"The Aloha State’s race to clean up its electricity sector makes it a real-world test case for rapid decarbonization."
Alaska and Hawaii
Beat reporters Hal Bernton and Mark Kaufman both found the dramatic changes wrought by climate change to be at the center of their coverage — as their work was elevated to prize-winning heights. Bernton, covering climate impacts in northwestern Alaska at a large newspaper, and Kaufman, covering CO2 globally for a digital platform, talk about the lessons of their recent beat coverage with SEJournal’s Inside Story.
"In Alaska, leaves are falling, daylight is dwindling and salmon-devouring brown bears are racing the clock to pack on the pounds they need to survive their winter hibernation. Unbeknownst to the enormous bruins, some of them are also competing in Katmai National Park and Preserve's Fat Bear Week, Alaska's annual celebration of gluttony and nature's abundance."
Two outstanding features — one on air pollution from a local coke plant in Pennsylvania, another on deaths from a shellfish toxin in Alaska, and both focused on public health, neglected communities and environmental justice — are the subject of the new Inside Story Q&A. Society of Environmental Journalists’ award-winners Nancy Averett and Zoya Teirstein share their reporting insights and advice.
"The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it would restore protections for Alaska’s Bristol Bay, blocking the construction of a massive and controversial gold mine near the world’s largest sockeye salmon run."
"The House Natural Resources Committee late on Thursday passed legislation that will go into a wider budget reconciliation package that includes restoring protections for a pristine Arctic wildlife refuge from oil and gas drilling."
"The Biden administration will review a Trump-era decision to greenlight oil drilling access in most of the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska, the Interior Department revealed in a court filing yesterday [Wednesday]."
"On Sept. 2, an area north of downtown Juneau will hear a loud, discordant siren. Juneau’s power company will be testing a disaster plan for a scenario where the 168-foot Salmon Creek hydroelectric dam fails and floods a largely commercial district near the regional hospital."
"Congressional Democrats and their environmentalist allies are increasingly confident they’ll be able to stop drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the reconciliation process."
"A federal judge in Alaska on Wednesday blocked construction permits for an expansive oil drilling project on the state’s North Slope that was designed to produce more than 100,000 barrels of oil a day for the next 30 years."