This is a decisive time on the energy and environment front, with challenges and confrontation expected over the consummation of the Trump deregulatory agenda. Our second annual issues guide provides a roadmap for covering the big stories. The guide's formal launch took place at an SEJ event in Washington, D.C. on January 26. If you missed it, the webcast is archived here.
Alaska and Hawaii
"Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed a land-swap agreement Monday to allow a small, remote Alaska town to construct a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, a vast wilderness area that has been protected for decades."
"Melting permafrost carries unknown dangers for Arctic marine life."
The 2018 elections may prove highly consequential for environment and energy policy, possibly slowing or even reversing the Trump-GOP deregulatory agenda. The latest Issue Backgrounder helps reporters frame the choices voters face, including environmental justice and offshore drilling.
"The Interior Department has approved a land swap deal that will allow a remote Alaskan village to construct a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, according to local officials. The action effectively overrules wilderness protections that have kept the area off limits to vehicles for decades."
Long-standing disputes over exploitation of public lands bubble over as the Trump administration advances campaign promises to ease restrictions on energy development. A special TipSheet, part of our 2018 Journalists' Guide to Energy & Environment, has resources for covering public lands-related issues as they play out in the coming year.
"The would-be developer of the widely opposed Pebble Mine copper and gold project in salmon-rich southwestern Alaska announced on Thursday it will file its first application for a permit."
"Even as climate change shrinks some populations of arctic animals like polar bears and caribou, beavers may be taking advantage of warming temperatures to expand their range. But as the beavers head north, their very presence may worsen the effects of climate change."
"President Trump on Wednesday was poised to sign the new tax bill, passed by Congress, which lifts a decades-old ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska. ... Will exploration begin immediately? No. Both supporters and opponents say it could be years before the first lease sale, a precursor to any drilling."
"These satellite images of a small part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge show the site of what, so far, is the only oil well ever drilled in the refuge, an exploratory well known as KIC-1 that was completed in the mid-1980s. The well was plugged and abandoned, and the drilling equipment and a special timber pad it sat on have long since been removed."