Heroes of the Week: Investigative Reporters In Ohio Who Blew the Lid On Dirty Power Scandal

A team of investigative reporters from the Akron Beacon Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer, and the Columbus Dispatch (all part of the USA Today Network) have been doing some top-notch investigative reporting, helping to expose one of the largest corruption scheme in the history of the state.  Their recent stories have shed a light on the elaborate scheme — two weeks ago of the FBI arrested the Former Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, and four other lobbyists and operatives on federal racketeering charges (yes like the mafia).  The men allegedly siphoned off $60M for political payoffs and personal uses from Ohio’s FirstEnergy Corporation.  Bankrupt coal company Murray Energy and another Ohio coal firm, the Boich Company, have also been implicated.

The scandal continues to grow — and so does the dark cloud around nuclear power and coal in Ohio and their unholy alliance with some prominent folks in Ohio.  So for their great work telling this story, we salute the local journalists who delivered: including Jackie Borchardt, Randy Ludlow, Rick Rouan, Jessie Balmert, and in particular, Amanda Garrett, who wrote a 4 part series in the Akron Beacon Journal laying out the whole ugly story.  Here is that series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.  We hope they win a Pulitzer – they deserve it.

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The Biden administration released its “skinny” post-election year budget plan for government spending next year and it included large increases for battling climate change and reversing environmental injustice, particularly as compared to the Trump administration’s drastic proposed cuts in these areas. 

Why This Matters: These are big increases over the Trump administration’s proposals — for NOAA it would mean 50% more.  But Congress never enacted those truly skinny budgets — they actually modestly increased or held most environmental spending steady.

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One Cool Thing: Infrastructure, An American Classic

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As the Biden administration readies to enact an infrastructure plan, Congressional Republicans continue to lament that water pipes, EV chargers, and expanded railways “don’t count” as infrastructure. Yet, as Biden cabinet members have been saying: we need to expand our definition of infrastructure beyond roads and bridges to prepare our country for the future. As […]

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New Poll Finds Republicans and Democrats More Divided Than Ever on Climate Change

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Leading up to Earth Day and President Biden’s first Climate Summit on April 22, Gallup is releasing a series of environmental polls, and the latest has found that the opinion gap on climate change between Democrats and Republicans is only growing wider. 

Why This Matters: We’ve reported often on climate misinformation in the media, and this situation is no exception.

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