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.

On a record day in D.C. for smoke pollution, U.S. Senate panel debates wildfire strategy

By: - June 8, 2023

As smoke from Canadian wildfires caused the most hazardous air conditions on record in the Washington, D.C., area on Thursday, members of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said that Congress should lift federal firefighter pay and encourage logging to reduce the risk of future blazes. “Smoke from the wildfires burning right now […]

U.S. Interior Department finalizes fossil fuel, mining ban near Chaco Canyon

By: - June 2, 2023

The federal government will not issue new oil and gas or mining leases on federal lands within 10 miles of Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico, the U.S. Interior Department said Friday. The public lands order from the department’s Bureau of Land Management will stay in effect for 20 years. The order said about 340,000 […]

Western lands fight erupts over Bureau of Land Management’s conservation proposal

By: - May 27, 2023

One thing opponents and proponents of a recently proposed U.S. Bureau of Land Management rule agree on: It would be a major shift in how the agency manages nearly 250 million acres of federal lands. The rule would allow for conservation leases, similar to how the agency auctions off parcels of land for mining, livestock […]

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Biden wetlands regulation, ruling for Idaho couple

By: - May 25, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court in a major environmental decision on  Thursday overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of wetlands that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction, siding with an Idaho couple who’d said they should not be required to obtain federal permits to build on their property that lacked any navigable water. All nine justices agreed […]

Missouri man arrested for crashing truck, making threats near White House

By: - May 23, 2023

Federal police arrested a Missouri man on Monday night after he crashed a vehicle into security barriers in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House. Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm […]

A default on the U.S. debt would be far worse than a government shutdown. Here’s how.

By: , , and - May 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — A U.S. default on its debt would have a significantly broader impact on federal operations, financial markets and the global economy than recent government shutdowns that have left ordinary Americans largely untouched. While the two have been confused frequently during debate over the debt limit, the federal government has had considerable practice with […]

Overhaul federal permitting as part of the debt limit deal? Not as easy as it sounds.

By: - May 18, 2023

Congressional leaders negotiating a deal to avoid a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt are talking about including an overhaul of how the federal government reviews projects for their environmental impact. There is bipartisan support for changes to the lengthy environmental approval process among climate-minded Democrats eager to speed construction of renewable energy projects, as […]

Rural electric co-ops to get $10.7B in USDA funds for clean energy grants, loans

By: - May 16, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin to administer two loan and grant programs worth nearly $11 billion to boost clean energy systems in rural areas, administration officials said Tuesday. Congress approved the federal spending — $9.7 billion for a grant and loan program the department is calling the New Empowering Rural America program, or […]

Federal judge in Florida blocks Biden administration from releasing some migrants

By: and - May 12, 2023

A federal judge in Florida in a late Thursday order granted the state’s emergency request to temporarily halt a new Biden administration policy to release from federal custody some immigrants who enter the country without prior authorization.  The order from U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell II, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, […]

Speedier permitting of energy projects gains bipartisan backing on U.S. Senate panel

By: - May 11, 2023

Members of both parties on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voiced their support Thursday for reforming the federal process for approving energy projects, saying it should be prioritized to secure domestic energy supply and boost renewable energy. There is bipartisan interest in revising the permitting process and members of both parties have […]

New claims aired by GOP of Biden family influence-peddling, but questions remain

By: - May 10, 2023

U.S. House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer and fellow House Republicans on Wednesday used newly unearthed bank records to claim that President Joe Biden’s family members sought to improperly benefit from his vice presidency — though the preliminary findings leave several major questions unanswered. No direct ties to Biden while he served as […]

Interior secretary under fire at U.S. Senate hearing over oil and gas leases, public lands

By: - May 3, 2023

Members of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee used a Tuesday hearing on the Interior Department’s fiscal 2024 budget to voice their displeasure with the administration’s energy production policies to Secretary Deb Haaland.  The strongest criticism came from Republicans on the panel, though Chairman Joe Manchin III, a centrist West Virginia Democrat with […]