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Dispatches: Five Essential Reads From the Past Week

A collection of some of our most important and timely stories, from a first-of-its-kind investigation into the hazards of the pipeline industry to a feature on the sinking island of Tangier.
Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot outside Gascoyne, North Dakota.

Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot outside Gascoyne, North Dakota.

A rundown of five of our most important and timely stories from the past week.

  1. California Governor Jerry Brown has made himself a leading voice on climate change and pro-environment policy in the United States. This week, with the Global Climate Action Summit taking place in San Francisco as a direct rebuke to President Donald Trump's bowing out of international climate talks, Brown has put himself on the world's stage. But big oil has still left a black mark on California's climate record, one that Brown has largely failed to address. In partnership with the Center for Public Integrity, Pacific Standard staff writer Kate Wheeling and CPI reporter Jim Morris investigate California's oil regulator, DOGGR, and find that it has not lived up to its mandate. Read Wheeling and Morris' investigation here.
  2. The effects of climate change may still seem distant to most Americans, but on the tiny island of Tangier—located off the coasts of Maryland and Virginia—live the first potential climate change casualties in the U.S. Elaina Plott went to Tangier to talk to the people, who largely dispute the climate science that spells doom for their island, and, as a result, have thrown their lot in with Trump. Read Plott's feature here.
  3. Part and parcel of America's dependence on fossil fuels is a need for an extensive oil and gas pipelines to transport petrochemicals in, across, around, and out of the country. As Antonia Juhasz uncovers in a first-of-its-kind data investigation, the pipeline industry can be extremely hazardous for workers and the environment. Read Juhasz's investigation here.
  4. Pacific Standard senior editor Ted Scheinman is on the ground at the Global Climate Action Summit and writing a series of stories about the events. Before the summit took place, he spoke with a wide spectrum of protesters at the "Rise for Climate March" about their concerns over a changing environment. This march signifies that, despite the talk of "solidarity" from Governor Jerry Brown and others, a divide between those in power and those without still persists. Read Scheinman's stories here.
  5. What's it like to argue before a judge that you should be able to get an abortion without telling your parents? It's a difficult question, but one that exists in most states where parents must be notified or provide consent in order for a minor to have an abortion. Staff writer Francie Diep breaks down a study that gives a glimpse into what it's like to try and secure an exemption to this rule. Read Diep's story here.

This dispatch originally appeared in The Lede, the weekly Pacific Standard email newsletter for premium members. The Lede gives premium members greater access to Pacific Standard stories, staff, and contributors in their inbox every week. While helping to support journalism in the public interest, members also receive early access to feature stories, an ad-free version of, and other benefits.