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

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Search results for "carbon" ...

  • Carbon Wars

    Climate change can seem abstract and overwhelming. Pollution, likewise, can seem intractable. In fact, macro subjects like these can be brought down to ground level, as evidenced by "Carbon Wars," an unsparing look at the fossil-fuel industry with the aim of accountability — calling out companies that poison our air and water and feed global warming, and regulators and politicians who can’t or won’t do their jobs.
  • The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater

    The historic agreement reached in Paris in December that will curb carbon emissions is heartening, but oil isn’t the only resource being pumped out of the ground at an alarming rate—with catastrophic consequences for the planet. In an eye-opening series for USA Today, The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, CA, and other Gannett newspapers, Pulitzer Center grantees Ian James and Steve Elfers investigate the consequences of groundwater depletion, an overlooked global crisis. “Groundwater is disappearing beneath cornfields in Kansas, rice paddies in India, asparagus farms in Peru and orange groves in Morocco,” writes Ian. “As these critical water reserves are pumped beyond their limits, the threats are mounting for people who depend on aquifers to supply agriculture, sustain economies and provide drinking water. In some areas, fields have already turned to dust and farmers are struggling.” Climate change will only exacerbate the crisis, yet few seem to be taking this existential threat seriously. “Even as satellite measurements have revealed the problem’s severity on a global scale, many regions have failed to adequately address the problem,” says Ian. “Aquifers largely remain unmanaged and unregulated, and water that seeped underground over tens of thousands of years is being gradually used up.”
  • Ecuador’s Secret Oil Road

    An exclusive investigation and report exposing an illegal oil access road cut deep into the Amazon rainforest, the existence of which Ecuador’s government had denied. The investigation showed, for the first time, video of the road and heavy vehicles driving along it, and included a rare interview with Ecuador's Hydrocarbon Secretary. Published by, a journalism startup launched in January 2015.
  • Silent Killer

    This ABC News investigation of cars with keyless ignition systems -- broadcast on Good morning America and Nightline -- examines the potential dangers car owners and their families face from carbon monoxide poisoning if they leave their car running in a closed attached garage. The report included ABC News’ own demonstration which illustrated just how easy it is to leave a keyless ignition car running. The team then left the car on, measuring carbon monoxide gas levels in the garage continually – lethal levels were reached in just over 4 hours.
  • Hydrogen Energy: Pollution or Solution

    This is the result of a two-month investigation into a proposed, federally-funded "green-energy" power plant in the middle of California's Central Valley. This plant planned to gasify coal and use new technology to diminish the amount of CO2 released into the air. This would be done by using carbon sequestration in nearby oil fields, creating jobs and energy for the valley. However this report shows that while this power plant reduces CO2 emissions and creates dozens of temporary jobs, the additional environmental impacts are substantial. The plant plans to truck in coal dust past schools and neighborhoods, use millions of gallons of water a day in drought-stricken farming country, pollute the air with particulate pollution in the most polluted air region in the country, store hazardous chemicals near schools and homes, fill landfills at an alarming rate, AND at the end of it all the plant will produce at times NO electricity.
  • The Two Elk Saga

    North American Power Group initially proposed a coal-power generating station in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The project first aimed to burn waste coal to generate electricity, then shifted course to study the sequestration of carbon dioxide in underground formations. For the sequestration proposal, NAPG received nearly $10 million in federal stimulus grants. Despite millions of dollars spent, no new jobs were created. WyoFile contributor, and founding member, began his investigative coverage of NAPG's activities beginning in 2008. Via a FOIA request, Tempest acquired documentation to show that NAPG's president Michael Ruffatto and company employees were paid large sums of money to work on the project.
  • “Light, Sweet, Crude: a former US ambassador peddles influence in Afghanistan

    In 2010, Zalmay Khalilzad, former US Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan in the George W. Bush administration, tried unsuccessfully to win an oil contract in Afghanistan by wielding his political influence gained through the US-led invasion and occupation on behalf an oil company, Tethys Petroleum, with which he had professional ties and financial stakes. My investigation unearthed damning documentation of his influence peddling not previously made public nor reported upon. It also revealed a source who alleged only to me that Khalilzad paid for inside information, which, if true, could amount to an illegal bribe under Afghanistan’s Hydrocarbons Law and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Carbon Monoxide at Cove Village

    Even though, three people died of carbon monoxide in their apartment complex, the problem went uncorrected for four years afterwards. Also, even when the emergency calls continued to report carbon monoxide problems and a number of people were brought to the hospital, the government inspectors never stepped in to correct the hazard.
  • "Carbonomics"

    The key elements lawmakers intend to use against global warming are "carbon offsets" of the "cap-and-trade" legislation. The investigation reveals these offsets have created a "loophole" and could potentially "undermine the entire effort to solve the climate crisis." The current United Nations-run program is "greatly flawed," and there are "scientific uncertainties" about the effectiveness of the "pollution reductions."
  • Snow Removal

    After the storm in January 2009, Southern Illinois University Carbondale was left to cleanup. The job brought "complaints from students, faculty, and staff" and the conditions were "hardest on the disabled". This story looks at the "Americans with Disabilities Act" and whether the university violated it. Further, it examines the concerns from "disabled students, faculty, and staff that had a very tough time maneuvering around campus because the sidewalks were not properly cleaned up".