Omnibus 2008 Appropriations Bill (PL 110-161) signed by President Bush Dec. 26, 2007, ordered him to reopen EPA libraries shuttered by his administration and earmarked some $3 million to restore them.
The Interior Department is responding to allegations of corruption and political interference with wildlife law enforcement by clamming up.
The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a conservationist group that litigates wildlife-protection issues, has filed suit challenging Interior Department secrecy on a political scandal.
Some new, sharper tools are available for reporters who want to investigate patterns of federal spending or specific cases of interest.
Henry Waxman (D-CA), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has vowed to investigate EPA's decision to prohibit states from regulating greenhouse emissions.
EPA has proposed exempting farms from a law protecting the public from toxic air pollutants. Environmental groups have objected.
The Senate passed a five-year Farm Bill Dec. 14, 2007, that softened a provision imposing draconian penalties for publication of information from a federal database for tracking food animals.
President Bush has signed into law a measure aimed at strengthening the Freedom of Information Act.
Feeling discouraged about the erosion of journalists' traditional role as watchdogs? Lighten up with the Spring 2008 issue of Nieman Reports, published by the foundation at Harvard University. Titled "21st Century Muckrakers: Who Are They? How Do They Do Their Work?" the issue includes nearly 50 articles chronicling the "Muckraker" tradition of American investigative journalism and documenting that muckraking is alive and well, even in today's digital age.
Hundreds of EPA scientists are complaining that they are being pressured by political appointees who run EPA to alter their scientific findings to support the administration's deregulatory agenda, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.