It’s a good case for the global-local nexus: The potent greenhouse gas methane may be leaking from your local landfill. And this week’s TipSheet explains the latest news developments in this long-standing controversy, as well as policy disputes over capturing the gas. Plus, get story ideas and questions to ask for your local reporting.
Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)
"Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed a bill that would have prevented Florida’s local governments from banning plastic straws."
The production of oil and natural gas in West Texas is booming but it’s coming at a cost to residents who are regularly exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution, according to a report issued by an environmental group."
"After a long legal battle and a surprising loss in a lower court last year, green groups are celebrating their successful appeal of oil and gas drilling near New Mexico's sensitive Chaco Canyon area."
"State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard has put a halt to new oil and gas leasing on some 73,000 acres of state trust land near the Chaco Culture National Historic Park in Northwest New Mexico, saying the move will help protect archaeological and cultural resources of the state’s pueblos and tribes."
Washington, D.C.’s long-neglected Anacostia River bears both tragedy and beauty. And author Krista Schlyer plumbs its depths in her most recent book, “River of Redemption.” In this Between the Lines, she speaks of her connection to the urban waterway, as well as her latest reporting on the environmental impact of the border wall.
"Facing what it saw as a threat to its monopoly from a surging rooftop solar industry, Arizona’s largest utility secretly funneled millions of dollars to back favored candidates for the state commission regulating it."
The latest release of the annual endangered rivers list provides boatloads of environmental reporting angles, including climate change-related threats like flooding and drought. This week’s TipSheet has the backstory and the new top-10 list, plus 10 suggested starting points for stories and a half-dozen key reporting resources.
"New Mexico lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a bill to protect federal lands around the Chaco Canyon from drilling and mining, attempting to permanently shield the Native American cultural site from recurring attempts at oil and gas leasing."
"More Mexican gray wolves are roaming the American Southwest now than at any time since federal biologists began reintroducing the predators more than two decades ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday."