TipSheet

TipSheet is a weekly source for story ideas, background, interview leads and reporting tools for journalists who cover news of the environment.

Journalists can receive TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here

TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.

Also see searchable archives of SEJ's WatchDog TipSheet, featuring story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists in both the United States and Canada.


Latest TipSheet Items

October 12, 2011

  • Current fishing methods are rather destructive, with 17% of the fish caught commercially being unintended bycatch, according to NOAA's first national assessment of bycatch. That damages the environment, and costs those who fish time and money.

  • The topic of federal loan guarantees for energy projects has become prime media territory with the bankruptcy of the solar company Solyndra after it received one of these loans. As of September 30, 2011, DoE has issued about $40 billion for solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, nuclear, energy efficiency, energy storage, battery storage, or transmission projects.

September 28, 2011

  • As the federal budget battle continues, President Obama outlined on Sept. 19, 2011, a package of ideas designed to cut costs and increase income over the next decade. One element of the $3 trillion package is an $8.5 billion reduction in costs for crop insurance.

  • Sites in CA, GA, IL, IN, MS, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OR, SC, TN, and TX received a final designation of Superfund status, meaning they are among the most toxic in the country, due to contamination from industrial operations, mining, military activities, landfills, and other sources.

  • Use the data to report for communities directly affected by fishing or, at a larger scale, as a hook to report on several other related issues. Also, research another hot topic drawing attention — mislabeling of fish species.

  • The Geological Survey of Canada states the best prospects are in British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, and the westernmost portion of the Northwest Territories, with some good potential also in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, and modest prospects in many other parts of the country.

September 14, 2011

  • Based on extensive sampling of drinking water wells around the country by USGS, 19% of all tested wells were contaminated with a substance such as arsenic, uranium, or radon at a concentration that poses a health risk, and about 10% of all wells have more than one such substance.

  • The Green Scissors 2011 report was developed by an unlikely coalition of right- and left-leaning advocacy groups: Heartland Institute, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Friends of the Earth, and Public Citizen. They suggest it's possible to save about $380 billion over 2012-2016 while helping the environment.

  • NOAA said on Sept. 8, 2011, that the La Niña weather pattern has returned already, after the last La Niña cycle ran from June 2010-May 2011, causing extraordinarily frequent and damaging extreme weather. If typical patterns pan out in the new cycle, that could lead to more drought and fires in the south, and blizzards and flooding in the north.

  • By Sept. 28, 2011, EPA and the US Dept. of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say they will jointly release proposed standards designed to significantly increase fuel mileage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars, light trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles in model years 2017-2025.

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