Policy

Environment, Energy Issues Will Make Headlines in 2020

As part of our “2020 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment” to help reporters track the stories coming their way this year, SEJournal Online looks ahead to major developments on the beat — from Washington, D.C. to the Arctic, from public lands to fossil fuels. We also explore pending news on transportation, agriculture, nukes, federal funding, freedom of information and even algae. Also under our gaze, key facets of the climate story. Read our overview analysis and then dive deep into the full offering of special Backgrounders, TipSheets and WatchDogs.

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EPA Resists Squeeze, But for How Long?

Despite warnings that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would be dismantled under the Trump administration, it remains very much alive, thanks to the realities of politics and litigation. Yet its staffing, enforcement and science advisory roles remain under the gun. In the latest of our Backgrounders for the “2020 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment,” we read the tea leaves on the future of the EPA.

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Climate, Environment Sure To Reverberate in 2020 Elections

This election year, environmental issues like climate change may well break the pattern of past campaigns, where they seemed to recede as voting approached. Our latest entry in our “2020 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment” explains how green politics may shape both national and state/local races in the months to come, and provides resources for reporters to track that rapidly changing landscape.

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Conflict Over EPA, Interior FOIA Policies May Come to Head in 2020

FOIA is under fire. And for journalists who rely on open records to do their work, the coming year may prove a crucial test of policies at key federal agencies on the beat. This special WatchDog TipSheet takes a deep dive on looming FOIA controversies at Interior and EPA, flagging potential flashpoints for 2020.

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“Whose Water Is It Anyway?: Taking Water Protection Into Public Hands”

Water rights activist Maude Barlow eschews sanitized language to take on what she calls the “lords of water,” fighting global and local battles to turn communities “blue.” Barlow’s new book, “Whose Water Is It Anyway?: Taking Water Protection Into Public Hands” is the subject of our latest BookShelf review.

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Soiled Skies Incite ‘Choked’ Author to Pursue Air Pollution Story 

The data on dirty air is devastating. But it wasn’t just the numbers that prompted freelance journalist Beth Gardiner to chase the story of worsening air pollution around the globe. It was also the impact on human lives and the intersection with politics, power and money. She explains in our latest feature story. Plus, resources for your own reporting.

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Environmental Stories 'Down The Road' in 2020 From Highway Bill

A massive transportation measure is working its way through Congress, with environmental elements including climate change and public transit. But will this “must-pass” measure actually pass in the coming year? Or will it be bogged down by politics or looming questions of how to pay for it? A new Issue Backgrounder explains.

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SEJ Gets High in Fort Collins

Missed the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual gathering in Fort Collins? Never fear, for our in-house humorist David Helvarg has herein recounted the “highs” (and paranoid lows). Among them: oddball scientists, strolls in a snow storm, bad burros and beet-based dinners. Plus, the secret strategy behind SEJ’s conference site selection.

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Biden Has a Climate Change Record and a Plan. Young Activists Want More

"When Michaelyn Mankel approached Joseph R. Biden Jr. at an Iowa steak fry last month to demand dramatic action on climate change, the former vice president clasped the 24-year-old’s hands and assured her, “You’ve got a better deal from me than anybody.”"

Source: NY Times, 10/09/2019

Grazing on Public Lands Still a Source of Controversy … and Stories

As the Society of Environmental Journalists heads to Colorado this week for its annual gathering, it’s a good time to consider how to report on the vast public lands throughout the western United States. The latest TipSheet explores the history of conflict over public lands, the stories they yield and the resources needed to better report the issue.

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