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.

U.S. Capitol

U.S. House Democrats add more mass transit, high-speed rail in second shot at infrastructure bill

By: - September 16, 2021

The U.S. House transportation panel early Wednesday passed along party lines the panel’s $60 billion slice of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget plan, adding nearly $20 billion for a new transit program and high-speed rail development in the states. Chairman Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon had considered these and other items underfunded in the Senate-led bipartisan […]

Louisiana moves to give local government control of industry tax breaks

Four big climate items in the reconciliation bill in Congress

By: - September 14, 2021

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee late Thursday approved its first piece of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion spending blueprint on a party-line 24-13 vote. Among the highest priorities for President Joe Biden in the plan was addressing climate change, and the panel included initiatives ranging from oil and gas reform to offshore wind ventures. The […]

U.S. Capitol

U.S. House Democrats kick off reconciliation process with $30 billion Interior bill

By: - September 3, 2021

The House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday inched toward approval of a $30 billion bill to fund climate, tribal and environmental programs. Thursday’s meeting marked the first time a congressional committee considered any piece of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending plan meant to fundamentally change U.S. health, climate, education and tax policy. Democrats plan to move […]

Biden administration to restart oil and gas leasing

By: - August 25, 2021

The Interior Department will make significant steps toward restarting its leasing programs for onshore and offshore oil and gas development in the coming months, the Biden administration said in a court filing Tuesday. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management anticipates holding a sale for offshore leases in October or November, the administration said. The Bureau […]

House passes voting rights bill but Senate approval unlikely

By: - August 25, 2021

The U.S. House on Tuesday passed, 219-212, along party lines a bill to reinstate a core section of the Voting Rights Act — a direct rebuke to state laws the bill’s supporters say have restricted voting rights. The bill, named for the late civil rights icon and longtime Georgia Democratic U.S. Rep. John R. Lewis, […]

Water

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

By: - August 24, 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. […]

Jeff Landry sues ULM med school over vaccine mandate

White House pledges to fight court order on oil and gas leases brought by Louisiana lawsuit

By: - August 17, 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 […]

Bill Cassidy votes yes as U.S. Senate OKs $1.2T 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 […]

Federal judge halts Biden pause on new oil and gas leases across the U.S.

By: - June 16, 2021

A federal judge in Lafayette 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 […]

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, Nebraska, 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 […]

Louisiana enacts new orphan oil well law to fetch $200 million in federal money

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. […]

‘A once in a generation investment’: Biden unveils $2T infrastructure package; creating millions of jobs

By: and - March 31, 2021

Unveiling what he called the boldest domestic spending package since the construction of America’s interstate highway system and the dawning of the space race, President Joe Biden released broad details of a $2 trillion infrastructure package that would rebuild highways and bridges, along with providing funding programs for housing, broadband and schools and increasing U.S. […]