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SEJournal Online is the weekly digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. SEJ members are automatically subscribed. Non-members may subscribe using the link below. Meanwhile, learn more about SEJournal Online. And send questions, comments, story ideas, articles, news briefs and tips to Editor Adam Glenn at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

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January 19, 2022

  • With billions of infrastructure dollars now on the table to clean up orphan oil wells, states are already elbowing their way in for a taste. But as our new Backgrounder explains, the process to ensure they cannot pollute the environment or spew climate-change gasses is a complex one. And the sheer (and largely unknown) number of orphaned wells adds to the complications.

  • 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.

  • 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.

January 12, 2022

  • Tens of thousands of dams around the United States provide important functions — but also represent critical environment or public safety risks. Now, one central resource to help environmental journalists cover these structures has been improved in important ways. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox walks you through the main changes to the National Inventory of Dams, and points out some lingering weaknesses.

  • When Colorado-based freelance journalist Jennifer Oldham suited up in protective gear to investigate if commercial honeybee hives on public lands impact native bee populations, as well as to meet with federal scientists and visit a bee study site, it was a Fund for Environmental Journalism grant that helped her do it. Oldham shares her experience and advice in the latest FEJ StoryLog.

January 5, 2022

  • SEJournal looks ahead to key issues in the coming year with this "2022 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment" special report. The guide is rolling out in early January, with new features to be added through to its formal launch in late January.​ Check out the guide's various Backgrounders, TipSheets and WatchDog reports, and watch for new reports to come, including an overview analysis.

  • A crisis of lead in drinking water affects thousands of U.S. communities, but 2022 will bring new focus to the problem as new Biden administration plans play out following passage of a $15 billion fund to replace lead service lines. TipSheet outlines the problem and the impact of a regulation carried over from the Trump era. Plus, seven reporting approaches to local and state-level stories.

  • A trove of confidential documents about a well-known groundwater pollution problem helped journalists Paul LaRocco and David M. Schwartz uncover how much had actually been hidden about the contamination’s severity and how it could have been kept from worsening. In the latest Inside Story Q&A, LaRocco and Schwartz share the story behind their award-winning investigation.

December 15, 2021

  • When disinformation pollutes the debate over the environment and climate change, it’s on journalists to recognize industry PR spin and push back against misleading narratives and false narratives, argues the latest WatchDog Opinion column. A look at the industry “playbook” to delay government action, at deceptive language on energy and news media’s obligation to approach the endless pledges skeptically.

  • What does wildness mean when humans interfere with the lives of wild animals in order to protect them? A new volume, “Wild Souls,” explores that dilemma, whether arising through captive breeding programs to reintroduce the California condor and the gray wolf, by allowing hybridization or through the use of gene-editing tools. A review from BookShelf contributor Jenny Weeks.

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