Author

Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter in the States Newsroom Washington bureau. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues as well as climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

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 […]

Haaland faces rocky confirmation process for Interior secretary

By: - February 19, 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 […]

Biden administration may reconsider BLM’s move to Colorado

By: - February 11, 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 a bipartisan pushback 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 […]

Biden rolls back Trump rule on migratory birds

By: - February 4, 2021

The Interior Department is delaying a last-minute Trump administration rule that would have weakened a century-old law protecting migratory birds, Interior officials said Thursday. Two weeks before former President Donald Trump left office, the Interior Department published a final rule that would have left the federal government unable to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act against polluters […]

Public lands protections could move ahead in Congress this year

By: - February 4, 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 expand public […]

Biden nixes Keystone XL Pipeline

By: - January 21, 2021

In one of his first official acts after taking office, President Joe Biden revoked the federal permit for the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline that would have traversed eastern Montana on its way from the Alberta oilfields to the Gulf of Mexico. The Wednesday move at least temporarily halts the construction on the highly contentious […]

Colorado sues BLM over resource management plans, citing Montana case

By: - January 19, 2021

Colorado has challenged a federal Bureau of Land Management plan for the southwestern part of the state, arguing the plan was invalid because the Trump administration leader of the agency was illegally holding the office. The state’s Department of Natural Resources filed the suit in federal court on Friday, seeking to overturn a resource management […]

Colorado strikes back: Says Space Command decision was politically motivated

By: - January 14, 2021

The U.S. Air Force has selected Huntsville, Ala., as the permanent headquarters for the U.S. Space Command, passing over the command’s existing base in Colorado Springs, the Air Force said Wednesday. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera, both Democrats, raised concerns that President Donald Trump overruled military decision-makers and made the decision […]

‘Millions of birds will die’

By: - January 11, 2021

In July 2011, a pipeline owned by ExxonMobil burst near Laurel, Mont., dumping 42,000 gallons of crude oil into the nearby Yellowstone River. As federal officials reported the damage for weeks afterward, they found American white pelicans, owls and other bird species covered in oil, injured or dead. ExxonMobil agreed to pay $12 million to […]

Sen. Jon Tester says ‘putting folks back to work’ is priority

By: - January 5, 2021

After a year many would like to forget, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester is among those optimistic about 2021. Speaking from Washington, D.C., in mid-December, Montana’s senior senator in a one-on-one phone interview with the Daily Montanan discussed his hopes for how a closely divided Senate can work with President-elect Joe Biden.  He also talked about […]

Bipartisan members of Congress launch ‘Wildfire Caucus’

By: - January 5, 2021

Congressional Republicans and Democrats from the West are banding together with a common interest in mitigating and responding to the increasing intensity and frequency of wildfires. In a sign of the rising danger wildfires pose, Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado, a Democrat, and Rep. John Curtis, a Utah Republican, announced plans to launch the Bipartisan […]