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 "natural gas" ...

  • The Dallas Morning News: Atmos

    A Dallas Morning News investigation showing how more than two dozen homes across North and Central Texas have blown up since 2006 because of leaking natural gas along lines owned and operated by Atmos Energy Corp. Nine people died in these explosions; at least 22 others were badly injured. The News' investigation also showed how the state agency that is supposed to regulate gas companies in Texas frequently let Atmos Energy off the hook, even in explosions that killed people.
  • 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.
  • Boston Globe: Lawrence Gas Explosions

    After the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts was rocked on Sept. 13, 2018, by natural gas explosions that killed one young man, displaced thousands of residents, and cut off heat and power to homes and businesses for three months, the Boston Globe responded with dozens of daily stories as well as a steady stream of investigative pieces, attempting to tell readers exactly what had happened and why -- and whether the officials working to set things right were up to the task. Here are five early examples of investigative work connected to the disaster.
  • Atmos gas explosion

    “Atmos gas explosion” is a WFAA investigation into lax regulatory oversight and shoddy maintenance of Atmos Energy, a natural gas supplier, that puts millions of North Texas residents in continued danger. The series of stories was triggered by a fatal natural gas home explosion that killed a 12-year-old girl.
  • Invisible Disaster

    For 16 weeks, the potent climate gas methane poured from a broken natural gas well in Los Angeles County. It would become the largest such accident in U.S. history. It drove thousands of sickened people from their homes, spurred dozen of lawsuits, cost a Fortune 500 company hundreds of millions of dollars and set back California climate efforts.
  • Something In The Water

    For years, the state of Texas has said there is no link between water contamination and natural gas drilling. WFAA’s “Something In The Water” series has made it difficult for the state to maintain that stance. Our series, which is still ongoing in 2016, focuses on how a fireball erupted from a rural family’s water well in the Barnett Shale natural gas field. Our investigation found gas drillers not properly cementing their wells to protect underground water, and fudging permitting paperwork with state regulators. Our stories have prompted a board of top EPA scientists to now question whether drilling is linked to contamination. https://vimeo.com/wfaa/review/151843222/9cb971b521
  • 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 lurks underground from aging gas pipes

    A USA TODAY investigation, in collaboration with affiliated Gannett newspapers and television stations across the U.S., found tens of thousands of miles of aging gas pipes lurking beneath American cities and towns despite the cast-iron and bare-steel gas pipes being the subject of safety warnings by the NTSB, safety advocates and regulators for decades. The data-and-documents driven investigation delved into the make and safety of natural gas pipes operated by every utility in the United States, shining light on some cities with some of the oldest, leakiest natural gas mains across the United States in a national story, television package and a digital interactive that let users see the age and safety record for communities where they live and work, compared to national norms.
  • BOOM - North America's Explosive Oil-by-Rail Problem

    Emergency orders, safety alerts and sweeping regulatory proposals gave the public the sense that Washington responded appropriately after a train filled with North Dakota oil killed 47 and destroyed the small Quebec town of Lac-Megantic in July 2013—but the report shows that 18 months later little has changed and the regulatory process has failed. The story documents the extent to which the regulation of train cars is left almost entirely to the industry. And it matters now because of the massive increase in explosive cargo from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. That fuel is rich in volatile natural gas liquids. If a railcar ruptures—and if some of the gas comes into contact with the outside air and a spark occurs—the railcar will explode and act as a blow torch on the car next to it. With each car carrying roughly 30,000 gallons of oil, a single, 100-car train can haul as much as 3 million gallons of oil. Among the key findings about the lack of federal regulation: not enough government inspectors; little oversight of railroad bridges; state and local governments can’t independently assess the condition of local rail infrastructure; and meager penalties.
  • Up in flames

    This yearlong investigation examined the amount of natural gas flaring in the Eagle Ford shale formation south of San Antonio, and its impact on air quality and the lives of area residents. We were the first publication to use state records to show how much gas was being flared, and how much it was polluting the air. The major findings: the oil field was burning enough gas to fuel all of San Antonio for a full year, and the pollution exceeded that of six large oil refineries in Corpus Christi, Texas. We also found that the state failed to enforce regulations on some of the largest polluters, and that some of the companies flaring the most gas had never applied for permits. The state cited the companies based on our findings.