Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Energy" ...

  • Superpower: One Man's Quest to Transform American Energy

    The book, Superpower, uncovered and reported for the first time ways that Tennessee politicians and Tennessee Valley Authority officials were working clandestinely to stop a major renewable energy project. Through interviews and documents, many obtained through FOIA requests, the book showed how incumbent utilities and their political allies could collaborate to slow the growth of renewable energy in order to preserve political power.
  • Drilling Down: Big Oil’s Bidding

    When the government awards energy companies the rights to drill for offshore oil and gas, it’s supposed to make sure the American public, which owns the resources, doesn’t get screwed. The government is required by law to use “competitive bidding” and to ensure that taxpayers receive “fair market value.” However, decades of data suggest that the government has been falling down on the job, a Project On Government Oversight analysis found. Among POGO’s discoveries: Instead of taking the trouble to estimate the value of individual offshore tracts, the government has simply labeled many of them worthless and has awarded drilling rights on that basis. Energy companies have invested billions of dollars in tracts the Interior Department categorized as “non-viable”—in other words, worthless. Over the past 20 years, more than two-thirds of the leases that ultimately became energy-producing had been deemed worthless by the Interior Department.
  • Title: The Desert Sun: An Empire in the Desert

    These stories reveal the stunning influence that a single farmer in California's Imperial Valley, Mike Abatti, has exerted over the region's Colorado River water and energy industry. Abatti has benefited from decisions made by his friends in elected office, a judge with ties to his family, and a district attorney whose second-in-command is his sister-in-law.
  • The Lens: Power Plant Astroturfing

    Lens reporter Michael Isaac Stein confirmed that actors were paid to support Entergy New Orleans' proposed power plant in eastern New Orleans. A city investigation resulted. The company was forced to release thousands of pages of documents about the power plant campaign, which we found was much larger in scope than the so-called "astroturfing" in 2017 and 2018.
  • The Dallas Morning News: Atmos

    A Dallas Morning News investigation showing how more than two dozen homes across North and Central Texas have blown up since 2006 because of leaking natural gas along lines owned and operated by Atmos Energy Corp. Nine people died in these explosions; at least 22 others were badly injured. The News' investigation also showed how the state agency that is supposed to regulate gas companies in Texas frequently let Atmos Energy off the hook, even in explosions that killed people.
  • The Center for Public Integrity, The Texas Tribune, The Associated Press and Newsy: Blowout

    “Blowout: Inside America’s Energy Gamble” is the result of four newsrooms joining forces for the better part of a year to produce a multi-part investigation — seven stories, one full-length documentary — examining the vast scope, shadowy impetus and sweeping health and climate impacts of America’s largest oil and gas boom. Following key rule changes during the Obama administration that opened the floodgates for oil and gas exports, producers are looking to meet a growing global demand for fossil fuels — and, critics note, to inflate the need. We gave readers a cradle-to-grave look at this phenomenon, starting where the fossil fuels are pulled from the ground and ending in countries where they’re being consumed. Our series exposed the role of the U.S. government as a marketing agent for the fossil-fuel industry at a perilous time in the world’s history, with worsening climate change threatening lives, property and entire communities.
  • Santa Fe New Mexican and ProPublica: Half-life

    The series Half-life, a partnership between the Santa Fe New Mexican and ProPublica, explored health and safety conditions for nuclear workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The says it has complied with federal workers’ safety rules since the mid-1990s, but The New Mexican and ProPublica found thousands of lab workers have filed benefits claims for cancer, and hundreds more have died, as a result of work done in the last two decades — a generation in which nuclear work conditions were supposed to be safe. Reporting found these workers face steep hurdles and are more frequently denied benefits than older generations. The Department of Energy has also rarely held Los Alamos contractors accountable for safety issues and has taken steps to limit independent oversight of safety conditions at federal nuclear sites nationwide.
  • National Observer: First Nations and the Trans Mountain Pipeline

    National Observer’s reporting revealed how the Canadian government made a politically-motivated decision to approve a major west-coast pipeline expansion project, knowingly violating its legal duty to consult affected Indigenous communities. The reporting has contributed to significant delays in the project, followed by the withdrawal of energy company Kinder Morgan, and a government takeover of the project. The reporting has largely left the project in limbo, and will force federal officials to improve its efforts to accommodate First Nations if it wants to proceed with the pipeline expansion. Meanwhile, a key federal cabinet minister has been reassigned and oil companies have scaled back plans to expand production in Alberta either directly or indirectly related to the investigation by National Observer.
  • Atmos gas explosion

    “Atmos gas explosion” is a WFAA investigation into lax regulatory oversight and shoddy maintenance of Atmos Energy, a natural gas supplier, that puts millions of North Texas residents in continued danger. The series of stories was triggered by a fatal natural gas home explosion that killed a 12-year-old girl.
  • America’s Chernobyl?: Inside the Most Toxic Place in the Nation

    In the course of a six-month investigation, the NBC News Investigative Unit discovered that numerous workers are sick and some have died at a Department of Energy nuclear site, and documented allegations from workers that the US government is covering up the danger. Their report on NBC’s Today Show prompted legislative action and raised larger questions about the ability of the federal government to store some of its most dangerous waste.