Author

Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues. His coverage areas include climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

Biden pairs ‘down payment’ on climate crisis with rebuilding infrastructure

By: - April 1, 2021

The sprawling $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal President Joe Biden laid out Wednesday in Pennsylvania includes significant spending to address climate change, providing what conservationists say is an important “down payment” to address the crisis. A 25-page outline calls for $10 billion for a Civilian Climate Corps, $16 billion for capping abandoned wells and […]

Increases in royalties paid by oil and gas producers, lease rates targeted in Biden review

By: - March 27, 2021

Interior Department officials indicated this week the Biden administration would change some federal oil and gas policies in an effort to roll back the aggressive fossil fuel agenda of former President Donald Trump. Interior leaders at an online forum said that rates the oil and gas industry pays for leasing, royalties and bonding could be […]

U.S. House panel divides on party lines over how to better conserve public lands

By: - March 24, 2021

In a preview of the arguments likely to be repeated as the Biden administration and Congress work toward conservation goals, Democrats on a U.S. House panel Tuesday outlined what they say is a need for aggressive action on climate. But Republicans worried increased federal involvement would be counterproductive to conservation goals while hurting rural economies. […]

Four big questions about the feds’ scrutiny of oil and gas leasing on public lands

By: - March 22, 2021

In his first week in office, President Joe Biden paused new oil and gas leasing on federal lands as his administration reviewed fossil fuel development policy. Now that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has taken office, the administration is gearing up to begin that process. A forum comprising the energy industry, conservation groups, labor organizations and […]

Biden reinstates bird protections gutted under Trump

By: - March 8, 2021

The Interior Department on Monday revoked a Trump administration policy that would have undercut a century-old law protecting migratory birds. The move strengthens federal regulators’ authority to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a 1918 law that allows the government to prosecute polluters whose actions are responsible for the deaths of about 1,100 protected bird […]

Biden pick for Interior secretary likely to face rocky confirmation hearing

By: - February 21, 2021

U.S. Senate Republicans may use next week’s Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, running the risk of alienating Native Americans in Western states. GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Steve Daines of Montana sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will […]

U.S. Interior department delays last-minute Trump rule that would weaken bird protections

By: - February 5, 2021

The Interior Department is delaying a last-minute Trump administration rule that would have weakened a century-old law protecting migratory birds, Interior officials said Thursday. Two weeks before former President Donald Trump left office, the Interior Department published a final rule that would have left the federal government unable to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act against polluters […]

Space Command HQ decision criticized as ‘politically motivated’

By: - January 13, 2021

The U.S. Air Force has selected Huntsville, Ala., as the permanent headquarters for the U.S. Space Command, passing over the command’s existing base in Colorado Springs, the Air Force said Wednesday. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, both Democrats, raised concerns that President Donald Trump overruled military decision-makers and made the decision […]

Washington Monument closed after visit from Interior secretary who’s positive for COVID-19

By: - December 18, 2020

The National Park Service temporarily closed the Washington Monument on Friday after a recent visit by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday. Bernhardt, a Colorado native, visited the iconic District of Columbia monument “recently,” Interior Department spokesman Nicholas Goodwin said in an email. Employees who came into contact with […]

Florida and Colorado make the finalist list for Space Command HQ

By: - November 19, 2020

The Air Force on Thursday named sites in Florida, Colorado and four other states finalists to permanently house the U.S. Space Command headquarters—a prize that would mean billions in federal defense spending for the state with the winning bid. Congress created both the Space Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in space, and the corresponding […]

‘I just don’t trust the system any more’: Voters on edge as election nears

By: and - October 5, 2020

WASHINGTON— Widespread anxiety and confusion around voting, compounded by the pandemic that has spread to millions of Americans, including President Donald Trump. A vastly underfunded and decentralized electoral system that could take days and possibly weeks to certify results.  Attempts to suppress voting, interfere with elections and cast doubt on the integrity of mail-in ballots […]

‘You just have to act’: Thousands outraged by police brutality rally at March on Washington

By: and - August 29, 2020

WASHINGTON – On the 57th anniversary of the original March on Washington and in the throes of a pandemic, thousands of demonstrators on Friday joined Democratic lawmakers on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to demand Congress act on police brutality and voter suppression. The event, organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, […]