The SEJ WatchDog

 

The WatchDog TipSheet is a monthly source of 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.

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

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

Latest WatchDog TipSheet Items

February 23, 2011

  • As part of the continuing resolution (HR 1) the House approved largely along party lines an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) to cut an additional $8.5 million from the budget for EPA's Greenhouse Gas Registry.

  • The asbestos came to the attention of the head custodian at Somers Central High School in New York, when a chunk fell from the gymnasium ceiling onto the floor and he was asked to clean it up. Morey warned school authorities that he feared it could be asbestos. They told him to put tape over it and to drop the subject.

  • A wild horse journalist, photojournalist and correspondent for Horseback Magazine is petitioning the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to redress the inaction of a federal district court in Nevada on her request that restrictions on her access to the roundups and warehouses be lifted.

  • The good news, perhaps, is that Interior felt a need to take some policy action in response to the White House's Dec. 17, 2010, memo on science integrity. The bad news? The Interior policy seems to rehash a 2010 decree that scientists criticized, to punish the innocent, and to reward the uninvolved.

February 9, 2011

  • The massive trove of diplomatic cables disclosed by Wikileaks disclosed one of the Obama administration's darkest environmental secrets — that the U.S. held secret diplomatic talks on climate change during the run-up to the December 2009 Copenhagen meeting.

  • The environmental group Friends of the Earth got the information that an electric utility wants to use surplus weapons plutonium in a commercial power reactor through a Freedom of Information Act request to the Energy Department.

  • House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa on February 7, 2011, released some of the letters in an unsearchable 20 MB pdf file, which hardly made it easy to research the results. The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released a searchable version.

  • You can easily find the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr accounts of committees, federal agencies, and others on the Government & Social Media Wiki. As in the real world, however, the existence of these channels may not necessarily mean they carry any substantial information.

  • The House Oversight Committee Chair's method of investigating whether DHS was politically screening its responses to FOIA requests has at least one member of his committee worried about the privacy of the FOIA requesters due to Issa's demand for specifics of information.

January 26, 2011

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