New battlefront for petrochemical industry: benzene and childhood leukemia

By Kristen Lombardi

Jarrett McElheney grew up near a cluster of petroleum storage tanks. His parents believe benzene in drinking water gave him cancer.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgia":

"… voice over anything.” Maryam Jameel contributed to this story. …"

"… achloride and 1,2-dichloroethane, sparking a state investigation. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) found benzene in the water of …"

"… a 1991 letter to the company states, and requested further action. Under Georgia law, the company was required to develop what the EPD calls a “correctiv …"

Benzene and worker cancers: 'An American tragedy'

By Kristen Lombardi

Previously secret documents illuminate a 10-year effort by petrochemical titans to counteract damning science on the carcinogen benzene.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chemistry":

"… tute but has gotten $100,000 for a small benzene project from the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main lobby group. Defenders of the Sha …"

New air monitor planned for heavily fracked South Texas county

By Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

After a Center and InsideClimate News investigation, Texas regulators say they'll put an air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environment":

"… air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will install the monitor in Karnes County, the epice …"

"… ired air monitoring expert with more than 30 years' experience at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the new monitor is "a very general thing that's …"

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… than $3 million during last year’s second quarter and easily trumped the National Rifle Association in this regard — invested $1.24 million during this year’s second quar …"

Lobbyists boost Senate Democrats

By Michael Beckel

Democrats have outraised their GOP counterparts in terms of money coming from lobbyists doubling as fundraisers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ntage of his campaign cash from lobbyist-bundlers than any other member of Congress: 14 percent, or $357,000 of the total $2.6 million he raised. He next face …"

"… ion. Critics contend that bundlers have undue influence over politicians. Congress addressed lobbyists’ fundraising activities in 2007, requiring them to d …"

"… st Bill Paxon of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld — a former member of Congress himself — ranked as the most prolific fundraiser. He raised about $335,0 …"

How lobbyists helped build John Cornyn’s election war chest

By Michael Beckel

Lobbyists’ role in Senate GOP whip's campaign helped him avoid, in his own words, a “fair fight.”

Excerpts from this story referencing "JPMorgan Chase":

"… clients, including major companies such as Apple, BP, Coca-Cola, Ford and JPMorgan Chase, as well as trade associations such as the Business Roundtable and the Gro …"

Chemical industry among big spenders on lobbying this quarter

By Dave Levinthal

New numbers indicate it's still good to be a lobbyist in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… reporting more modest increases include the American Medical Association, Koch Industries, National Association of Broadcasters, defense contractor United Technolog …"

Pro-Vitter super PAC fueled by energy interests

By Julie Patel and Erin Quinn

A super PAC backing Sen. David Vitter's run for governor got most of its money last year from energy interests, new documents show.

Excerpts from this story referencing "David Vitter":

"… ison Fitzgerald contributed to this report.     …"

California cities seek $1 billion settlement for lead paint-related health care costs

By Lilly Fowler

Lawsuit says lead paint manufacturers should pay to remove old, toxic pigment from affected homes in California.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lead poisoning":

"… a problem that other nonferrous industries generally do not have to face. Lead poisoning, or the threat of it, hurts our business in several different ways." “I …"

Chemical board's unfinished investigations hinder agency mission, IG finds

By Chris Hamby

A backlog of Chemical Safety Board investigations hinders the agency's ability to help prevent future accidents, a new IG report concludes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "BP":

"… Christi, Texas, in 2009, and a 2008 explosion that killed a worker at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas — the site of a 2005 blast that killed 15 …"

'Upset' emissions: Flares in the air, worry on the ground

By Kristen Lombardi and Andrea Fuller

Residents living along the chemical corridor of Texas and Louisiana often encounter 'upset' emissions -- triggering pollution, health fears.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Texas Commission on Environmental Quality":

"… health threat,” acknowledges Larry Soward, a former commissioner at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, who served on its board from 2003 to 2009. “Upsets” occur when equip …"

"… ries, chemical plants and manufacturing facilities. Data collected by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, TCEQ, offer a rare window into this pollution peril; the state agency req …"

As critics press for action, Chemical Safety Board investigations languish

By Jim Morris and Chris Hamby

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which probes chemical accidents, is under attack for its slow investigative pace.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Hawaii":

"… cs. At a public meeting in January, on an explosion that killed five at a Hawaii fireworks storage facility, Steelworkers official Mike Wright observed tha …"

Center invests in finance, money-in-politics coverage

Top-notch investigative reporters added to Center's money-in-politics team.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgetown University":

"… adelphia Inquirer and Palm Beach Post in Florida. Alison is a graduate of Georgetown University and earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University. Given her flu …"

How much do you value longform watchdog journalism?

By Bill Buzenberg

How important is it to you to continue to find out about abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of public trust?

Excerpts from this story referencing "BP":

"… largest oil and pharmaceutical companies, including ExxonMobil, Pfizer and BP, and other special interest groups, such as the Koch Foundation, were payi …"

BP engulfed in lawsuit over 40-day Texas flare

By Kristen Lombardi

Two weeks before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, BP was involved in another major pollution case in Texas.

Excerpts from this story referencing "BP":

"… defined the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history — and sealed BP PLC’s reputation as a corporate polluter.But two weeks before the Deepwa …"

"… 11 workers and spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP was spewing a different kind of pollution — in a major case that has rec …"

"… gned to burn only during emergencies. The single “emissions event,” as BP reported it to the state, triggered by an equipment breakdown, lasted 959 …"

"… urt.Overshadowed by the spill, this litigation is also proving tangled for BP. As many as 47,830 residents, plant contractors, and nearby workers — mo …"

EPA slaps BP but punishes the Pentagon

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Temporary contracting ban may force the military to disentangle itself from its favorite fuel supplier

Excerpts from this story referencing "BP":

"… nmental Protection Agency imposed a new penalty for wrongdoing against the BP oil company on Nov. 28, but it may fall heavily on the Defense Department, …"

"… se Department, an unflaggingly loyal client that has kept buying fuel from BP since the company’s errors caused its well to disgorge nearly 5 million …"

"… many large ones it has with the military. It also leaves the door open for BP to prove that it has reformed itself enough to requalify for federal contr …"

"… t the Pentagon might find itself scrambling if the ban is prolonged, since BP has been the military’s principal single fuel supplier for years and col …"

Detroit refinery expansion adds more Canadian crude, brings more worries

By Jim Morris and Chris Hamby

A conflict in Detroit symbolizes a larger national debate over oil company plans to step up refining of heavier, dirtier crude from Alberta.

Excerpts from this story referencing "airborne chemicals":

"… t,” Theresa Landrum, a community leader and cancer survivor, said of the airborne chemicals that pour from industry in or near 48217 — including volatile organic co …"

Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

FACT CHECK: Stumbles in latest presidential debate

By The Associated Press

FACT CHECK: Facts take some hits in rough and tumble debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "BP":

"… offshore drilling imposed by the Obama administration after the April 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. hist …"

BP to pay $13 million for safety violations at Texas refinery

By Alice Su

Oil giant BP has agreed to pay $13 million to settle safety violations at a Texas refinery that blew up in 2005.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Labor":

"… ations at a Texas refinery that suffered a catastrophic explosion in 2005, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Thursday.The violations stemmed from a 2009 ins …"

Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues

By The Associated Press

Where Obama and Romney stand on the issues, from economy and education to taxes and terrorism

Excerpts from this story referencing "BP":

"… ent: Ordered temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling after the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico but has pushed for more oil and gas drilli …"

Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues

By The Associated Press

Where Obama and Romney stand on the issues, from economy and education to taxes and terrorism

Excerpts from this story referencing "Massachusetts":

"… of the law modeled largely after his universal health care achievement in Massachusetts because he says states, not Washington, should drive policy on the uninsur …"

Barack Obama

Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues

By The Associated Press

Where Obama and Romney stand on the issues, from economy and education to taxes and terrorism

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal government":

"… nted the Education Department shut because he came to see the value of the federal government in "holding down the interests of the teachers' unions" and putting kids a …"

"… andards of Obama's "Race to the Top" competition "make sense" although the federal government should have less control of education. ___ ENE …"

FACT CHECK: TV ad makes slippery claims about Romney's oil connection

By FactCheck.Org

Collaborative pro-Obama TV ad calls out Romney for his $200M 'oil connection', but the claim is a stretch.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Alaska":

"… ch’s Flint Hills Resources LLC, for example, operates refineries in Alaska, Minnesota and Texas, which combined have a processing capacity of 800,000 …"

"… efined petroleum products. Koch also has a 3 percent interest in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System through the Koch Pipeline Company LLC.But Koch Industries, …"

Fatal work injuries rose in 2010, new data show

By Jim Morris

The Department of Labor reported that 4,690 U.S. workers suffered fatal injuries in 2010, a 3 percent increase from 2009.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Occupational Safety and Health Act":

"… that reality continues to drive the work of the Labor Department. When the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970, the National Safety Council estimated that 14,000 work …"

Nuclear testers can run but not hide

By R. Jeffrey Smith

An expert scientific panel says that signficant, clandestine explosions are just about impossible.

Excerpts from this story referencing "BP":

"… Williams, a specialist in nanoscience who now oversees scientific work at BP. And while the science of detection has been advancing by leaps and bounds …"

FACT CHECK: Bogus oil claims by Crossroads GPS

By FactCheck.Org

Nonprofit group Crossroads GPS gets Obama administration energy policy facts wrong

Excerpts from this story referencing "Daniel Yergin":

"… ces are soaring is “mainly geopolitical,” according to noted authority Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of severa …"

About this project

A look at the reporting process behind 'Island of the Widows'

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… ein (CPI) …"

"… 2005 to 2009, CKD claimed more than 2,800 men each year in the region; in El Salvador it is now the second-leading cause of death among adult men.This was the p …"

"… heehy for Public Radio International’s The World. Sheehy is based in the El Salvador offices of El Faro, an investigative website edited by Carlos Dada, a memb …"

"… )Univision (television)El Nuevo Herald, MiamiLa Nacion, Costa RicaEl Faro, El SalvadorSemana, NicaraguaHoy, ChicagoAl Dia, DallasLa Opinion, Los AngelesProject e …"

China-based corporate web behind troubled Africa resource deals

What’s behind the high-flying conglomerate?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Hong Kong":

"… of holding companies and ventures connected to China Sonangol — and the Hong Kong and Chinese executives behind it. The probe uncovered a transnational netw …"

"… g companies incorporated in the investor-friendly regimes of Singapore and Hong Kong and offshore finance havens such as Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands an …"

"… iness modelChina Sonangol is probably the most public face of the private, Hong Kong-registered China International Fund (CIF), which has risen from obscurity …"

"… ncorporated in at least seven countries. At the top of this structure is a Hong Kong company, New Bright International, which was formed in July 2003.  Th …"

Deaths at ‘model workplaces’ missing from list of federal overseers

By Chris Hamby

OSHA unaware of some deaths at 'model workplaces'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Eastman’s Kingsport plant":

"… p;that we have embarked on.”‘A good company’Dave McMurray arrived at Eastman’s Kingsport plant on May 25, 2004. McMurray was the state’s most experienced inspector whe …"

House committee votes to subpoena White House over Solyndra loan

By Corbin Hiar, Ronnie Greene and Matthew Mosk

A House committee voted Thursday along party lines to subpoena President Obama's inner circle for Solyndra correspondence

Excerpts from this story referencing "Fred Upton":

"… aides? “I wish it had not come to this,” Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said repeatedly. The subpoena “is a tool we use sparingly, and …"

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