"When an environmental group, Alaskans for Clean Water, asked for copies of state records about an unsuccessful ballot proposal to limit mining pollution, officials initially said they would turn over the documents — for $50,000," the Associated Press reported October 20, 2008.
Those U.S. representatives and senators really know how to party. Especially the ones running for re-election or under indictment. Now journalists who want to follow the money have a new "Access Washington" snooper-tool to use in their investigative projects.
EPA, FWS and OSHA are among the least open of 15 different federal agencies covered most frequently by environmental reporters, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Committee staff are crucial to covering environmental issues. Here are some current House committee phone contacts relevant to the environment beat.
A broad coalition of open-government groups is finalizing an ambitious agenda to improve public access to information in the next administration.
In an effort to increase government accountability and transparency, media groups put forward a new "21st Century Right-to-Know Agenda."
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) has a new tool for investigative journalists. Reporters can now snoop around the Federal Contractor Misconduct Database to find misdeeds by federal contractors.
US Supreme Court to hear six cases with important environmental implications. Issues involved are: use of sonar in Naval training; logging in California; power plant operation; disposal of mining wastes; royalties paid to the Navajo Nation on coal leases; and liability under Superfund law.
A split-party government is likely to bring more controversy, more conflict, and more news.
EPA reopened five libraries September 30, 2008, after fighting its own scientists, enforcement lawyers, open-information groups, and eventually Congress for two years in an unsuccessful effort to keep them closed.