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.

Montana conservationist to be tapped to head U.S. Bureau of Land Management

By: - April 14, 2021

President Joe Biden intends to nominate National Wildlife Federation senior adviser and veteran Montana Democrat Tracy Stone-Manning to direct the Bureau of Land Management, an individual familiar with the process confirmed to States Newsroom Wednesday. Stone-Manning joined the NWF as associate vice president for public lands in 2017 and was promoted to senior adviser for […]

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

By: - April 10, 2021

President Joe Biden’s first budget request laid out this week 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 administration mum so far on returning gray wolves to endangered species list

By: - April 4, 2021

A controversial decision in the last months of the Trump administration to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list led to a massive overhunt in Wisconsin this year that Ojibwe tribal representatives said disrespected their wishes. But there’s no indication yet that the Biden administration will attempt to roll back that move, despite an order the […]

Iowa is one of the nation's top producers of wind energy. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Biden pairs ‘down payment’ on climate crisis with rebuilding infrastructure

By: - April 1, 2021

President Joe Biden’s sprawling $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal includes significant spending to address climate change, providing what conservationists say is an important “down payment” to address the crisis. A 25-page outline released Wednesday calls for $10 billion for a Civilian Climate Corps, $16 billion for capping abandoned wells and cleaning up abandoned mines, […]

Increases in royalties paid by oil and gas producers, lease rates targeted in Biden review

By: - March 27, 2021

Interior Department officials indicated this week 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 Thursday said rates the oil and gas industry pays for leasing, royalties and bonding could be […]

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 22, 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 […]

Haaland confirmation vote for Interior on tap despite GOP opposition

By: - March 9, 2021

The Senate is expected to vote within days on the confirmation of U.S. Rep. Debra A. Haaland to lead the Interior Department, despite procedural barriers Republicans from Montana and Wyoming announced Tuesday. Republican Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming placed holds on Haaland’s nomination, meaning the chamber now must take an […]

Biden reinstates bird protections gutted under Trump

By: - March 8, 2021

The Interior Department on Monday revoked a Trump administration policy that would have undercut a century-old law protecting migratory birds. The move strengthens federal regulators’ authority to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a 1918 law that allows the government to prosecute polluters whose actions are responsible for the deaths of about 1,100 protected bird […]

Biden pick for Interior secretary likely to face rocky confirmation hearing

By: - February 20, 2021

U.S. Senate Republicans may use next week’s Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, running the risk of alienating Native Americans in Western states. GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Steve Daines of Montana sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will […]

Interior Department to review Bureau of Land Management move to Colorado

By: - February 14, 2021

The Biden administration is reviewing the Bureau of Land Management headquarters’ recent move from Washington, D.C., to western Colorado, even as the state’s congressional delegation has united in bipartisan opposition to any attempt to reverse the decision. An Interior Department spokesperson said this week that the department’s “new leadership will work with BLM career staff […]

Public lands protections could move ahead in Congress this year

By: - February 7, 2021

Democrats in Congress have a rare opportunity to advance an ambitious public lands agenda — if they can keep their tenuous majorities in line. They’re also working with a new president of the same party who’s pledged to expand wilderness protections and highlighted climate change as one of his top three priorities. Several bills that […]