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Issue Backgrounder is a monthly SEJournal Online feature to help journalists better cover emerging environmental issues, especially challenging or under-reported topics. Each Backgrounder focuses on a specific environmental topic, offering key questions, basic answers, source contacts and other resources.

For questions and comments, or to suggest future Issue Backgrounders, email Backgrounder Editor Joseph A. Davis at


July 15, 2009

  • Making fuel from cellulose? Will it be the fuel of the future and how is the U.S. system promoting or haring it? New political carrots and sticks are leading the biofuels industry into a second generation phase, and many critics of the biofuels industry think it's long overdue. The question for the industry, though, is whether the science is ready to scale up.

May 1, 2009