June 13, 2012–A federal judge has denied BP's bid to see 21 e-mails and other documents sent between the White House and other federal agencies. More chilling, perhaps, was BP's effort to get e-mails sent by two private-sector scientists in an apparent effort to discredit their work.
June 13, 2012–A company wants to mine Virginia's major uranium deposit so the state formed a multi-agency panel to study ending the three-decade ban on uranium mining. That panel hired a consulting firm that critics say was stacked with experts affiliated with the nuclear industry.
June 13, 2012–A new report from the IEA includes guidelines emphasizing transparency and the monitoring of environmental and social impacts. That includes full disclosure of fracking fluid ingredients and testing of baseline water and air conditions before drilling begins.
May 30, 2012–Claims of trade secrecy — often unsubstantiated — are a huge barrier to environmental reporters and others trying to find the truth about chemicals that may harm human health and the environment. But the FBI's billboards urge Americans to be vigilant against corporate insiders who may appear suspicious, and presumably to turn them in.
May 30, 2012–The federal Data.gov, while not perfect, has grown over three years especially strong in datasets from federal agencies that deal with the environment, energy, natural resources, health, and science. Many of them are downloadable, so that you can crunch them on your own computer. Several are map layers or geo-tagged in some way. See a few randomly chosen examples here.
May 30, 2012–The JD said that individuals have a First Amendment right to record police officers in the public performance of their duties. It also said police can not seize or destroy such recordings without a warrant and due process.
May 30, 2012–The Ohio legislature cleared a fracking bill May 24, 2012 that increases inspections of wells and requires drillers to hold liability insurance. But Reuters reports: "Many Democrats said the bill paves the way for the industry to hide information about toxic chemicals that could contaminate groundwater."
May 16, 2012–After backroom lobbying by gas and oil industry groups, the Obama White House watered down the promised fracking-fluid disclosure requirement promised earlier this year — imposing it only after completion of the fracking operation, when the information may have little effect (such as public pressure on BLM to deny a drilling permit).
May 16, 2012–A Chicago Tribune investigative series on flame retardant chemicals helps illustrate how federal agency control of what scientists say to reporters can help the chemical and tobacco industries. By reporter Michael Hawthorne.
May 16, 2012–Environmental reporters with ambitions to do investigative projects using databases will find an enormously rich collection of ideas, tips, examples, and tools in the new book released by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the European Journalism Centre.