Skip to content
Grist home
Support nonprofit news

Articles by Judith Lewis Mernit, High Country News

Judith Lewis Mernit has written about energy and the environment for the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, Sierra, and Utne Reader. She is a High Country News contributing editor.

Featured Article

“Fly fishing in Montana, the President and his guide react after both thought he had hooked a fish; unfortunately, he hadn’t.” We leave it to you, the reader, to decide whether this shall serve as a metaphor for the president’s environmental policies.Photo: The White HouseIn the late fall of 2008, the staff of the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) gathered at the Airlie Retreat Center in Virginia’s horse country to plot strategies for a new day dawning: Barack Obama had just been elected president, promising fresh progress on issues that had frustrated environmentalists throughout the eight years of George W. Bush. Jeffrey Ruch, PEER’s executive director, didn’t want to waste any time. “The focus of all of our discussions was how to take advantage of the new green Obama administration,” he says. “We were going over all the ground that Clinton had gained, all that had been lost under Bush, and focusing on what could be revived.”

PEER, Ruch says, “acts as a shelter for battered staff — people come to us and say, ‘So-and-so is being persecuted, please interven... Read more