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 "petrochemical" ...

  • Houston Chronicle: Silent Spills

    A joint investigation by the two news organizations (Houston Chronicle and AP)found that industrial spills unleashed by Hurricane Harvey in Houston were far worse than publicly reported. Impacted citizens were kept in the dark about their size and seriousness. State and federal officials misled the public with repeated assurances that no health hazards existed. Six months after Harvey, Texas regulators had not announced a single enforcement action from 89 incidents investigated. Reporters from the Chronicle and AP filed dozens of records requests, unearthing long-hidden government-funded research and cross-referencing spill data collected from a hodgepodge of state and local agencies to determine the true scope of the damage. The vital watchdog role they performed highlighted a lack of will by Texas state regulators to effectively police the petrochemical industry. But its industry-friendly approach had weakened local efforts to build cases against the worst polluters, many of them repeat environmental offenders.
  • Hell and High Water

    The Houston area is home to 6.5 million people, as well as America’s largest oil refining and petrochemical complex. And it’s a sitting duck for the extreme storms and floods that will become more common as the effects of climate change become more pronounced. So why isn’t Texas — or the federal government — doing more to protect it?
  • Hell and High Water

    The Houston area is home to 6.5 million people, as well as America’s largest oil refining and petrochemical complex. And it’s a sitting duck for the extreme storms and floods that will become more common as the effects of climate change become more pronounced. So why isn’t Texas — or the federal government — doing more to protect it? https://projects.propublica.org/houston/
  • Comrade Capitalism

    In these investigations, Reuters revealed how Putin’s daughter secretly married the son of an old friend of the president; how Putin’s new son-in-law went on to acquire a stake worth $2.85 billion in Russia’s biggest petrochemical processor; how that stake was financed by a cheap loan from a bank run by associates of Putin; and how the petrochemical company is now benefiting from $1.75 billion in cheap state finance. While much has been written about other Russian billionaires, no one has previously succeeded in shedding so much light on the finances of the president’s family. Former KGB officer Putin has long claimed to be a man of modest means, a frugal figure atop the former communist country now plundered by crony capitalism. http://www.reuters.com/investigates/section/comrade-capitalism-2015/
  • Exposed: Decades of Denial on Poisons

    "Exposed: Decades of Denial on Poisons" revealed how, for more than half a century, benzene has taken an unspeakable and largely preventable human toll, while the oil and chemical companies that made or used the potent carcinogen knew it was dangerous long before they told workers or the general public. Over a year, the Center obtained and examined tens of thousands of pages of documents detailing the petrochemical industry’s campaign to undercut the science linking benzene to cancer, and exposing the extent of corporate knowledge about a toxic substance that has killed or impaired millions.
  • Awash in Risk

    In the shadow of the American petrochemical industry, hundreds of workers perform a crucial, dangerous and utterly invisible task. They physically climb inside tanker trucks and rail tank cars and chemical barges to clean them out. The men, nearly all black and Latino, come in direct contact with fiercely corrosive chemical leftovers and fumes, often working with scrapers and razor blades to get every square inch of the insides clean. Some say they do so without so much as a mask. Many have died. Generating data from scratch, frequenting truck stops, knocking on doors and collecting obscure business sources, the Houston Chronicle provides a first instance look at this previously unknown industry, cross referencing every found workplace with OSHA records to paint a picture of a labor that has passed mostly under the radar.
  • Bad Oil

    News 12 New Jersey became the first television station in the country to expose a serious problem: contaminated, potentially harmful motor oil for sale at gas stations and convenience stores. Testing by an independent laboratory with expertise in the petrochemical field found sound brands of oil for sale can seriously damage your engine. Some is not suitable for any car made in the last 83 years. Some do not come close to the specifications listed on the label. And in at least one case, the manufacturer is simply re-packaging and re-selling used oil. Following News 12 New Jersey's investigation, New Jersey's Attorney General has launched an investigation into the issue and has announced a commitment to get these dangerous motor oils off the market.
  • Cancer in the Navy Seals

    The Israeli newspaper revealed that "dozens of Israeli Navy commandos were struck with cancer" after being ordered for many years "to dive in the Kishon river...one of the most polluted rivers in the world" and even to drink the contaminated water as a kind of punishment. The reporters used environmental studies to illustrate the presence of hazardous materials - like arsenic, benzene, nickel, chrome and cadmium - in the river. The series also found out that the Israeli Navy knew about "the pollution and its risks" for 43 years, "but did nothing to protect its soldiers". Among the findings was the fact that Navy medical staff had ignored divers' complaints regarding various medical problems. The reporters added human-interest angle by telling the personal stories of some of the affected soldiers along with the political follow-up of the issue.
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    Times-Picayune (New Orleans) reports on the ecological toll that the oil and petrochemical industry has had on the state of Louisiana, including air and water pollution, 1991.
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    Houston Post reveals that too much petrochemical traffic and too little Coast Guard supervision in the Port of Houston results in dangerous accidents and oil spills, Aug. 12 - 13, 1990.