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.
"Hundreds of U.S. Geological Survey scientists were missing from the biggest conference in their field this month."
"The Environmental Protection Agency has tasked a banker who was banned from the banking industry for life with oversight of the nation’s Superfund program."
"The Sierra Club is running a Facebook advertising campaign to oppose Kathleen Hartnett White, President Trump’s nominee for a top environmental policy position."
"More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration."
"The Trump administration's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency's Midwest office is a former Wisconsin state official who rolled back enforcement of anti-pollution laws, reduced funding for scientific research and scrubbed references to human-caused climate change from government websites."
"The Environmental Protection Agency says an internal task force appointed to revamp how the nation’s most polluted sites are cleaned up generated no record of its deliberations."
"One Environmental Protection Agency employee spoke up at a private lunch held near the agency headquarters, saying she feared the nation might be headed toward an “environmental catastrophe.” Another staff member, from Seattle, sent a letter to Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, raising similar concerns about the direction of the agency. A third, from Philadelphia, went to a rally where he protested against agency budget cuts."
The CDC has apparently banned seven politically incorrect words and phrases, including “science-based," from budget documents. And a no-bid media contract for the EPA may include opposition research on agency employees. That, plus a climate tweet reprimand and more, in the latest edition of WatchDog.
As President Trump continues to fill environment and energy leadership positions in 2018, one source of stories will be potential conflicts of interest for appointed regulators and agency leaders. This week's TipSheet runs down more than 20 key appointments to watch at EPA, Interior, Ag, Energy and more.