Category: Politics & Public Policy

national policy, media democracy, justice, civil rights, climate policy, legislation

Can You Fight Poverty with a Five-Star Hotel?

by Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, Special to ProPublica – This story was co-published with Foreign Policy. – Accra is a city of choking red dust where almost no rain falls for three months at a time and clothes hung out on a line dry in 15 minutes. So the new five-star Mövenpick hotel affords a haven…

Screwed Locally and Globally on Climate Change

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), the agency in charge of the Delaware River as it winds through four states, conveniently sidestepped taking responsibility for overseeing the cumulative effects of the many natural gas pipelines being built around or through the Delaware River watershed by saying, essentially, “that’s not our job.” It’s a tried-and-true political…

Poisoning the Well: How the Feds Let Industry Pollute the Nation’s Underground Water Supply

by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica Federal officials have given energy and mining companies permission to pollute aquifers in more than 1,500 places across the country, releasing toxic material into underground reservoirs that help supply more than half of the nation’s drinking water. In many cases, the Environmental Protection Agency has granted these so-called aquifer exemptions in…

TEDTalk: Ellen ‘t Hoen and the Medicines Patent Pool

Ellen ‘t Hoen, a medical patents attorney and public policy consultant, started the Medicines Patent Pool through the World Health Organization to make patents widely available throughout the world, to help drive the price of access down for everyone. Here’s her TEDTalk about the Patent Pool, and the way it’s worked to disseminate low-cost HIV treatments.

Cutting Through the Controversy About Indefinite Detention and the NDAA

by Cora Currier, ProPublica On Tuesday, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a yearly military spending bill. Last year, the bill affirmed the U.S.’s authority to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely and without charges. The provision had generated plenty of controversy, particularly about whether U.S. citizens could be detained indefinitely.  This year,…

Latest Sanction Against BP Goes Beyond Gulf Spill

by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, Nov. 29, 2012, 8:54 a.m. When the Obama administration temporarily banned BP from federal contracts Wednesday, it pointed to BP’s “lack of business integrity” and conduct relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill. The sanction, however, has been years in the making. BP has been criminally convicted in four…

New Study: Fluids From Marcellus Shale Likely Seeping Into PA Drinking Water

by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, July 9, 2012, 2 p.m. New research has concluded that salty, mineral-rich fluids deep beneath Pennsylvania’s natural gas fields are likely seeping upward thousands of feet into drinking water supplies. Though the fluids were natural and not the byproduct of drilling or hydraulic fracturing, the finding further stokes the red-hot controversy…

Feds File First Criminal Charges Related to BP Gulf Spill

by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, April 24, 2012, 4:16 p.m. Two years after oil from a BP well began gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Department of Justice has filed criminal charges alleging that a former BP employee destroyed critical evidence in the early days of the unfolding disaster. The charges are the first…

A Punishment BP Can’t Pay Off

by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, April 19, 2012, 7 p.m. This story was published as an op-ed in The New York Times. Two years after a series of gambles and ill-advised decisions on a BP drilling project led to the largest accidental oil spill in United States history and the death of 11 workers on the…