About POGO

Laura Peterson


lpeterson@pogo.org |

Laura has more than 20 years of experience as an oversight watchdog. Most recently, she was a staffer on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where she examined issues including regulatory system transparency. Previously, she investigated wasteful government programs as a senior policy analyst at Taxpayers for Common Sense, edited authors from around the world at Foreign Policy magazine, and contributed to award-winning investigations of Pentagon contracting and private military companies as a staff writer for the Center for Public Integrity. Before arriving in Washington, she covered post-war reconstruction in Bosnia and Kosovo for various news outlets. Laura holds a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department Gives Law-Breaking Coal Company a Pass

June 25, 2018

Under Trump, violations against three of the Farrell-Cooper Mining Company’s mines have been quietly dismissed—leaving landowners whose land was ruined furious.

Pesticide Protections for Farmworkers Vary Wildly Across States

April 4, 2018

Why some states are fighting new EPA agricultural worker rules while others aren’t worried

Bowing to Ag Interests, Scott Pruitt's EPA Undermined Farmworker Protections

April 4, 2018

EPA chief Scott Pruitt halted portions of rules protecting workers from pesticides over protests from advocates.

Meet the New Wall: Same as the Old Wall

July 27, 2017

The Trump administration’s border security promises sound an awful lot like what we’ve heard before: Money thrown at contractors on a rushed timeline with no strategy.

Trump's Ethics Pledge Is Paper-Thin

June 6, 2017

Federal agencies provided few details on how they are addressing political appointees' potential conflicts of interest during the Trump administration.

Regulatory Foes Try to Seize the Day

April 25, 2018

A bill that would further burden the regulatory process may make it to the Senate Floor.

How an Influential Committee can Make Energy Royalties Great Again

February 26, 2018

An influential committee meeting this week has the power to fix that system by implementing important reforms to the way the public is compensated for resources extracted from public land.

Enforcement of Environmental Laws Drops Under Trump Administration

February 20, 2018

Budget, staffing, and leadership decisions have resulted in fewer investigations and prosecutions of polluters.

Where's the Public Among the Royalty Policy Committee's Interests?

November 21, 2017

The Department of Interior’s new Royalty Policy Committee gets too much input from industry and too little from civil society.

Border Agency Hasn’t Requested Funding for New Wall

October 23, 2017

Despite President Trump’s claim that a border wall is crucial for our safety, the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t requested funding for new walls or fences since the last wall was mandated a decade ago.

New Bill Hurts and Helps Trump’s Border Wall

August 21, 2017

A new Republican bill loosens President Trump’s requirement for a border wall, but contains disturbing implications for government contracting and corporate handouts.

Lawmakers Question Interior Secretary Over Whistleblower Reassignment

August 17, 2017

Members of Congress are supporting a Department of Interior executive who says management retaliated against him because he disclosed how climate change is putting Alaskan coastal communities at risk.

Border Wall is Billion-Dollar Black Box So Far

June 27, 2017

Trump’s border wall is crawling toward creation despite lack of transparency, funding, and planning.

More Trump Appointees Get Waived Past Ethics Pledge

June 8, 2017

The Office of Government Ethics posted waivers to the ethics pledge for 10 Trump appointees after demanding them from federal agencies.

April 12, 2018

An environment without ethics?

The World Weekly | By Alexander Izza

November 28, 2017

Energy oversight woes still need tending — IG

E&E News | By Pamela King

October 23, 2017

Emails reveal chaos behind border wall

USA Today | By Jill Castellano and Rafael Carranza

September 27, 2017

Construction Of Border Wall Prototypes Begins; Trump Vows To Pick The Best Option

Western Journalism | By Jack Davis

September 26, 2017

Trump said he'll pick a border wall design himself. Turns out, he can.

Dallas Morning News | By Todd J. Gillman

August 31, 2017

U.S. Moves to Build Prototypes for Mexican Border Wall

The New York Times | By Ron Nixon