The new year will likely mean subpoenas on EPA’s FOIA response policies, as a Democrat takes the chair in the House Oversight Committee amid charges the agency is choking off politically sensitive record requests. And are new laws in a dozen states making coverage of pipeline protests a felony? That, plus air emission exemptions for animal feedlot operators and data on illegal fishing. All in the latest issue of the WatchDog.
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
The upward trends for renewable energy sources like wind and solar are a sure source of news for 2019, even if challenging political, economic and technical obstacles remain. This week’s TipSheet explains why, plus suggests stories to look for, notes the points of possible contention and offers a range of reporting resources to turn to.
"LANGDON, Missouri -- Richard Oswald did not need the latest US government report on the creeping toll of climate change to tell him that farming in the midwest is facing a grim future, and very likely changing forever."
Environmental justice-related stories are expected to get more attention in the news media in 2019. But that’s not because the challenge of protecting marginalized communities from lopsided environmental impacts is being met. This week’s TipSheet explains, in a look-ahead to environmental justice stories making the news, the many forms the problem takes, the many communities affected and the emerging notion of “climate justice.”
Bears, particularly the plentiful black bears that are the source of much human-bear conflict, can serve as a opening to larger environmental stories, such as habitat destruction and the challenges of the “wildland-urban interface.” This week’s TipSheet has some of the good news/bad news on bears, with story ideas and resources for your reporting.
"The Standing Rock Sioux is challenging new government conclusions that the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline poses no significant environmental threats to American Indian tribes in the Dakotas."
"This election will test how long this farm state is willing to tolerate elected leaders who deny one of the greatest risks to the farming industry."
Climate, environment and energy issues figure prominently in the upcoming Nov. 6 elections, whether in individual races, ballot measures or significant power shifts. This week’s TipSheet provides starting points to track relevant races, and runs down 11 big environmental ballots, ranging from measures like a carbon tax in Washington state and drilling ban in Florida, to tight congressional races in California, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia.
"The Iowa Utilities Board is questioning whether the builder of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline has adequate insurance coverage to protect Iowans from potential oil spills."