some of its anchors and correspondents, and a USDA microbiologist under South Dakota law for reporting on the controversial meat filler. The company said it would oppose the October 31st motion to dismiss.
November 14, 2012–Whistleblowers are key sources for investigative journalists. The bill, approved by unanimous consent in the House and Senate, was hailed by watchdog groups Government Accountability Project and Project on Government Oversight, who had fought for its passage.