The Trade Representative had denied a Freedom of Information Act request by the Center for International Environmental Law for documents related to the Chile-US Free Trade Agreement. It claimed some documents should remain secret on the grounds of "national security."
- SEJ Publication Types:Visibility:
Some of the sites used the logos of major news organizations to fool users into thinking they were reading real news reports.Topics on the Beat:
Contractors are a powerful force in many corners of the environment and energy beat, and their trade associations are often players in the regulatory and legislative dealmaking that can shape US policy.
In response to deep cuts in its budget, EIA announced that it would not be able to compile and publish products like its ongoing estimates of US oil reserves. In fact, EIA will not even be able to continue its investigation of whether speculators are driving up oil prices.
A former employee of a restaurant in Acadia National Park won a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit over records the National Park Service had refused to release, about a 2008 incident when he was among those detained by Park Service police.
If you spend a lot of time researching things on the Internet as part of your reporting, the online Data Science Toolkit, which is especially handy with geographic data, and a book by Pete Warden could make parts of your job a lot easier.
Denial of news media access to Gulf beaches has been an issue since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. There's tussling over access to (and interpretation of) scientific information on possible impacts of the spill on the Gulf ecosystem. And The Guardian obtained >30,000 pages of BP in-house memos FOIA'd by Greenpeace, which suggest BP was working hard to influence the results of the research it was paying for.
A top Wisconsin Republican party official on March 17 filed a request under the state's freedom-of-information law for emails written by University of Wisconsin's William J. Cronon, after the professor blogged about the American Legislative Exchange Council, an anti-regulatory group that lobbies state legislatures.Region:
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse tool, based on documents filed in court through existing systems like PACER, will help both FOIA lawyers and you.Topics on the Beat:
The draft policy, released recently by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), barely addresses media access. It leaves this to the purview of the Commerce Department Public Communications Policy — which has not changed since the last year of the Bush administration.