WatchDog TipSheet

Climate Scientist Canned, SCOTUS To Rule on Chemical ‘Secrets’ and Army Corps Sued Over Permit Info

A scientist contracted to report on climate impacts for the National Park Service was caught up in a fracas over attempted censorship of her findings. Now she’s been fired. That, plus a FOIA case before the Supreme Court and an enviro group sues the Army Corps of Engineers over info on a permit for a new plastics plant in Louisiana. Read the latest on freedom-of-information issues in this month’s WatchDog TipSheet.

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Under Siege from Ethics Probes, Interior Dept. Proposes Gutting Rules on Open Records

Journalism groups, among them the Society of Environmental Journalists, have raised objections to an under-the-radar plan by the Interior Department that would essentially allow it to turn down almost any Freedom of Information Act requests it chose. SEJ filed comments opposing the proposal on Jan. 28. See what rules change Interior has requested and get more on SEJ’s response in the latest WatchDog Tipsheet.

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Oversight on EPA FOIA Screening,  Covering Pipeline Protests, Feedlot Air Emissions, Data on Illegal Fishing

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.

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Pushback on White House, Info Access Summit, Records Destruction & more

The Society of Environmental Journalists last week objected to the White House suspension of CNN reporter Jim Acosta after a contentious briefing with President Donald Trump and the release of a doctored video of the incident. SEJ joined numerous other journalism groups in fighting what it called unacceptable censorship. Details in this month’s WatchDog TipSheet. Plus, science writers host an “info access summit,” a look at issues around secrecy at the Interior Department and the CNN pipe bomb.

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SEJ Weighs in on Khashoggi, Parks Canada; Plus, Zinke Calendar & Data Resources

The Society of Environmental Journalists has joined several dozen other journalism groups calling for the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and separately, urged Parks Canada to stop imposing reporting barriers for journalists. That, plus black holes in the calendar for Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, and new data resources for reporters. All in the latest WatchDog Tipsheet.

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SEJ Joins Free Press Campaigns; Plus Trump Administration Censorship and Improved Tap Water Database

From #enemyofnone to #DefendPressFreedom, the Society of Environmental Journalists has joined numerous other journalism groups in campaigns to support news media. That, plus the latest WatchDog looks at a new report on widespread public support for a free press, a study on the extent of science censorship in the Trump Administration, and an improved database for tracking drinking water stories.

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SEJ, Other Groups, Object to US Geological Survey Interview Curbs

The Society of Environmental Journalists and 10 other journalism groups have written Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (pictured, left) urging him not to interpose political appointees between reporters and the scientists they need to interview. Text here.

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Media Object as EPA Bars Reporters from Drinking Water ‘Summit’

​Is EPA antipathy toward news media hiding inaction on a toxic drinking water contaminant? That’s the question asked by the latest WatchDog, which looks at a recent incident in which media access to a public meeting was limited, and then explores what may be behind it.

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Disappearing ‘Climate,’ EPA FOIA Surge, Pipeline Docs Ruling and More

A reporter reveals that the National Park Service is deleting references to climate change in an upcoming study of sea level rise, and FOIA requesters are behind a record surge in information lawsuits involving Pruitt EPA. That, plus Keystone XL Pipeline documents and more, in the latest WatchDog.

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Selective Media Tour on EPA Scandal, ‘Weaponizing’ Transparency and More

The EPA turns to friendly media to share its news, while limiting access to mainstream reporters. And the agency moves to “weaponize” transparency. Those stories, plus, a new way to map political influence on environmental policy, and key reports made public, in the latest WatchDog TipSheet.

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