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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… ntegrity of analysis of new congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data. Spending by several others remained stagnant. Unlike last year …"

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 "Democratic Party":

"… way by lobbyists. Lobbyist Tony Podesta of the Podesta Group ranked as the Democratic Party’s top fundraising ally on K Street, records show, bundling about $550,00 …"

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 "Texas":

"… d. “That’s human nature.”    …"

"… rding to the analysis. Cornyn ultimately bulldozed Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, and several lesser-known challengers in a March 4 intra-party battle. Bu …"

"… t initially guaranteed. A June 2013 poll sponsored by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune, for example, found that only 54 percent of Republicans …"

"… lly guaranteed. A June 2013 poll sponsored by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune, for example, found that only 54 percent of Republicans viewed Cor …"

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 "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… ntegrity of analysis of new congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data. These new numbers reverse — at least temporarily — top lob …"

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 "ExxonMobil":

"… n Petroleum, Northern Tier Energy and affiliates of BP, Chevron, Shell and ExxonMobil — and $30,000 from Valero Energy's political action committee. Many of …"

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 "paint":

"… the problem: The companies that made lead pigment used in the old, flaking paint still coating millions of dwellings.  The industry could be on the v …"

"… ts to inspect more than 3 million California homes, and to remove any lead paint hazards that are discovered, at an estimated cost of more than $1 billion. …"

"… tury ago that lead is hazardous, and industry advertisements promoted lead paint as healthy. In 1923, an ad in National Geographic from lead pigment maker …"

"… “Lead helps to guard your health.” The next year, an ad from a unit of paint maker Sherwin-Williams boasted: “Cousin Susie says her health …"

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 "Chemical Safety Board":

"… lic Integrity story examined the causes of this backlog at the agency, the Chemical Safety Board, and the dissatisfaction with its performance among some in Congress, curr …"

"… his report doesn’t change the fact that after more than three years, the Chemical Safety Board has still failed to complete its investigation of the tragic Tesoro refine …"

'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 "ExxonMobil":

"… ” naphtha, a liquid mixture of volatile petrochemicals, occurring at the ExxonMobil Baton Rouge petrochemical complex a half mile away. Four hours earlier, E …"

"… s valve leak has played out again and again at the sprawling, 2,400-acre ExxonMobil Baton Rouge complex, which encompasses an oil refinery and a chemical plan …"

"… leases over these years; at its height, the facility averaged two a week. ExxonMobil Baton Rouge questions the Bucket Brigade’s analysis, calling it “likel …"

"… sions. Two facilities the Club sued rank among the state’s top emitters: ExxonMobil, whose petrochemical complex in Baytown has released 5.1 million pounds of …"

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 "Chemical Safety Board":

"… n five and 15 people, authorities say, and injured more than 160. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, an independent agency that investigates chemical accidents and issues saf …"

"… ng 11 workers and unleashing a massive oil spill. In both cases, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board — an independent agency modeled after the National Transportat …"

"… ransportation Safety Board — launched investigations. Like the NTSB, the Chemical Safety Board is supposed to follow such probes with recommendations aimed at preventing …"

"… bligated to pay attention to recommendations.” Falling productivity The Chemical Safety Board had a rocky start. Created by Congress in amendments to the Clean Air Act …"

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 "Missouri School of Journalism":

"… tts and earned a master’s degree in print and digital reporting from the Missouri School of Journalism. He’s also interned with Newsday, the Chronicle of Higher Education and …"

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 "ExxonMobil":

"… some of the world’s largest oil and pharmaceutical companies, including ExxonMobil, Pfizer and BP, and other special interest groups, such as the Koch Founda …"

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 "Environment":

"… 4.5 billion in fines, corporate guilty pleas to 14 criminal charges and an Environmental Protection Agency ban of the company from new government contracts, the …"

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 "Pentagon":

"… ugh to requalify for federal contracts at some point in the future.But the Pentagon might find itself scrambling if the ban is prolonged, since BP has been th …"

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 "City Council":

"… uality.The refinery expansion in Detroit had its genesis in 2007, when the City Council agreed to give Marathon a $175 million, 20-year tax abatement. The company …"

"… tate has done everything in their power to hold the company accountable.”City Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said he was annoyed that a Marathon representative faile …"

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 "Obama administration":

"… on was a result mainly of a moratorium on offshore drilling imposed by the Obama administration after the April 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst offshor …"

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 "Secretary":

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

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":

"… tore the ban on openly gay military members. Asserted in 2002 campaign for Massachusetts governor that "all citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of sexual pre …"

"… on and, as governor, opposed same-sex marriage when courts legalized it in Massachusetts. "My view is that marriage itself is between a man and a woman." …"

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

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 "Massachusetts":

"… tore the ban on openly gay military members. Asserted in 2002 campaign for Massachusetts governor that "all citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of sexual pre …"

"… on and, as governor, opposed same-sex marriage when courts legalized it in Massachusetts. "My view is that marriage itself is between a man and a woman." …"

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

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 "ConocoPhillips":

"… ationals that dominate the industry, which also include Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and the French-based Total.This latest ad attempting to link Romney to the …"

"… anies.The American oil giants Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips had sales of $434 billion, $236 billion and $231 billion, respectivel …"

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 "Bureau of Labor Statistics":

"… ents, the toll rose in 2010. In 2009, 4,551 workers died, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.The fatality rate rose slightly as well, from 3.5 fatal injuries per 100,0 …"

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 "Washington":

"… n of a nuclear explosion, and according to a scientific report released in Washington on March 30, they can now do it very well.The sensors, deployed at more th …"

"… 2002, and its presentation at the National Academy of Sciences offices in Washington was uniformly upbeat. Among the authors is a former head of one of the U.S …"

"… sive Test Ban Treaty Organization, gets a hefty portion of it funding from Washington, even though the United States is not a treaty partner. But it runs on a t …"

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 "oil production":

"… t refineries.The ad correctly notes that there was a 17 percent decline in oil production in the Gulf of Mexico last year. But not all of that is because of the adm …"

"… rates. The narrator says, “President Obama’s administration restricted oil production in the Gulf,” while on screen the viewer can see a snippet of an article …"

"… It’s true the publication Greenwire reported on Feb. 27 that oil production from federal lands and offshore waters declined in 2011. It added: “The …"

"… lands and offshore waters declined in 2011. It added: “The reduction in oil production was most significant in the Gulf of Mexico, where it declined nearly 17 pe …"

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 "Cynthia Efird":

"… But problems soon arose. On June 27, 2007, the U.S. ambassador in Angola, Cynthia Efird, reported to Washington, D.C. that CIF's "miscalculations of operating cos …"

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 "paint":

"… y hums day and night, churning out products that end up in everything from paint to the coating of aspirin.  The company was spun off from Eastman Kod …"

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 "Supreme Court":

"… licate issues of national security or the other foundations upon which the Supreme Court has recognized Executive Privilege.” Some emails already released in th …"

Plastics industry edited environmental textbook

By Susanne Rust

In 2009, a Calif. school district added new section to a textbook titled 'The Advantages of Plastic Shopping Bags'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Plastic":

"… untry. But despite the positive message, activists say there is no debate: Plastic bags kill marine animals, leech toxic chemicals and take an estimated 1,00 …"

"… to the 11th-grade teachers’ edition textbook called “The Advantages of Plastic Shopping Bags.” The title and some of the textbook language were inserte …"

"… dvantages. According to the teachers’ edition, the correct answer is: “Plastic shopping bags are very convenient to use. They take less energy to manufac …"

"… ic bags issues, we recommend adding a section here entitled ‘Benefits of Plastic Shopping Bags.’ ”He also removed a mention of Plastic bags a …"

'Model' workplaces avoid special government scrutiny targeting hazardous industries

By Chris Hamby

'Model' workplaces avoid special scrutiny targeting hazardous industries

Excerpts from this story referencing "ExxonMobil":

"… ile others are off-limits exists even within companies; oil giants such as ExxonMobil, ConocoPhilips and Valero own both VPP and non-VPP refineries, so some of …"

"… s facilities VPP certified.”More recently, an accident in August 2009 at ExxonMobil’s Joliet, Ill., refinery — a VPP site — injured two workers and rele …"

Fact Check: Permitting some fudging on oil stats

By Margaret L. Ryan

Obama official defends slow drilling record with selective use of data

Excerpts from this story referencing "BP":

"… ma administration has been issuing permits almost as quickly as before the BP-Macondo well erupted in the Gulf of Mexico.Problem with the assertion: Mic …"

"… ow-water permits issued in 2010, 61% of them before the end of April, when BP’s Macondo well blew out in the gulf. The pre-Macondo rate was 10 per mon …"

"… eepwater permits, wells that lie beneath 500 feet or more of seawater like BP’s ill-fated Macondo well. Those permits swelled from about two a month i …"

Pages