"The Biden Administration Bets Big on ‘Climate Smart’ Agriculture"

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture has allocated more than $3 billion to help farmers transition to practices that sequester carbon and reduce emissions. But some researchers claim the program can’t measure emissions accurately and is unlikely to achieve its climate goals."

Source: YaleE360, 07/21/2023

"Biden Announces Physician Mandy Cohen Will Lead CDC"

"The Biden administration announced Friday that Mandy Cohen, a physician and a former North Carolina health secretary, will be the next director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assuming leadership of an agency left battered by the coronavirus pandemic."

Source: Washington Post, 06/21/2023

"EPA Is Struggling to Keep Track of Water Grants, Watchdog Says"

"The EPA doesn’t seem to have a firm grip on a $162 million pot of money meant for water infrastructure grants, the agency’s inspector general said in a Tuesday memo to department officials.

The findings are the latest in a string of reports from the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general raising red flags about how the agency is doling out its grant money.

The EPA’s drinking water division admitted it “encountered challenges” in trying to provide a list of grants issued under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, according to the memo."

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 06/21/2023

Both Sides Now — How Permitting Reform May Affect Fossil Fuel, Clean Energy Industries

It’s a political knot with the potential to tangle the fossil energy industry, the clean energy industry … or both. Environmental journalists looking to better report on the impacts of permitting reform can start with our latest Backgrounder, which explores the issue’s recent history and the competing visions that have stalled changes. There’s also the “backroom problem.” Plus, get a rundown of key actors.

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Watching the Watchers: How Journalistic Teamwork Uncovered Years of Regulatory Failure in Texas

After a massive fire at a Texas petrochemical storage facility, reporters from Public Health Watch and The Texas Tribune worked together to shed light on who was responsible for this disaster and what health threats had been hidden from the public. This behind-the-scenes report from Public Health Watch’s David Leffler and Savanna Strott looks at the challenges the team faced and how they overcame them.

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Pesticide Data Can Ground Food and Farm Stories

A billion pounds of chemicals are used on U.S. crops each year. Designed to protect them, they can also leave residue on foods we eat and enter the waterways we drink from. Reporter’s Toolbox has some key data sources for journalists, whether they’re looking at the big picture or are drilling down locally around issues of pesticide use and human or ecological health.

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