Policy

A Report Card on Transparency in the Biden Administration

A coalition of open-government and journalism groups is pressing the Justice Department for a clear statement of federal policy favoring openness. The new WatchDog opinion column explains why such a move is needed, and now, not just to signal a change from the Trump-era approach, but also for smoother functioning of the all-important Freedom of Information Act.

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Houston Plays Host to First On-Site SEJ Conference Since 2019

Environmental journalists from around the country and beyond will gather in Houston later this month for the Society of Environmental Journalists’ 31st annual conference. Widely known as the energy capital of the world, this highly diverse city is an ideal place to drill down on the causes and consequences of climate change and other environmental issues of the day.

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Are Higher Energy Prices Really Biden’s Fault?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raises questions about the world energy supply and related environmental consequences (such as pressure to lease U.S. lands for drilling). TipSheet explores the politics — and the reality — of U.S. energy policy in the wake of Ukraine and in the run-up to November’s midterm elections, and asks the question: Do federal policies on pricing really matter?

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Aussie Author’s Angry Look at ‘Crimes Against Nature’

A historical look at how profit and capitalism have ravaged the natural world is the subject of our new BookShelf review. Contributor Melody Kemp offers her take on award-winning Australian journalist Jeff Sparrow’s forthcoming volume, which explores the damage wrought by cars, roads and PR spin, as well as solutions suggested by models of Indigenous land management.

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Climate Crisis May Quickly Confront U.S., World With National Security Threats

The climate-security nexus has drawn attention from the Biden administration, but less so elsewhere, even as security experts worry about climate change as a threat multiplier that can exacerbate other causes of conflict. Our new Backgrounder explores these concerns, with a look at how the issue has played out in recent U.S. politics. Plus, seven global regions where climate change may worsen ongoing conflict.

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New Army Climate Strategy Provokes Questions, Stories on Local and Regional Impact

Military bases typically have big impacts on surrounding communities, including on resource use and the environment. Now, a new U.S. Army climate strategy makes clear the military understands climate change will affect the bases themselves, with numerous ripple effects. The latest TipSheet outlines how reporters can find local stories on these new realities at bases around the country, including near you.

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EPA's Unfinished Agenda

Transparency and scientific integrity are good for public health and the environment, not to mention PR and politics. Yet WatchDog Opinion argues they’ve not been fully embraced by the Biden EPA. There are reasons for hope, however, in the form of a cataloging of violations and in an EPA-specific policy. Why it all matters for how environmental journalists do their jobs.

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The Year Ahead Will Spark Abundant Environment News — Both Good and Bad

Even as the climate crisis countdown story continues, a wide range of environment and energy issues are on journalists’ watchlist for the year ahead, per an analysis from our “2022 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment.” The overview looks at 13 key trends to track in 2022 and beyond — including infrastructure, pandemics, environmental justice, energy, chemicals, plastics and, of course, climate.

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Deep in the Heart of Complexity … Or, the View From Texas

As the Society of Environmental Journalists prepares for its annual conference in Houston this March, the SEJournal asked Texas-based reporter Greg Harman to explore the Lone Star State's most critical stories for 2022. Here, in this special Texas-focused TipSheet, are leads, resources, encouragements and challenges.

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Conflict Over Biden’s Offshore Wind Drive To Generate News in 2022 and Beyond

Offshore wind, which some see as a panacea in the search for climate-friendly energy solutions, is getting a push from the Biden administration. But as noted in this week’s TipSheet, part of our 2022 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment, there are numerous obstacles to the renewable power source, whether from states, coastal property owners and towns, fishing industry and even some environmentalists.

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