Resource Center

Stories

 

 

 

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.

 

 

 



Search results for "boom" ...

  • There Will Be Diatomaceous!

    In this series of coverage, Mission and State looks at Santa Barbara’s love-hate relationship with oil. As the country dives deeper and deeper into the enhanced-extraction oil boom, Santa Barbara grapples with what to do with the vast oil reserves waiting to be tapped in the North County and offshore. These stories delve into the fractured local oil politics, the strange bedfellows oil development can make of environmentalists, oil companies and politicians, the environmental and developmental legacies informing current debates, the missed opportunities for environmental concessions and the campaign contributions putting politicians in compromising positions. These stories paint the picture of a county in an almost schizophrenic political and cultural dance with itself. During the course of researching and reporting this series, it was revealed that Air Pollution Control District advisory board member and Lompoc City Councilmember Ashley Costa also worked in public relations for Santa Maria Energy, an obvious conflict of interest. Reporter Karen Pelland discovered that the president of a company proposing to slant drill from Vandenberg Air Force Base to get to the vast Tranquillon Ridge offshore reserve made significant political contributions to now-Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek). Garamendi had previously scuttled a deal between environmentalists and PXP oil company for the same reserve that was hailed as a landmark proposal at the time.

    Tags: oil; oil reserves; environmentalists

    By Natalie Cherot, Joe Donnelly, Karen Pelland

    Mission and State

    2013

  • Green, Not So Green

    The AP spent 11 months examining the hidden environmental costs of the nation’s green-energy boom: undisclosed eagle deaths at wind farms; untracked loss of conservation lands and native prairies created by the ethanol mandate; and the government’s unadvertised support of more oil drilling with money to clean up coal-fired power plants. All energy has costs, and in the case of fossil fuels those costs have been well documented. But when it comes to green energy, the administration, the industry, and environmentalists don’t want to talk about. The AP series shows how the Obama administration has at times looked the other way and in other cases made environmental concessions for so-called green energy to make headway in its fight against global warming.

    Tags: green energy; fossil fuels; global warming

    By Jack Gillum; Dina Cappiello

    Associated Press

    2013

  • Blowouts, leaks and spills from the drilling boom

    The oil and gas industry doesn't like to talk about its environment and safety record beyond bland assertions that safety is a top goal. But drillers cause more than 6,000 spills each year. Until our investigation, no one had put a figure on it. The records are scattered amid databases, websites and even file drawers of state agencies across the country. EnergyWire spent four months assembling the data for the most comprehensive report yet on the spills that flow from the nation's oil and gas boom.

    Tags: oil; gas; drillers; spills

    By Mike Soraghan; Gayathri Vaidyanathan

    EnergyWire

    2013

  • "In Harm's Way"

    "In Harm's Way" uncovers a pattern of poor government regulation and dangerous safety problems in the booming interstate bus industry, which now carries as many passengers from city to city as domestic airlines--700 million passenger rides a year. In an investigation that took most of the year, the KNBC I-Team exposed how federal regulators routinely allow unsafe buses to remain on the roads, sometimes with fatal consequences. In 2013, California had a record number of major bus crashes--11 of them--with hundreds of injuries and over a dozen deaths.

    Tags: bus; passengers; crashes; safety

    By Joel Grover

    KNBC-TV (Los Angeles)

    2013

  • Universitiy Building Boom

    An unprecedented multibillion-dollar building boom is under way at U.S. universities and colleges—despite budget shortfalls, endowment declines and seemingly stretched resources. Some $11 billion in new facilities have sprung up on American campuses in each of the last two years—more than double what was spent on buildings a decade ago, according to the market-research firm McGraw-Hill Construction—even as schools are under pressure to contain costs.

    Tags: College; Construction

    By Jon Marcus

    The Hechinger Report

    2012

  • Hansen Files-Supplements

    Dateline NBC exposed how unsafe practices in the booming dietary supplements industry – and lax government regulation – are allowing poisonous products to reach store shelves. Digging deep into government records, product recalls, criminal counterfeiting cases, plus state and federal civil court files, Dateline documented actual examples of dangerous products and falsified test results. In one case, workers at U.S. supplement maker used five-gallon buckets and women’s pantyhose in an attempt to filter suspicious black flecks out of a liquid vitamin supplement bound for retail stores – including GNC. Dateline’s investigation didn’t stop at reviewing records. In a hidden camera sting, Dateline exposed so-called “dry-labbing” – the practice of certifying products without really testing them. Dateline set up its own supplement company, created sample products, deliberately spiked them with poisons, and then hired labs to test them. One lab specializing in supplements missed every poison – and told correspondent Chris Hansen the dangerous products were safe to sell. In spite of these documented threats to public health, federal officials acknowledged that labs that test dietary supplements are neither licensed nor inspected.

    Tags: Dietary supplement; Dry-labbing; public health

    By Chris Hansen

    Dateline NBC

    2012

  • Frac Sand Fever

    Four stories, together with maps and graphics, detailing the environmental, regulatory and ethical dilemmas that have accompanied a sudden sand-mining boom that has swept across the rural Upper Midwest to supply "frac sand'' for the nation's burgeoning oil and gas hydro-fracking industry.

    Tags: Kennedy; Brow; environment; sand mining; fracking

    By Tony Kennedy; Curt Brow

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

    2012

  • The Fracking Boom: Missing Answers

    Is hydraulic fracking for natural gas safe? That’s one of the big questions surrounding America’s fracking boom. Homeowners with these gas wells literally in their backyards have complained of contaminated drinking water wells and noxious fumes. The natural gas industry has said that except for the occasional accident, fracking is not to blame. The American Petroleum Institute, the trade group for the natural gas industry, says fracking is safe and there’s no proof that the practice causes significant damage to the environment or human health. In our series, NPR decided to investigate the evidence the industry bases its safety claim on, and we found something astonishing. Despite some 200,000 fracked wells, very little data have been collected and few rigorous studies have been done to show whether fracking is safe, or whether it is dangerous. Not by local officials, state officials, universities or federal agencies. Essentially there is a data void on this issue. The type of scientific work that tied lead, tobacco smoke and smog to health problems, or that exonerated vaccines as the cause of autism, has not been done. With its safety claim, the industry is actively misleading the public into believing its practices have been solidly vetted and found untarnished. As we show in our seven part series, this is far from the truth.

    Tags: None

    By Jon Hamilton; Christopher Joyce; Susan Phillips; Elizabeth Shogren; Rob Stein

    NPR/CPI

    2012

  • The Fracking Boom, Missing Answers

    Is hydraulic fracking for natural gas safe? That’s one of the big questions surrounding America’s fracking boom. Homeowners with these gas wells literally in their backyards have complained of contaminated drinking water wells and noxious fumes. The natural gas industry has said that except for the occasional accident, fracking is not to blame. The American Petroleum Institute, the trade group for the natural gas industry, says fracking is safe and there’s no proof that the practice causes significant damage to the environment or human health. In our series, NPR decided to investigate the evidence the industry bases its safety claim on, and we found something astonishing. Despite some 200,000 fracked wells, very little data have been collected and few rigorous studies have been done to show whether fracking is safe, or whether it is dangerous. Not by local officials, state officials, universities or federal agencies. Essentially there is a data void on this issue. The type of scientific work that tied lead, tobacco smoke and smog to health problems, or that exonerated vaccines as the cause of autism, has not been done. With its safety claim, the industry is actively misleading the public into believing its practices have been solidly vetted and found untarnished. As we show in our seven part series, this is far from the truth.

    Tags: None

    By Jon Hamilton; Christopher Joyce; Susan Phillips; Elizabeth Shogren; Rob Stein

    NPR/CPI

    2012

  • Fair Housing in America

    ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones looked at how and why the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development has failed to enforce the Fair Housing Act. She traced the nation’s history of housing discrimination, from the Great Migration of African Americans to Northern cities in the early 1900’s to the post-World War II boom and into the 1960’s. Again and again, her reporting showed, federal agencies played a pivotal role in keeping white and black Americans separate. While the law required localities to “affirmatively further’’ fair housing, neither Democratic nor Republican presidents had the political will to enforce it. Over time, courts interpreted that provision to mean that HUD could withhold billions of dollars in grants from communities that were not doing everything possible to end segregation. Yet officials charged with enforcing the fair housing law told Hannah-Jones they were often ignored or undercut by others inside HUD, who saw the agency’s main mission as distributing development dollars. Even when courts issued rulings insisting that communities honor the law’s intentions, as she notes in a case about Westchester County, New York, they were routinely ignored by HUD officials and local politicians alike. Hannah-Jones also looked at how little HUD does to root out or punish racial steering and overt discrimination in the sale and rental of property. Millions of Latinos and African Americans face such bias each year. Yet HUD hardly ever does the sort of undercover testing proven to catch landlords and real estate agents in the act.

    Tags: Housing discrimination; Fair Housing Act;

    By Nikole Hannah-Jones

    ProPublica

    2012