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 "utilities" ...

  • Superpower: One Man's Quest to Transform American Energy

    The book, Superpower, uncovered and reported for the first time ways that Tennessee politicians and Tennessee Valley Authority officials were working clandestinely to stop a major renewable energy project. Through interviews and documents, many obtained through FOIA requests, the book showed how incumbent utilities and their political allies could collaborate to slow the growth of renewable energy in order to preserve political power.
  • So Close, Yet So Costly

    The Great Lakes is experiencing a water affordability crisis that has driven families into debt and led to thousands of people losing access to water. An investigation by APM Reports and Great Lakes Today examined the cost of water over the last 10 years in the six largest cities on the Great Lakes - Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Buffalo and Duluth. In the past decade water rates have been rising alarmingly fast, sometimes as much as 200%. As water gets more and more expensive, poor families and communities of color have been hit the hardest. Government run utilities have issued over 360,000 water shutoff notices in the past decade, concentrated in majority black and Latino neighborhoods.
  • Tapped Out

    Through a combination of explanatory journalism, interactive graphics and video, the author shows why Pennsylvanians should care about their drinking water and what they can do to protect themselves.
  • Power Price Spike; State Takes Action

    In this half-hour special, the I-Team re-visits some of its more than 40 stories during 2018, investigating Maine's largest utility company and a mysterious spike in usage. Thousands of Central Maine Power customers said their bills doubled or tripled and they couldn't figure out why. The I-Team asked to see those bills and hundreds of customers submitted copies. The I-Team spent days analyzing those bills and provided the data and analysis to state regulators. Hours after the data was turned over, state regulators launched an investigation.
  • Lead Poisoning in Erie County and Buffalo

    Buffalo’s lead poisoning problem due to old housing stock and water utilities is getting out of hand. Investigative Post found that both the Erie County Water Authority and the Buffalo Water Board cut corners in their lead sampling programs for drinking water.
  • Ohio utility “bailout” cases

    Ohio utilities want state regulators to approve rate changes that would effectively guarantee sales for various power plants. Our features show why critics contend the “bailout” plans are a losing proposition for consumers in both the short and long term, despite company claims to the contrary, and how they would be a major shift away from current requirements under Ohio law.
  • CLOSING COSTS

    In an unprecedented move -- billed to cut costs -- Chicago Public Schools shut down 49 of their school buildings in the summer of 2013, leaving them vacant and abandoned. Late in the fall of 2013, NBC5 Investigates filed a FOIA request to see how much was still being spent on these empty buildings in utility costs. For months, CPS delayed and then ignored our FOIA request, and it ultimately took a lawsuit by NBC5 to finally get CPS to turn over the documents, They showed that taxpayers were spending nearly as much on utilities for these vacant buildings as they were when the schools were open. NBC5 Investigates also obtained secret CPS reports showing extensive vandalism at some abandoned schools, resulting in additional costs for taxpayers to repair the damage.
  • Mining Misery

    These stories established the deep human toll of extractive industries in India, a country where official corruption, a push for economic growth and a lack of environmental regulation and enforcement have combined to leave millions of ordinary Indians at risk. Our pieces told that story from three different vantage points -- villagers in the shadow of a uranium mining operation in eastern India, locals left at risk of mercury poisoning from coal mines and coal-burning utilities in central India and a group of college students from southern India who met a tragic end during a field trip to the country's north, where illegal sand mining flourishes.
  • City Hall Heist

    How a humble city utilities dept. worker stole $1 million from City Hall, with no one noticing. His fellow employees had no idea that mild-mannered "nice guy" Joe Phan was a millionaire and - relying merely on a rubber stamp, an ATM machine and a willing bank - was depositing stolen city checks into his personal account at the rate of more than $360,000 annually. Seattle Weekly dived into the story explaining for the first time who Phan was, how he pulled off a million-dollar heist, and how it could happen again.
  • 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.