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.

Environmental justice advocates look to $3.5T federal spending bill for bold action

By: - August 23, 2021

Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration want to use their massive $3.5 trillion spending plan to help communities that have been devastated by environmental pollution and degradation. For years, activists have been pushing for government recognition of what’s known as environmental justice, the broad movement to provide restitution to communities that have suffered disproportionate harm. […]

Biden to nominate first tribal member to lead National Park Service

By: - August 19, 2021

President Joe Biden plans to nominate the first enrolled tribal member to head up the National Park Service — Oregon conservationist Charles Sams III, the White House announced Wednesday. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he would be the first full-time director since Jonathan B. Jarvis left the job at the end of the Obama […]

White House pledges to fight court order on oil and gas leases, but activists want more

By: - August 18, 2021

The Biden administration plans to appeal a federal court decision forcing the government to restart oil and gas leases that have been paused since January. But administration officials are also promising to comply in a way that takes into account the damage caused by fossil fuel development. The two-part move worries progressive activists and members […]

National Park Service renews mask mandate for all visitors

By: - August 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — The National Park Service on Monday reinstated a mask mandate for all visitors, workers and volunteers at NPS buildings and crowded outdoor areas, regardless of vaccination status. In May, the agency said it would require only unvaccinated people to wear masks. Recently, as the delta variant of the coronavirus has led to a […]

How Congress will attempt the biggest expansion of U.S. social programs since FDR

By: and - August 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate this week passed a massive bipartisan infrastructure bill and an even larger budget blueprint that would pave the way for historic changes in U.S. health, education, climate and tax policies. The two measures are roped to each other, reflecting Democrats’ strategy to pass what could be bipartisan with Republicans—and to go it […]

U.S. Senate OKs $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill

By: - August 10, 2021

The U.S. Senate passed 69-30 on Tuesday a sweeping bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, a milestone for one of President Joe Biden’s priorities after months of negotiation. Biden proposed an infrastructure plan in March that would have topped $2 trillion. A bipartisan group of senators led by Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., worked […]

‘Big and bold’ infrastructure bill still falls short on helping states fight climate change

By: - August 6, 2021

The U.S. Senate is poised to pass a massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that would upgrade state transportation networks, electric grids, water systems and more. It’s a major spending boost and potential job-creator that yet falls short of the administration’s goals to address climate change and reduce its effects in the states. The White House […]

Democrats unite around ‘climate corps’ that could employ youth, prevent fires

By: - July 21, 2021

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged on Tuesday to include a Civilian Climate Corps in a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill later this year, as a broad swath of Democrats rallied around a framework of employing thousands of young people to do conservation work. Schumer, D-N.Y., appeared with a handful of congressional Democrats, led by […]

Federal judge blocks Biden pause on new oil and gas leases

By: - June 17, 2021

A federal judge in Louisiana has ordered the Biden administration to restart regular sales of oil and gas leases, forcing the administration to prematurely abandon a central piece of its climate change agenda. In a preliminary ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty granted the request of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and 12 other […]

U.S. House panel probes slow cleanup of ‘exploited’ coal mining sites

By: - June 15, 2021

A U.S. House Natural Resources subcommittee examined the cleanup needs for regions transitioning away from coal production Tuesday, with witnesses representing coal workers and Native American communities saying energy companies should be responsible for returning the land to its pre-mining state. Much of the conversation at the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing centered on […]

National parks struggling with maintenance would get a boost under Biden budget

By: - June 7, 2021

Basic needs at the largest U.S. national parks top the Biden administration’s first proposed lists of projects to receive funding through public lands trust funds, showing how much maintenance is needed even as parks brace for record numbers of visitors this summer. The projects likely wouldn’t be visible to the usual tourist, but they are […]

Heading for a national park? The ‘biggest season in the history of the Park Service’ predicted

By: - May 27, 2021

Leaders of a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday extolled national parks for providing a respite during the COVID-19 pandemic, but cautioned that enthusiasm for outdoors recreation will create its own problems in this summer’s tourism wave. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent and the chairman of a subcommittee that oversees the U.S. National Park Service, […]