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 "Interior Department" ...

  • 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.
  • Shell 'Beer Can' Crushed

    A KUOW Freedom of Information Act request revealed the severity of a maritime accident that the world's largest energy company and the U.S. government sought to downplay or avoid comment on. News outlets from Alaska to England, including the New York Times, Financial Times and Hearst Newspapers have cited the KUOW scoop in their ensuing coverage. Our story has also resulted in Congressional and Interior Department inquiries into the accident involving equipment Royal Dutch Shell planned to use in support of oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
  • Windfall

    The Department of the Interior, "particularly under the Bush Administration," has let energy companies neglect paying billions of dollars to the government "for oil and natural gas they pump on federal land and federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico." Over the course of a year, the Times reported the various aspects of this story, resulting in five investigations by the inspector general, including two inquiries involving the Justice Department.
  • A Changing Landscape

    "These stories provide a portrait of the Bush environmental policies and the largely hidden political process that produced them. They also provide a window into the secretive administration's domestic-policymaking and its impact in the West and elsewhere. The reporters penetrated the federal bureaucracy to show how the White House and political appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department manipulated science, circumvented the law and marginalized or steamrolled career employees. These reports detail how, in the process, the administration adopted regulations or policies that benefited its corporate patrons at the expense of public health and the environment." Also included is an update from February, 2005, that relates the results of a study done by Nikki Tinsley, the EPA's inspector general, at the request of seven senators who read the LA Times original series. Tinsley's report confirmed the LA Times findings.
  • Giving the West away

    The Progressive looks at land exchange programs that the Clinton administration has administered in favor of private parties. The report reveals that "in the past five years, more than 1.5 million acres have been traded away in hundreds of swaps ... and some of the deals have been particularly lopsided." The investigation reports on a GAO investigation which has found that "the accounting system [of the Bureau of Land Management] didn't keep track of the value of the land exchanges, making it impossible to determine whether the deal were legal." The story exposes how several firms close to "one of the land exchange program's biggest boosters ... Clinton's Interior Secretary, Bruce Babbitt, ... have been on the receiving end of federal land swaps."
  • Another Broken Trust

    The ABA Journal "tells the inside story of government mismanagement of the most significant American Indian case ever filed. The government's bungling in the 1996 case came on top of allegations in the lawsuit that it for more than a century already had mismanaged billions of dollars held in trust for at least 300,000 Indians, some of the nation's most impoverished citizens."
  • Wild horses

    AP finds that federal Bureau of Land Management's wild horses program is actually endangering the animals lives.
  • (Untitled)

    The National Journal looks at how two Republican lawmakers are trying to preserve 1.8 million acres of Utah's wilderness. Many other politicians want more land to be made available for coal mining, oil and natural gas development, and other developments to help Utah's economy.
  • (Untitled)

    Plain Dealer (Cleveland) reveals how a firm from that city is seeking to buy mining rights to taxpayer-owned land for pennies on the dollar; through obsolete laws dating back to the last century, the company may be able to purchase rights to mine a rare bertrandite ore, worth up to $15 billion, for $26,000, May 22, 1994.
  • (Untitled)

    Kansas City Star runs a detailed analysis of a crisis in the U.S. national park system, which suffers from poor leadership, congressional meddling, inadequate funding, environmental threats, developmental pressures, crowding and crime, Oct. 24 - 27, 1993.