There’s little cause to celebrate upcoming Sunshine Week for those who cover Trump administration environmental agencies. The latest WatchDog catalogues how the EPA has adopted a secretive approach and displays frequent hostility to the news media, including with a troubling series of attacks on individual journalists.
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has quietly begun allowing more trophy hunting of African elephants, despite President Donald Trump’s pledge last year to uphold a ban on importing parts of animals killed by big-game hunters."
"Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued agricultural giant Monsanto on Monday, alleging the company concealed dangers posed by a toxic chemical compound it manufactured for nearly a half century."
"Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke gave 10 of his acting directors more permanence in January, signing an order giving them most of the authority of a Senate-confirmed director."
"The Bureau of Land Management on Monday removed about 17,300 acres of land in central Montana from an upcoming oil and natural gas lease auction, just a week before the scheduled sale."
"Major utilities are finding evidence of groundwater contamination at coal-burning power plants across the U.S. where landfills and man-made ponds have been used for decades as dumping grounds for coal ash."
"John Konkus, a top political aide to U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, received approval from ethics officials to work outside the agency as a media consultant."
As new research reminds us that pollution often disproportionately affects poor and minority communities in the United States, a long-standing mapping tool from the EPA can help reporters explore and discover those environmental justice stories nearest them. The latest TipSheet explains the problem, and walks you through the mapping app.
"Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt dismissed evolution as an unproven theory, lamented that “minority religions” were pushing Christianity out of “the public square” and advocated amending the Constitution to ban abortion, prohibit same-sex marriage and protect the Pledge of Allegiance and the Ten Commandments, according to a newly unearthed series of Oklahoma talk radio shows from 2005."
A series of public meetings is revealing that even many Republicans from coastal states oppose Trump's offshore drilling plan because of the potential damage to beaches and coastal economies.