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 "oil spill" ...

  • 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.
  • 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 destroyed a small Quebec town in July 2013—but our investigation, "BOOM," shows the regulatory process has failed.
  • Tainted Legacy

    "Legacy lawsuits" have cost oil companies hundreds of millions of dollars in Louisiana to clean up decades of contamination after state regulators turned a blind eye. Landowners and their attorneys say the lawsuits are the only way to get oilfield polluters to clean up their mess. The industry says the lawsuits are frivolous money grabs, used by greedy plaintiffs to dig deep into the pockets of Big Oil. We revealed that after hundreds of lawsuits, and hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments and settlements, only 12 sites have been cleaned up.
  • Crude Awakening: 37 years of Alberta oil spills

    A multimedia series - including time-lapse animation, interactive infographics, photos, video and text - telling the story of oil spills in Alberta. The series, spawned by a months-long FOI quest, explores the nitty-gritty of the spills and data themselves but also analyzes the degree and quality of government oversight of a rapidly growing industry that is coming under unprecedented scrutiny. The stories told are both macro and micro - personal anecdotes and broader policy and oversight implications.
  • The Dilbit Disaster

    The 10 stories we’ve submitted expose serious flaws in federal and state regulations that are supposed to ensure the safety of the nation’s oil pipelines. These flaws are of particular concern right now, because the regulations are setting the standards for thousands of miles of new pipelines that are being built or repurposed to carry heavy crude oil from Canada’s tar sands region. U.S. imports of this type of oil, which is turned into a fuel known as dilbit, are expected to quadruple in the coming decade. The core of our reporting is a three-part narrative about a 2010 pipeline accident in Michigan, “The Dilbit Disaster: Inside The Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard Of,” which also appeared as an e-book. In the other stories that appeared during our 15-month investigation, we applied what we learned from that disaster to the proposed pipeline projects, including the Keystone XL and the replacement of the Michigan pipeline that ruptured in 2010.
  • Louisiana Horror Movie

    “Louisiana’s Horror Movie” grew out of our 2011 IRE award winning investigation “Hiding Behind the Badge”. That series ended with the guilty pleas of former Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Jiff Hingle and businessman Aaron Bennett. Through investigative determination, “Louisana’s Horror Movie” uncovered possible public corruption by a former FBI agent and looked at his questionable relationship with the Hingle. What led us to this discovery was a piece of “Hiding Behind the Badge” we felt had not been fully explored: the money Hingle made from the B.P. oil spill. Even after the initial stories were reported, we felt there was more there. So we kept digging. It wasn’t February of 2012 that we uncovered Hingle's ties to former FBI agent, Robert Isakson. We requested emails, looking for more information to connect the dots. We had to fight the current sheriff’s office for the emails and eventually got them. The emails helped us show an improper relationship between the Hingle and Isakson – now a businessman getting contracts from Plaquemines Parish. This series eventually launched another FBI investigation, this time with Isakson in the crosshairs.
  • Drilling Down

    After covering the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Ian Urbina and his editors were struck by a simple question: The Gulf spill highlighted the weaknesses in oversight of offshore drilling, are there any weaknesses worth investigating in the regulation of onshore drilling?
  • Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit

    The book examines the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig accident and puts it in context of BP's failures and maintenance lapses. It reveals how BP's culture of cutting corners led to the disaster.
  • Renegade Refinery

    Just weeks after the Deepwater Horizon disaster began, an analysis of inspection data obtained from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that two oil refineries owned by BP accounted for a staggering 97 of the most flagrant violations found by OSHA inspectors. Most of these citation's were categorized as "egregiously willful."
  • BP's Hidden Video, Oil and Agenda

    CBS News was the first news organization to obtain undersea video of the BP oil spill which BP had previously hidden from public view. The video showed the true magnitude of the leak which the government and BP had previously misrepresented, according to CBS News.