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.

Badlands National Park

National parks nominee pledges to ramp up workforce, improve staff morale

By: - October 19, 2021

President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the National Park Service told a U.S. Senate panel Tuesday he would work to rebuild the agency’s workforce, which has shrunk even as park attendance hits new records. Charles F. Sams III, of Oregon, would be the first enrolled tribal member to lead the National Park Service. He is […]

Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River

‘Climate change is fundamentally altering the Colorado River’: States, tribes deal with drought

By: - October 18, 2021

States in the Colorado River Basin are adjusting to the reality that their rights outstrip the available water by nearly one-third, state and tribal leaders told a congressional panel Friday. The situation is likely only to worsen as the climate changes, leaving states and tribes in competition for their most vital resource. Representatives from the […]

Hurricane Ida survivor

Federal hurricane prevention for New Orleans that cost billions worked during Ida, senators agree

By: - October 6, 2021

U.S. senators on Wednesday promoted a federal hurricane system’s performance in New Orleans during Hurricane Ida, but noted that other regions experienced devastation that is likely to worsen as climate change produces more intense and frequent storms. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System in response to […]

U.S. Capitol Building

U.S. House plan for new mining royalties draws objections from Western senators

By: - October 5, 2021

U.S. senators of both parties at a hearing Tuesday rejected House Democrats’ plans to impose billions of dollars in royalties and other fees on companies that mine for gold, copper, lithium and other minerals, largely in Southwestern states. Among the opponents was Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, who said she objected to the House proposal […]

United States Capitol by night in Washington

Q-and-A: Why is there such an impasse in Congress? What happens now?

By: and - October 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — Congress may have kept the federal government operating with an 11th-hour flurry of votes on Thursday, but several key pieces of the Democratic agenda remain in limbo. Here are some questions and answers on where negotiations stand with two massive Democratic-drafted bills — and the status of other looming challenges for federal lawmakers:  President […]

Tracy Stone-Manning

U.S. Senate confirms Stone-Manning as public lands chief without GOP support

By: - September 30, 2021

The U.S. Senate voted along party lines Thursday night to make Tracy Stone-Manning the first confirmed director of the Bureau of Land Management since the Obama administration. The vote, 50-45, ended a contentious confirmation process for Stone-Manning, a senior adviser for conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation who served as chief of staff to […]

Plane drops water on wildfire

‘Wildfire year’ meant record days at the highest preparedness level, Forest Service chief says

By: - September 29, 2021

The U.S. Forest Service spent more consecutive days this summer at the agency’s highest level of preparedness for wildfires than in any previous year, Forest Service Chief Randy Moore told a U.S. House subcommittee Wednesday. Moore’s comments reflected the growing danger from more intense and harder-to -control fires that have swept Western and Midwestern states […]

Tracy Stone-Manning

U.S. Senate to vote on Montana’s Tracy Stone-Manning as public lands chief

By: - September 29, 2021

The U.S. Senate is set to vote as soon as Thursday on the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning, a conservation advocate and former top aide to Montana Democrats, to lead the Bureau of Land Management, putting the end to her contentious confirmation process in sight. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer filed cloture on Stone-Manning’s nomination, setting […]

United States Capitol by night in Washington

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

By: - September 15, 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. Chairman Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon had considered these and other items underfunded in the Senate-led bipartisan infrastructure bill, passed […]

oil and gas leasing

How the House reconciliation bill targets 4 local plans for oil and gas leasing, mining

By: - September 14, 2021

Proposals targeting specific areas for conservation in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and federal waters off Louisiana’s coast made their way into the gigantic budget reconciliation bill that Democrats are moving through Congress. The portion of the $3.5 trillion package approved on a party-line vote by the House Natural Resources Committee last week includes nationwide measures […]

U.S. Capitol Building

Here are the four big climate items in the reconciliation bill in Congress

By: - September 13, 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 rotunda in Washington, D.C.

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

By: - September 3, 2021

The U.S. 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 […]