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 "electricity" ...

  • Maine Power Grab

    A Bangor Daily News investigation found that hundreds of thousands of Maine customers of competitive electricity providers have paid $50 million more than they needed to for power since 2012.
  • 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.
  • Panama: Dam Promises or Dam Lies?

    Panama is embracing its role as one of Latin America’s fastest growing economy by undertaking massive infrastructure projects, such as the expansion of the Panama Canal and a metro in Panama City. However, as these projects develop Panama is on the brink of exceeding their electricity capacity. To address the national crisis the country is investing in the Barro Blanco hydroelectric dam in Western Panama. The completion of the dam is expected to result in cheaper and more sustainable energy by reducing dependence on fossil fuels. However, not everybody is optimistic about the prospects of the dam. Standing in the way of the project is Panama’s largest indigenous group, the Ngäbe-Buglé. Even though the dam is not being built inside their semi-autonomous region, they say its reservoir threatens their way of life.
  • The Long Island Power Authority

    Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast in late October, leaving much of Long Island damaged by the most severe flooding in memory and wind gusts reaching 96 miles an hour. A total of 90 percent of the Long Island Power Authority’s 1.1 million customers lost electricity -- tens of thousands of them for weeks.
  • Power Brokers

    The story investigates what lead to the passage of the disastrous electricity deregulation law in Montana.
  • Sabotaging the System

    This story includes the “first confirmed account of a successful cyber attack against an electric utility company, resulting in major blackouts that lasted for days”. The electric grid not only supplies electricity but also keeps water, telephones, trains, and air traffic control up and running. Also in the U.S., government agencies, defense contractors, and banks are hacked everyday by foreign spy agencies.
  • "130 Million Tons of Waste"

    When coal is burned for electricity, it produces a byproduct called coal ash. "Every year, 130 million tons" of the ash is produced. It's "one of the largest waste-streams in the U.S.," and currently, there is little to no federal oversight. This report focuses on two major coal ash spills have occurred in the U.S. One of the spills caused "two communities to lose access to clean drinking water."
  • Energy Star Has Lost Some Luster

    The Energy Star program was started by the federal government to help consumers save energy but it has become outdated and manufacturers are using loopholes to bump up their energy efficiency scores.
  • Fly Ash: Coal-Fired Dilemma

    This series of stories showed how a virtually unknown state environmental policy, blessed by the EPA, let developers sculpt an 18-hole golf course with 1.5 million tons of "fly ash," a contaminant-laden residue left from the burning of coal for electricity, posing a threat to the wells of adjacent homeowners. Fly ash contains heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury, which can pose environmental threats through air and water. Although the EPA has been studying the the environmental;ecological impacts of fly ash for decades, it has twice determined that it doesn't warrant classification as "hazardous waste." The result is that there are no national guidelines for fly ash disposal; regulation is left up to the states, resulting in a hodge-podge of policies.