Over the weekend, Felicity Barringer had an excellent article in The New York Times about two critical decisions — a court verdict striking down a “cornerstone” of the air-pollution control and the chief of the Environmental Protection Agency’s refusal to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act — that “shut the door” on Bush’s clean air policy. “Taken together,” she writes, “the developments make it clear that any significant new effort to fight air pollution will fall to the next president.” Um, yeah, so let’s ask the candidates about that. The Journal got brief, EPA-related quotes from both them — Obama is disappointed in the agency and McCain isn’t — but that’s not enough. Reporters must use current events to leverage more information about what the candidates will do in office.


Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.