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 "fracking" ...

  • Flood-related spills ignored by TX officials

    The El Paso Times exposed the fact that even though they had civil-air patrol photos of them, Texas officials have mostly ignored scores of spills of oil and fracking fluid during severe floods in recent years. When they reported on the photos, which were posted on an obscure government website, the Texas Department of Public Safety ended public access to them. After subsequent reporting and editorializing, officials returned them to public view. They obtained and analyzed scores of regulatory reports to rebut regulators' claims that they respond to every spill. The problematic responses to the spills, however, continue.
  • Seismic Denial

    Despite growing scientific evidence, Texas won't admit that fracking wastewater is causing earthquakes. Why?
  • Complaint Report

    After a 30-month analysis, a Public Herald investigation into fracking complaints uncovered 9 ways officials at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) kept drinking water contamination across Pennsylvania “off the books” since 2004.
  • Deep Inside the Wild World of China’s Fracking Boom

    Mother Jones' Jaeah Lee and Climate Desk's James West traveled to central China and uncovered alarming trends with global consequences. The duo reveals how as China, as it aims to wean itself from coal, has called on multinational oil and gas giants to help tap into its vast natural gas resources. As fracking technology crosses over from the fields of Pennsylvania to the mountains of Sichuan, so have questions about its risks and consequences. The practice, which has been linked to contaminated water, methane leaks, and earthquakes in the United States, may pose greater risks in China, given what one expert describes as a "pollute first, clean up later" mentality. Their yearlong investigation includes a five-part video series complete with data visualizations and charts, expert and insider perspectives, and rich, on-the-ground documentary footage.
  • Danger Zone

    The expansion of oil and gas drilling in the United States has turned the world's energy economy upside down. For the first time in 20 years, the country is producing more oil than it imports. The rapid increase in production, driven by hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," has also started a passionate argument about safety and environmental protection. But the drilling industry's status as one of the most dangerous in the country for workers is often overlooked. It's rarely mentioned, even though many of the threats to workers, such as explosions and toxic gases, also present a threat to the general public.
  • Boom in Oil and Traffic Deaths

    Nationwide, oilfield workers are far more likely to die on the road than other workers. Meanwhile, Texas has become the deadliest state in total traffic fatalities during the last five years. The rise in deaths are taking place during the state’s boom in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." This series explores why there are so many oilfield-related traffic deaths and the impact on loved ones left behind.
  • Crude oil in Pittsburgh

    North America is now one of the biggest producers of crude oil in the world, partly because of fracking in North Dakota and other Western states. With a lack of pipelines in place to move the oil, much of it has been pushed onto the rails. Much of that oil is moved in tank cars found to spill their loads when accidents occur. With the increased traffic, accidents have piled up across North America. Refineries processing much of the crude from the Bakken formation in the West are in the Philadelphia area. In May, the federal government told the railroads to give that information to states where they shipped large quantities of crude. Many states made the information public, but Pennsylvania was one of the states that opted out, citing that the information was “confidential” and “proprietary” to railroads. The state emergency response agency denied our public records requests (as well as other news agencies requests) for the information. PublicSource wanted to show people where trains were traveling in Pittsburgh and the potential affected population living around those lines.
  • Big Oil, Bad Air

    Texas lies at the epicenter of the nation’s hydraulic fracturing – fracking – boom. What began in the Barnett Shale of North Texas 15 years ago has spread to the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas and across the United States, to include regions unaccustomed to dealing with the fossil fuel industry. Until early 2014, the national media had paid little attention to the frenzy of drilling in the Eagle Ford, one of the most active shale plays in the world. It seemed the right place for us to explore a little-discussed yet critical aspect of the boom: toxic air emissions associated with wells, compressor stations and processing plants.
  • Drilling for Billions

    This series of stories focuses on the potential economic boost and environmental impact of extracting oil from Monterey Shale in Central California. To explore the topic 17 News traveled to western North Dakota to examine the impacts of their shale revolution. Experts in the piece explain the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or fracking is used in shale booms. We explore the practice as it is done in California speaking with engineers on the forefront of exploration. According to industry, KGET is the only station ever allowed to speak with Central California industry engineers about the widely talked about oil completion practice used everyday in our community. 17 News was also granted unprecedented access to AERA Energy's exploration department taking a look at information even those in the industry are not privy to.
  • Inside Chesapeake Energy

    Chesapeake Energy Corp was one of the great American success stories of recent times. But its charismatic founder, Aubrey McClendon, built his company on shakier ethical and financial foundations than anyone knew. A series of Reuters investigations changed all that, triggering criminal and civil investigations, a dramatic board shakeup and deep falls in the share price with each new revelation — more than $1 billion in secret personal loans for McClendon, his undisclosed $200-million hedge fund run from Chesapeake headquarters, his plot to fix prices for oil-and-gas land with an archrival. These matters came to light in a series of in-depth reports, each documented through meticulous reporting that has gone without challenge. The coverage has been especially significant because of Chesapeake’s outsize influence over energy markets in the United States — where it is the top driller of gas wells, one of the biggest owners of land and the leading champion of the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.