Five-state study finds high levels of airborne chemicals near oil and gas sites

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

A study of air emissions near oil and gas wells found strikingly high levels of benzene and other dangerous chemicals in some locations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chemical":

"… al Environmental Health — is “potentially dangerous compounds and chemical mixtures” that can make people feel ill and raise their risk of can …"

"… ti-well pad is developed. The agency is also conducting its own studies on chemical exposures that could be an issue for gas-extraction workers and people liv …"

"… nt years by pummeling rock with a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals. Industry groups have pointed to the boom as an economic godsend: jobs, …"

"… wn, Clark, where tests on the air samples showed high levels of benzene, a chemical that can be emitted by oil and gas production. The worst case was 110,000 …"

Pennsylvania congressman launches frack waste investigation

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Congressman Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, is asking state officials to review environmental exemptions for fracking waste.

Open pits offer cheap disposal for fracking sludge, but health worries mount

By David Hasemyer and Zahra Hirji

Air emissions from oil and gas waste are among the least regulated, least monitored and least understood components of the fracking boom.

Excerpts from this story referencing "natural gas":

"… pits containing oil field waste, according to the report. He could smell a natural gas odor, but said his breathing wasn’t affected. The inspector took an air …"

"… declined to be interviewed but said in a written statement that “oil and natural gas companies should be held to the same standard as other industries.” “ …"

Russian bank hires two former U.S. senators

By Alexander Cohen

U.S. sanctions against Russia are becoming a boon for Washington's lobbyists.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John Breaux":

"… day, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and former Senator John Breaux, D-La., are listed as the main lobbyists under the Gazprombank account for …"

Center for Public Integrity adds two new reporters to environment and labor team

The Center for Public Integrity’s Pulitzer Prize-winning environment and labor team is pleased to announce the hiring of two reporters.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Georgetown University Law Center":

"… nicipal reporter. She earned a master’s degree in the study of law from Georgetown University Law Center and studied print journalism at Hampton University. Her work has been rec …"

How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Industry has transformed the state, but at what cost?

Excerpts from this story referencing "attorney":

"… ssfully to have a grand jury examine the case). The other members are the attorney general, currently Stenehjem, and the state’s agriculture commissioner, …"

"… this used as part of the permitting process?” said Wade Enget, state’s attorney for Mountrail County, which includes Ross. “They didn’t really have an …"

Texas fracking verdict puts industry on notice about toxic air emissions

By David Hasemyer

A nearly $3 million jury verdict against a Texas oil and gas company highlights regulatory failures and health risks linked to fracking.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Dallas":

"… air emissions from oil and gas production sickened people living nearby. A Dallas County jury found that Aruba Petroleum, a privately owned company based in …"

"… her daughter Emma to live on his ranch near Decatur, 60 miles northwest of Dallas. Parr bought the land in 2001 and built a 2,500-square-foot house in a gen …"

Texas freezes agency's funding after air pollution data released

By Lisa Song

The Alamo Area Council of Governments had its funding frozen after releasing data linking oil and gas drilling to worsening air pollution.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Defense Fund":

"… ere was an ill intent” on Bella’s part. Craft is a toxicologist at the Environmental Defense Fund, a green group that often works with industry partners to reduce emissions …"

'Close your doors and go away:' readers react to fracking investigation

By The Center for Public Integrity

Reader reaction to our South Texas fracking probe ranges from heartfelt thanks to charges of hysteria mongering.

As drilling ravages Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale, residents 'living in a Petri dish’

By Jim Morris, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

In partnership with InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel, Center examines oil industry exploitation of Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale.

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

"… wed to self-audit their emissions without reporting them to the state. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which regulates most air emissions, doesn’t even know some of th …"

State supreme court judges reveal scant financial information

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Despite universally poor disclosure rules, Center finds numerous conflicts among state high court judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Public Integrity Commission":

"… on you have to file.” Janet Wright, former counsel of Delaware’s Public Integrity Commission, said the state agency does not post financial disclosure reports online, …"

Study delivers good, bad news on climate-impacting methane leakage from gas wells

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

A study released today examines greenhouse-effect-causing methane emissions from natural gas drilling sites.

Coal industry, Hill allies target fine print of Obama climate plan

By Kristen Lombardi

President Obama's climate plan, vital to his green agenda, is drawing close scrutiny — and sharp critiques — from powerful coal forces.

William Koch emerges from shadow of famous siblings

By Michael Beckel

William Koch's steadily increasing political activity has gotten relatively little notice compared to that of brothers Charles and David.

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… g along Pennsylvania Avenue about halfway between the U.S. Capitol and the White House. From there, Karen Knutson — who served as the deputy director of Vice P …"

"… rmer Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D.; and Kathleen O’Connor, who served in the White House’s office of legislative affairs under President George W. Bush and whose …"

Industry muscle targets federal 'Report on Carcinogens'

By Jim Morris and Chris Hamby

Chemical industry groups are pursuing hearings and legal fights challenging a government cancer report — part of a growing rift with HHS.

Louisiana sinkhole shatters calm, prompts buyouts on the bayou

By Ronnie Greene

A massive sinkhole roils a Louisiana bayou community — forcing many to seek buyouts, part of a U.S. trend of communities fighting to leave.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bobby Jindal":

"… buyouts from Texas Brine. Last month, after pressure from Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and parish political leaders, Texas Brine began contacting individual home …"

Sanford gets late boost from N.Y. millionaire

By Michael Beckel

School choice advocate Howard Rich gives Mark Sanford's congressional campaign a late boost.

Judicial seminar backed by ex-president of Bolivia

By Michael Beckel and Chris Young

GMU center accepted funds from firm headed by former Bolivian president accused of human rights violations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "South America":

"… in the “management of petroleum and natural energy mining operations in South America.” Records filed by George Mason University with the Administrative Offi …"

Tea party-aligned S. Carolina candidate bankrolled by Kentucky natural gas exec

By Michael Beckel

J.W. Kinzer's financial largesse boosts Republican Curtis Bostic in South Carolina special election.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Natural gas":

"… s" and expand "domestic production of oil and Natural gas."     …"

"… perate more than 2,000 wells in Appalachia's Big Sandy River Basin. "Natural gas continues to be an abundant clean-burning natural resource that  …"

FACT CHECK: State of the Union

By FactCheck.Org

The president spins his accomplishments on jobs, health care and deficit reduction.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal government":

"… e. The latest CBO figures show the public debt — that is, the amount the federal government owes the public — will approach $20 trillion in 2023, an increase of mor …"

RGA, DGA reap riches from corporate donors

By Michael Beckel

RGA, DGA reap riches from corporate donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Democratic Governors Association":

"… Republican Governors Association pulled in nearly $2.7 million, while the Democratic Governors Association collected $910,000, documents filed Thursday with the Internal Revenue Ser …"

Export push reframes debate over fracking

By Alexandra Duszak

Energy indepedence for the U.S. no longer at issue — exports would help industry's bottom line.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pennsylvania":

"… said. “I taught history, and people don’t learn from history.” …"

"… ion become energy independent and provide jobs and lower heating costs for Pennsylvanians. But with gas prices collapsing thanks to an unforeseen glut, energy co …"

"… the environment, and higher, rather than lower, gas prices, say critics. Pennsylvanians are “surprised, stunned, angry and upset” about the export push, sai …"

"… into underground shale deposits. The technology, which became popular in Pennsylvania around 2008, enabled drilling companies to access enormous, previously unr …"

Nonprofits, shell corporations help shield identity of ad backers

By Russ Choma

Underwriters of attack ads can easily avoid being named.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pennsylvania":

"… ney trail ends.Sometimes the chain is longer, but with a similar result.In Pennsylvania, a super PAC called Freedom Fund for America's Future spent $175,000 attac …"

Daily Disclosure: Chevron gives $2.5 million to conservative super PAC

By Rachael Marcus and John Dunbar

Oil company's donation one of only a handful from Fortune 500 companies to super PACs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Harold Simmons":

"… Spanish-language broadcast company Univision; $1 million from super donor Harold Simmons; $1 million from real estate mogul Edward St. John; and $1 million from he …"

D.C.-based governors' associations provide back door for corporate donors

By John Dunbar and Alexandra Duszak

Republican Governors Association delivers millions to candidates in states that restrict corporate money.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Governor":

"… 00,000 in 2010 to a so-called “527” organization called the Republican Governors Association, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The RGA gav …"

"… sion.A 527 like the RGA — and its Democratic counterpart, the Democratic Governors Association — is not regulated by the Federal Election Commission and c …"

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 "Natural gas":

"… production is expected to soon exceed its pre-spill levels. Natural gas production from federal areas has been declining for years because driller …"

Pro-environment group gave grant to conservative nonprofit

By Michael Beckel

Why would a pro-environment group give $125,000 to a pro-energy, anti-regulatory nonprofit?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pennsylvania":

"… k, former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, former GOP Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania and former GOP Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida.Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the c …"

Donor profile: William “Bill” Koch

By Amy Myers

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012

Excerpts from this story referencing "CNN":

"… lion to win an auction for the world’s only photograph of Billy the Kid, CNN reported. When he’s not playing sheriff, Koch is also an avid sailor. H …"

Big business prefers GOP over Democratic super PACs

By Michael Beckel

Corporations have made big contributions to super PACs with conservative groups the biggest benefactors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arizona":

"… Restore Our Future include Colorado-based Hallador Energy Co. ($100,000); Arizona-based Apollo Group, the corporate parent of the for-profit University of P …"

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 "United States":

"… gration: Issued directive in June that immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children be exempted from deportation and granted work permits if they …"