Iconic critters like salmon, orca and wolves. Climate controversies like natural gas greenwashing and carbon auctions. And wildfire fallout like “smoke-a-geddon.” These are just some of the wide array of stories worth covering as environmental journalists scan Cascadia, the huge area encompassing Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and stretching from Alaska to Utah. This special TipSheet, part of our 2023 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment, outlines top issues in the region, offering insights, resources and story angles.
Nearly two-thirds of the world’s rivers are impeded by dams and we keep building them in our quest for cleaner and greener sources of electricity. But as podcast producer Farha Akhtar learned while producing a recent episode, these monumental structures are having a profound impact on our planet and catastrophic consequences for many Indigenous people.
"Despite an injection of funding, the agency still has not recovered from an exodus of scientists and policy experts, both insiders and critics say."
"WASHINGTON — The nation’s top environmental agency is still reeling from the exodus of more than 1,200 scientists and policy experts during the Trump administration. The chemicals chief said her staff can’t keep up with a mounting workload. The enforcement unit is prosecuting fewer polluters than at any time in the past two decades.
"A chaotic start to the new Republican-led House may spell trouble for the 2023 farm bill."
The complex legal obstacles that face U.S. energy projects prompted political machinations over permitting reform in the last Congress and likely will again in the new one. The latest Backgrounder explores how the energy permitting system works (or doesn’t), why Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin may really be pushing for its reform and the reason some environmentalists concede reform may have green benefits.
"The Biden administration plans to mandate a five-year schedule for offshore wind auctions, mirroring the pace of offshore oil sale planning currently called for in federal law."
The ERG is a potential life-saving tool you can keep on your cell phone. It gives you the 4-digit ID Number for a chemical name, which allows you to find the 3-digit Action Guide number for detailed information about how a spill should be handled.
"The Biden administration is using a new opening at a powerful offshore energy agency to elevate a critic of fossil fuels who previously was blocked from a top Interior Department job because of opposition from oil industry allies in the Senate."
"U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland on Tuesday issued an order to establish an office to ensure efficient use of the Biden administration's $4.7 billion investment in the cleanup of abandoned oil and gas wells."
If you’re looking to engage key constituencies for your journalism — whether editors, sources, students or people who have been marginalized — a new set of short videos from award-winning journalists (like KESQ's Angela Chen, at left) can serve as a helpful resource. Inside Story has a roadmap of how to make smart use of these video nuggets to, for instance, convince newsroom powerbrokers to give you more time and support for ambitious stories.