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Super-Heated Year Ahead on Energy & Environment News

The Biden administration has moved rapidly to reset energy and environment policies dramatically shifted by the Trump White House. But how quickly can such a reversal occur, what are the priorities and what are the critical pathways for change? To help sort out the latest news and track larger trends, SEJournal offers this overview and analysis, part of our extensive “2021 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment.”

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“Environment, Social Justice, and the Media in the Age of the Anthropocene”

A case study in how journalists can center environmental news around social justice is at the heart of a new volume of scholarly essays reviewed in the latest BookShelf. While its tale of rural residents poisoned by contaminants is decades old, its lesson of what happens when power players bank on media acquiescence holds for stories of today.

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Los Angeles Lifts Air-Quality Limits For Cremations As Covid Deaths Double

"Air quality regulators have lifted the limits on the number of cremations that can be performed in Los Angeles county, citing a death rate that is more than double the pre-pandemic norm and an unmanageable backlog of dead bodies."

Source: Guardian, 01/19/2021

"Biden Unveils $1.9T Plan To Stem Covid-19 And Steady Economy"

"President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan to end “a crisis of deep human suffering” by speeding up vaccines and pumping out financial help to those struggling with the pandemic’s prolonged economic fallout."

Source: AP, 01/15/2021

Coalition Calls On Biden To Impose National Moratorium On Water Shutoffs

"A broad coalition of organizations is urging Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to mandate a national moratorium on water and other utility shutoffs on day one in the White House, in order to curtail the spread of Covid-19 and ease the financial burden on struggling Americans."

Source: Guardian, 01/14/2021

Roundtable: SEJ's 2021 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment

Watch the Jan 27 recording of the Society of Environmental Journalists' 9th annual look ahead at the year's key energy and environmental issues. Hosted by National Geographic Society and co-sponsored by the Wilson Center, the event kicked off with a prerecorded interview with new White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, followed by a live interview with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, and SEJ's annual panel of leading journalists offering their predictions for the year ahead.

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Sick Schools in the City of Brotherly Love

A Philadelphia Inquirer investigation into environmental harm suffered by the city’s children, minorities and poor dived into the “decaying infrastructure” of the city schools. The result? Findings of dangerous levels of lead, mold and asbestos, followed by an influx of funding to fix the problems and awards from journalism colleagues. For Inside Story, a Q&A with a reporter for the "Toxic City: Sick Schools" exposé.

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Public Health Infrastructure Emerges As Critical Environmental Story

A pandemic and a weakened public health framework underscore how essential is the public health reporting function of environmental journalism. The latest TipSheet entry in our ongoing special report, “2021 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment,” explores what’s ahead and asks are health agencies too hollowed out to serve? Plus, story ideas and extensive reporting resources.

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