Alex Brown

Alex Brown

Based in Seattle, Alex Brown covers environmental issues for Stateline. Prior to joining Stateline, Brown wrote for The Chronicle in Lewis County, Washington state.

Private Lands Are the Next Battleground in State Conservation Policy

By: - April 26, 2022

Since last year, staff members at the Land Trust of Virginia have fielded phone call after phone call from landowners seeking to set aside their property for conservation. “We’re getting calls like crazy,” said Sally Price, executive director of the nonprofit, which works with private landowners to preserve farms and natural landscapes. “We’re doubling our […]

Some Cities, States Say Big Oil Should Pay for Climate Damage

By: - April 13, 2022

In the waning days of 2021, a grass fire broke out in Boulder County, Colorado. Fueled by extreme drought and high winds, the fire swept through the communities of Superior and Louisville. Within hours, it had destroyed more than a thousand structures—making the Marshall Fire the most destructive in the state’s history.  The December fire […]

Baseball Players Press Lawmakers for Minor League Labor Standards

By: - March 30, 2022

Lawmakers in a handful of states are crafting policies to protect a workforce that they say has been exploited by poverty wages, restrictive contracts and onerous federal labor laws: minor league baseball players. Over the past few years, players and advocates have drawn increasing attention to the poor conditions in which many minor leaguers toil. […]

States Grapple with Allowing High School Athlete Endorsements

By: - March 21, 2022

In a handful of states, high school athletes have started making endorsement deals with pizza parlors, apparel companies and smartphone apps—cashing in on their status as star players.  Throughout much of the country, such deals would still cause students to forfeit their athletic eligibility. But the landscape is shifting quickly. Eight state athletic associations now […]

Seaweed Farming Has Vast Potential (But Good Luck Getting a Permit)

By: - March 7, 2022

HOOD CANAL, Wash. — On a gray February afternoon, Joth Davis motors his skiff along the northern edge of Hood Canal, a glacier-carved fjord in Puget Sound. A grid of black buoys marks the boundary of his 5-acre saltwater farm, where a crop of sugar kelp is growing quickly beneath the surface and containers of […]

States to Feds: Don’t Tell Us How to Spend Infrastructure Money

By: - February 17, 2022

State and local leaders from both parties are at odds with the Biden administration over how billions of dollars in new infrastructure money should be spent. Republican governors are upset over a federal memo seeking to limit dollars for highway expansions. Western states and some progressive cities don’t like the feds’ plan for how to […]

Offshore Wind Takes Off at Last. States Have Been Counting on It.

By: - February 7, 2022

The United States currently produces almost no electricity from wind farms in ocean waters. That’s about to change—fast. State leaders have spent years laying the groundwork: requiring their utilities to purchase set amounts of offshore power by certain dates, investing in ports and transmission infrastructure and setting up workforce training programs.  As a quickly growing […]

Electric Vehicles Charge Ahead in Statehouses

By: - January 24, 2022

This is part one of Stateline’s 2022 State of the States series. Automakers are planning to put nearly 1 million new electric vehicles on American roads in 2022. Lawmakers are trying to make sure their states are ready.  “We will see a lot more emphasis on electric vehicles in 2022 and 2023,” said Dylan McDowell, deputy director […]

Natural Gas Bans Are New Front in Effort to Curb Emissions

By: - January 6, 2022

Lawmakers in New York are considering the nation’s first statewide ban on natural gas connections in new buildings, following dozens of local governments that have passed similar policies in the past two years.  But as New York and other left-leaning states consider ways to limit natural gas and the greenhouse gas emissions it creates, 20 […]

California to Require COVID Booster Shots for Health Care Workers

By: - December 22, 2021

California is mandating that all health care workers get a COVID-19 booster shot, making it the second state to expand its vaccine mandate as the omicron variant spreads across the country. “With Omicron on the rise, we’re taking immediate actions to protect Californians and ensure our hospitals are prepared,” Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, tweeted […]

Booster Mandates Are a Tough Call for States, Businesses

By: and - December 16, 2021

Read Stateline coverage of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, New Mexico became the first state to require COVID-19 boosters for its state employees, health care workers and educators. Officials there cite recent state research showing that immunity from the first series of shots wanes over time, which corresponds with other studies from […]

Virginia Nixes Effort to Issue Heat Safety Rules for Workers

By: - December 9, 2021

In a surprising move, Virginia regulators voted narrowly to reject a standard to protect workers from extreme heat, two years after they initiated the rulemaking process with a unanimous decision. Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board members voted 6-5 last week to end that process, after a panel they’d appointed presented them with a proposed […]