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 "drill" ...

  • Unchecked Power

    After losing hard-fought reelection campaigns, Alabama’s sheriffs often turn their attention to undermining their successors in ways that abuse the public trust. On his way out the door, one sheriff drilled holes in government-issued cell phones, while another pocketed public money intended to feed inmates. The ousted leaders dumped jail food down the drain and burned through tens of thousands of sheriff's office dollars by purchasing thousands of rolls of toilet paper. These are among the findings of my six-month investigation into these practices for AL.com and the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. In June 2019, I chronicled the actions of nine defeated Alabama sheriffs, seven of whom allegedly destroyed public property, stole public funds and/or wasted taxpayer money after their electoral defeats. These stories were made possible by my realization that incoming sheriffs were often more willing to talk on the record about the bad behavior and criminality of predecessors who had taken advantage of them than they would be under other circumstances.
  • 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.
  • Newsday Investigation: Pathway to Power

    In a panoramic, 30,000-word narrative, reporters exposed the underpinnings of Long Island’s corrupt political system through the life of a onetime street hoodlum who would eventually own a castle-like estate that became the Island’s unofficial political clubhouse and the site of a startling attempt on his life. Drilling deep below decades of numbing public scandals, the project is the defining document of how local power works on Long Island, how the public gets exploited and why unscrupulous operators persistently prevail.
  • The New Power Brokers: West Virginia’s Natural Gas Industry

    As the natural gas industry in West Virginia has boomed, it has taken the state down the same path as the coal industry, fueled by weakened protections for the environment and local residents, lax ethical rules, out-of-state gas producers who cheat local gas owners out of their profits, and a century-old property law doctrine that lets gas drillers do whatever they want to get the gas, whether they own the land or not.
  • The death of Korryn Gaines

    These stories explored the death of Korryn Gaines after a six-hour standoff with Baltimore County police. Baltimore Sun reporters were able to shed light on the incident with stories about Gaines’ past encounters with police and social media postings, an exclusive interview with the neighbor who allowed police to drill holes in the wall he shared with Gaines’ apartment so they could monitor her movements, and another exclusive on court documents showing that police sought Gaines’ private Facebook messages and other account information. Reporters also explored other angles, such as the role social media is playing in encounters with police across the country. Finally, reporters gained exclusive access to the investigative file that provided a trove of information on how the standoff went down.
  • Heart of the Epidemic - West Virginia's Opioid Addiction

    Over the past five years, prescription drug abuse has become a raging epidemic in this country. Seventy-eight Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Prescription rates for oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone have quadrupled in the last sixteen years. Over five million people in this country are addicted to prescription pain meds. No state has felt the effects of this more than West Virginia. With the highest rate of prescription overdose deaths in the nation and the highest rate of use, this tiny state of 1.8 million sits at the heart of the epidemic. Driving these troubling statistics are the corrupt doctors, greedy pharmacists and negligent drug wholesalers who form the pill mill chains that indiscriminately prescribe and hand out pain meds for profit. With West Virginia serving as an extreme reflection of the country's spiraling rates of opioid addiction, CBS News set out to drill down into the layers of the state's epidemic.
  • Failing at Fire Drills

    This yearlong investigation into school fire preparedness revealed repeated failures by school, city and state officials charged with the safety of Philadelphia’s and Pennsylvania’s school children.
  • Potter County, Pennsylvania: Private & Public Drinking Water Sources Contamination by Illegal Chemicals

    Public Herald broke the story about groundwater and surface water contamination from drilling operations by JKLM Energy in Potter County that impacted private and public water supplies. Since our first breaking report, we have been contacted by residents who informed us that they were not notified that the local groundwater had been contaminated, continued to use their water and experience stomach and digestive pain and discomfort. County officials applaud the industry for being "responsible" despite illegal operations and a refusal by the company to release a full list of chemicals that contaminated water sources.
  • The Shale Bargain

    The Shale Bargain uncovered systemic failures on the part of state regulators to enforce environmental, health and safety standards for the multi-billion-dollar drilling industry. http://topics.pennlive.com/tag/the-shale-bargain/
  • In North Dakota Oilfield Spill Problems Worsen; State Officials Misrepresent North Dakota’s Spill Problem

    Wastewater - also called saltwater or brine - is a common by product of oil and gas drilling. Wastewater spills are a common occurrence in North Dakota's oilfield. Inside Energy looked into state data to find out HOW common, and then used this analysis when the largest saltwater spill in state history occurred in January of 2015. We found that spills were on the increase, and that state officials regularly downplayed or misrepresented the spills. While oil spills generate headlines, wastewater spills are more devastating and can leave farmland sterile for generations.