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.

How a plan to boost Kansas-Nebraska tourism got wrapped up in fears of a 30×30 ‘land-grab’

By: - May 17, 2021

It started as a research project. University of Nebraska landscape architecture professor Kim Wilson asked her students in 2016 to brainstorm a way to increase tourism in Red Cloud, Neb., the childhood home of renowned writer Willa Cather, just north of the Kansas border. The class found that more than 255 historic sites dot the […]

Biden’s ‘30 by 30’ conservation plan urges collaboration with private landowners

By: - May 7, 2021

The Biden administration plans to broadly define conservation and encourage private landowners to adopt sustainable practices to meet a goal of protecting 30% of the land and water in the U.S. by 2030, according to a multi-agency report published Thursday. The recommendations are short of the most aggressive federal directives congressional Republicans feared would be central […]

Migratory bird protections to be permanently restored by Biden administration

By: - May 6, 2021

The U.S. Interior Department plans to officially revoke a Trump-era rule that loosened enforcement of a longstanding law to protect migratory birds, the department said Thursday. The rule put in place by former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt barred government authorities from holding companies liable for environmental violations leading to the deaths of birds protected under […]

No details yet on Biden conservation plan, but Republicans slam it as a ‘land grab’

By: - May 5, 2021

Republicans on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday previewed their objections to the Biden administration’s still-unreleased plan to conserve 30% of U.S. land and water by 2030. President Joe Biden created what is commonly called the “30 by 30 plan” in a Jan. 27 executive order, but the administration hasn’t released details about how […]

Senate Republicans rip into Biden’s oil and gas leasing pause

By: - April 27, 2021

Republicans on the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee excoriated the Biden administration’s pause of new oil and gas leasing at a hearing Tuesday, illustrating the political pressure the administration faces as it reviews federal energy development policy. Under intense questioning from Republicans about the revenue impacts, legality and duration of the leasing pause, […]

Haaland asks for federal funding for Interior to fight climate change, aid Native Americans

By: - April 21, 2021

In her first congressional hearing as the leader of the Interior Department, Secretary Deb Haaland fielded questions from members of a U.S. House spending panel Tuesday on the major conservation and energy initiatives that President Joe Biden has outlined. She was noncommittal about some contentious and high-profile items of deep interest to Western states, like […]

Congressional panel splits on regulation of ‘orphaned’ oil and gas wells

By: - April 16, 2021

Members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel agreed Thursday on the need to clean up and cap abandoned oil and gas wells, but disagreed along party lines about the extent of the federal government’s role in well regulation. The Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing was held to consider a bill introduced by Rep. Teresa Leger […]

Biden’s budget aims to fight climate change, promote conservation, aid Native Americans

By: - April 12, 2021

President Joe Biden’s first budget request laid out on Friday reflects the administration’s commitments to advancing conservation and combating climate change, proposing new money across federal agencies to address those issues. Like most domestic programs in Biden’s overall $1.5 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2022, the recommendations for increased spending on conservation and climate goals […]

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 26, 2021

Interior Department officials indicated Thursday 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 due […]

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 23, 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 […]