In my investigation of environmental crime — Grease thieves, corn oil and fraud: How biofuel scam artists bilked U.S. taxpayers of billions — I learned much about US Environmental Protection Agency special agents. Like other federal agencies, the EPA has its own police arm, known as the Criminal Investigation Division. EPA special agents are...
Previously published @EWG. Demand for vinyl records is soaring, but there’s something funky about this musical comeback – the energy and chemicals involved with producing the iconic circular discs creates pollution, adds to the climate crisis and may harm our health. But it’s not all sour notes, because some vinyl producers are experimenting with...
Previously published @EWG In June 2016, Dave Larson sat in his boss’ office at Triton Energy LLC, in Waterloo, Indiana, filling out a worker’s compensation form. The day before, he’d taken a nasty fall from a ladder. He’d also begun to suspect his employer was involved in a federal biofuels program fraud scheme. He...
Co-written with Honor the Earth’s Winona LaDuke and first published at Civil Eats. For 50 years, a single company has extracted millions in profits from one of Minnesota’s most important and ecologically vulnerable regions, the Pineland Sands. The 770-square-mile area in northern Minnesota is home to globally threatened jack pine forests and abundant streams and...

Slime Me Once

Richard Berman is slime, but you probably already knew that. Berman runs the Center for Consumer Freedom, a notorious front group for agribusiness and food companies. His misdeeds are well documented, and Berman is a PR mercenary so beholden to the interests of his corporate food benefactors he’s been publicly disowned by his own...
President Trump is set to address the annual American Farm Bureau Federation conference in Nashville, Tenn., this afternoon. On the surface it may seem like Trump is giving a speech to one of our nation’s most beloved icons – the American farmer. But, the Farm Bureau actually represents a small, tight-knit clan of wealthy, far-right ideologues...
On September 8th Congress voted for relief for Americans impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Several callous members voted no, citing their conservative ideology, even though they’ve embraced federal dollars flowing to their districts before. As the Kansas City Star editorial board noted when raining hot fire on their local nays: “And the hypocrisy. Let us...
Today the Senate Agriculture Committee is holding a hearing on fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — better known as food stamps. The hearing is at the behest of Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS). According to Bloomberg News, Roberts is using the hearing as a beachhead for a larger plan...