"The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released some findings on Thursday from an investigation into February’s deadly winter storm and blackouts. Regulators faulted Texas energy policy for much of the disaster."
Southwest (AZ NM OK TX)
Twenty years after the attacks on 9/11, the war on terror has left many risks in the built environment under a cloak of secrecy. For WatchDog Opinion, keeping vital information about such preventable hazards under wraps from the public and journalists is not just wrong, but bad policy. Here’s why. Plus, a rundown for environment reporters of where exactly this secrecy reigns.
"At the edge of a sandstone outcropping, Teresa Leger Fernández looks out on the Rio Chama. The river tracks a diverse landscape from the southern edge of the Rocky Mountains through rugged basalt hillsides, layers of volcanic tuff, and the red and yellow cliffs made famous by painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Here marks the genesis of New Mexico’s centuries-old tradition of sharing water through irrigation systems known as acequias."
"Federal officials have cleared the way for construction of a dump in West Texas that could hold spent nuclear fuel for up to 40 years."
"Environmental activists applaud funding increases but wonder why some money is going for road expansion. And why, they ask, is there no focus on environmental justice?"
For years, public information about some of the deadliest chemical security risks has been limited. But now that the Biden EPA is exploring the issue, our latest WatchDog opinion column explains why this is such an important open information issue for environmental reporters and other journalists.
"There's a certain smell that reminds Dianna Cormier-Jackson of her childhood on Leila Street in Houston's Fifth Ward. When she was young in the early 1960s, she recalls the air there feeling "heavy," as if it was thick with oil and gasoline. Some days, the heavy smell would be so strong that her parents would make her and her siblings stay in the house. But on school days, they marched out into the rank air."
"Acequias, the fabled irrigation ditches that are a cornerstone of New Mexican culture, have endured centuries of challenges. Can they survive the Southwest’s megadrought?"
"Hurricane Zeta's surprisingly significant damage to Louisiana, much of it attributed to lost roofing that allowed water damage inside residences, should be seen by property owners as a prompt to take steps now to avoid similar damage in future storms, says Ian Giammanco, a research meteorologist and wind engineer at the Insurance Institute for Building and Home Safety."
"When Joe Biden paused oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands earlier this year, the alarm bells rang in south-eastern New Mexico."