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 "pipelines" ...

  • The Profiteers

    The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to “build the world,” from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe. Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively. Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom The New York Times called “a wonderful writer,” exposes Bechtel’s secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
  • Federal Whistleblower Program Fails to Protect

    From airlines to pipelines, they are the workers on the front lines who speak up when systems break down. An NBC Bay Area investigation reveals that the federal program designed to protect whistleblowers who raise red flags about public health, environmental violations and corporate wrongdoing, is failing to meet its mission. Insiders say that puts all of us at risk. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Federal-Whistleblower-Investigator-Fired-After-Blowing-the-Whistle-on-His-Own-Agency-332240782.html http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/OSHA-Dismisses-Majority-of-Whistleblower-Cases-Agency-Investigates-332258162.html http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/OSHA-Whistleblower-Investigator-Blows-Whistle-on-Own-Agency--293711041.html
  • 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.
  • The Invisible Threat

    This series reveals a threat that seeps into every nook and cranny of the United States. The country's network of natural-gas distribution lines, which is distinct from interstate transmission lines, covers almost 1.3 million miles of pipeline, some of it dating to the 1800s, Accidents involving those lines have killed more than 120 people, injured more than 500 others and caused more than $775 million in damage since 2004, a Tribune-Review analysis of federal records shows. Yet the location, age and safety of more than a million miles of those pipelines remain shrouded in secrecy. Not even government regulators and emergency responders have pipeline maps.
  • 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.
  • Are Our Pipelines Safe?

    A look at whether or not D.C.'s largest utility company, Washington Gas, neglects natural gas leaks, putting the public at risk.
  • The Taliban Pipeline

    The LA Times revealed underground pipelines for arms, money, toxic chemicals and operatives into Afghanistan for military and terrorism operations. They provided detailed information on these pipelines such as documents revealing how it worked and who ran it.
  • Pipelines: The invisible danger

    In a four-part investigative series American-Statesmen examines "the operation and regulation of some of the most profitable companies in America, those that operate pipelines carrying oil, gasoline, fuel oil, natural gas and other hazardous materials." The reporting team reveals the dangerous - and at times deadly - condition of the pipelines the American industry uses to transport crude oil and natural gas. The stories point to statistics showing that from 1984 through 2000 a total of 366 people have died in the USA as a result of pipeline leaks and explosions. Inspections have showed that one inactive pipeline, which passes through the populated area of Austin, has had "4,000 anomalies" caused by weak steel skin. Texas is notorious for the highest death toll, since it is the state with the most miles of pipelines. The follow-up editorials focus on the need for reforms, and suggest new federal and state regulation that would improve pipeline safety.
  • The Killing Fields

    In fuel-rich Nigeria, the people and the environment pay for the harvest of gas and oil. Of the most deadly consequences are explosions brought on by leaking gas pipelines, sometimes sabotaged by Nigerians looking for gas to sell on the black market. Oil spills have also devastated certain communities with their polluted aftermath.
  • Explosive Issue: Gas-Pipeline Tragedies Have Energy Industry, Regulators Under Fire

    "The U.S. agency that inspects pipelines, federal officials say, lacks trained manpower, reliable data on accidents and the will to crack down on unsafe practices before deadly blasts occur. The pipeline industry has resisted calls from the National Transportation Safety Board and others for mandatory periodic inspections of pipelines and national employee-training standards. Meanwhile, the nation's pipelines continue to age, many of them now more than 50 years old and too narrow to accommodate the probes sent through pipes to inspect them internally for defects."