Elizabeth Shogren

Elizabeth Shogren, a veteran newspaper reporter, came to NPR in February 2005 to cover environmental issues on the National Desk.

Prior to NPR, Shogren spent 14 years as a reporter on a variety of beats at The Los Angeles Times. For the last four years she reported on environmental issues in Washington, D.C., and across the country. From 1993 - 2000, Shogren worked from The Los Angeles Times' Washington bureau covering the White House, Congress, social policy, money and politics, and presidential campaigns. During that time, Shogren was given the opportunity to travel abroad on short-term foreign reporting assignments, including the Kosovo crisis in 1999, the Bosnian war in 1996, and Russian elections in 1993 and 1996. Before joining the Washington bureau, Shogren was based in Moscow where she covered the breakup of the Soviet Union and the rise of democracy in Russia for the newspaper.

Beginning in 1988, Shogren worked as a freelance reporter based in Moscow, publishing in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek, The Dallas Morning News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post. During that time, she covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful revolution in Prague.

Shogren's career in journalism began in the wire services. She worked for the Associated Press in Chicago and at United Press International in Albany, NY.

After earning a B.A. in Russian studies at the University of Virginia in 1985, Shogren went on to receive an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University in 1987.

In her free time, Shogren enjoys hiking and backcountry skiing with her husband, Jeff, and their dog, Trekker.



Mon August 8, 2011

No Child Left Behind Gets A Revamp

Originally published on Mon August 8, 2011 7:08 pm

The Obama administration is giving school districts a waiver from some mandates of the No Child Left Behind education law.

The law requires schools to reach higher goals each year, and by 2014, it demands that every student be graded proficient in reading and math. The administration, which has repeatedly called on Congress to rewrite the legislation, says the law is overly punitive.

In an announcement on Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan opened the door for states to avoid the penalties and deadlines of the current No Child Left Behind Law.

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Thu July 28, 2011

Obama To Announce New Fuel Economy Standards

Automakers and the White House have reached agreement on a new fuel economy standard of 54.5 mpg for cars and light trucks, sources tell NPR. The new standard would be phased in beginning with model year 2017 and fully implemented by 2025. The president is expected to formally announce the agreement tomorrow.


Sun July 24, 2011

EPA Seeks To Tighten Ozone Standards

Extremely hot days are prime for bad air because hydrocarbons evaporate into the air, helping to create ozone.
Ramin Talaie Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected any day now to tighten the standard for how much ozone is safe to breathe, but the level of ozone that scientists say is safe doesn't sit well with industry. The agency decision is sitting at the White House, awaiting approval.

The EPA is redoing the ozone standard set under President George W. Bush. The Bush administration's EPA ignored the advice of its own panel of outside scientific advisers. It set the standard for a healthy level of ozone in the air at 75 parts per billion.

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Thu July 7, 2011

EPA Issues New Standards For Coal-Burning Plants

The Environmental Protection Agency sent a strong message Thursday to power plants that burn coal. It's time to clean up dirty exhausts that travel long distances, and 75 percent of Americans will breathe healthier air as a result.

The new EPA transport rule is designed to clean up the pollution that blows from power plants into other states. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says it's about fairness.

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Wed July 6, 2011

White House Study Explains Why GOP Targets EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency has become a target of House Republicans and of GOP presidential hopefuls. They say its rules are job killers. A new White House report finds air pollution rules from the EPA cost far more than other government regulations. But they also result in far more benefits than other government mandates.


Mon July 4, 2011

Two Scouts Want Palm Oil Out Of Famous Cookies

Two Girl Scouts want the organization to stop using palm oil in Girl Scout Cookies. They've started a petition and gathered 67,000 signatures.
Andrew Prince NPR

A lot of adult environmentalists have been trying for years to focus attention on tropical rain forests in southeast Asia, but it took two teenagers to get the issue on the front page of a national newspaper and on the network news.

Four years ago, Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva started studying orangutans for a Girl Scouts project. What they learned inspired them to start a campaign to raise awareness of the damage that palm plantations are causing the great apes.

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Wed June 15, 2011
Around the Nation

Air Quality Concerns Threaten Natural Gas' Image

Pam Judy stands in the yard of her home in southwest Pennsylvania. Her family says it has been affected by unhealthy air quality, which might be connected to natural gas fumes from a compressor 700 feet from their house.
Elizabeth Shogren NPR

Massive stores of natural gas that lie underneath big portions of the United States offer a cleaner source of electricity to a country that relies heavily on coal, but producing all that gas also can pump lots of pollution into the air.

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Wed June 8, 2011

Obama Takes Heat From Some Environmentalists

The gray wolf has been a controversial entry on the endangered species list. Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is concerned Congress may kick them off the list altogether.

Environmentalists have been quietly grumbling about the Obama administration for months. Now one of the country's most prominent conservationists — former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt — is retaking the public stage to scold President Obama.

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Thu April 21, 2011
The BP Oil Spill, One Year Later

BP: A Textbook Example Of How Not To Handle PR

Within hours of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Glenn DaGian was on the phone.

He had retired a year earlier after working with BP and Amoco for 30 years. He wanted back in the game.

"Every day thereafter, for about a week, I kept saying, do you want my help, do you want my help?" he says.

DaGian watched from the sidelines as BP executives declared it was not their accident, blamed their contractors and made the company look arrogant and callous. The company's response has become a textbook example of how not to do crisis management.

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Wed April 20, 2011
The BP Oil Spill, One Year Later

In Cleaning Oiled Marshlands, A Sea Of Unknowns

On a coastal marsh south of New Orleans, oil still saturates a 30-foot-wide stretch. Where hip-high grass should be, the oil has formed a hard, dark mat. If you dig though that crust, you find a thick, oozy layer of oil.

"It hasn't weathered or degraded much since it came ashore in early June," says scientist Scott Zengel, a contractor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who is overseeing the marsh survey crews.

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