Backgrounders

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Issue Backgrounders are a monthly SEJournal Online feature to help journalists better cover emerging environmental issues, especially challenging or under-reported topics. Each Issue 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 sejournaleditor@sej.org.

 

March 7, 2017

  • Wondering what WOTUS is? Or how the Clean Water Rule relates to the Clean Water Act and to the Section 404 permitting program meant to prevent the destruction of U.S. wetlands? Our Beat Basics column explains the history and background of the rule to help you cover White House, EPA and court action likely ahead.

February 28, 2017

  • Keystone XL and Dakota Access may be the biggest pipeline stories so far, but they're far from the last, as dozens of other pipeline proposals come into play. Track this developing beat with our latest Issue Backgrounder, which provides a walkthrough of legal and regulatory challenges, and a case-by-case rundown.

January 31, 2017

January 3, 2017

  • Even if the incoming Trump Administration retreats from climate action, as many fear, state and local governments may fill the gap on climate policy. Our latest Issue Backgrounder takes a closer look, and offers sources and resources to help you cover the more localized climate stories that may result.

December 6, 2016

  • Deadly fires that swept Tennessee are harbingers of a new normal for these massive burns, driven by drought and climate factors to become a year-round, multi-region phenomenon. Our in-depth backgrounder offers dozens of resources, plus tips and ideas for improving your wildfire coverage.

November 1, 2016

  • While issues like climate change have gained little traction in the presidential race, environmental topics are playing a clearer role in some congressional contests, as well in statehouse and local elections. At the same time, a number of controversial ballot initiatives are tackling environmental topics ranging from plastic bag bans to solar energy. Get info and resources in our Election 2016 Issue Backgrounder. 

June 1, 2016

March 1, 2016

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