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 "Environment":

"… monitored for the peer-reviewed study, published today in the journal Environmental Health — is “potentially dangerous compounds and chemical mixtu …"

"… and director of the University at Albany’s Institute for Health and the Environment. In 40 percent of the air samples, laboratory tests found benzene, formal …"

"… terim chair of West Virginia University’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences and author of the study for that state. “Part of the …"

"… , a faculty emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh who served as an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official during the Reagan administration. The beginn …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Matthew Cartwright":

"… tate regulates the discarding of the unwanted, often toxic material. Rep. Matthew Cartwright, a first-term Democrat from eastern Pennsylvania, wants to know more about …"

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 "mayor":

"… : Are we doing what’s best for the students?” Along with Nordheim’s mayor and other angry residents, Wilson is trying to stop the 204-acre facility, …"

"… the corner from Oralia’s beauty shop to begin another uneventful day as mayor of Nordheim, population 307. After settling into her worn leather chair, …"

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 "Yukos":

"… eimburse $50 billion to certain shareholders of former Russian oil company Yukos. The tribunal said the government, in a series of actions starting in 2003 …"

"… serious due process violations,” had dismantled and seized the assets of Yukos and transferred them to Gazprom and state-run oil company Rosneft. Last m …"

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.

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 "Oregon":

"… icy is $500 to Ryan Taylor’s campaign from an Eileen Brady, of Portland, Oregon, who could not be reached for this article. Fuglie, the retired Democratic …"

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.

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.

'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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… l presentation of this story. This story has been jointly reported by the Center for Public Integrity, InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel. KARNES CITY, Texas — When …"

"… n Agency 18 times in the last decade. For the past eight months, the Center for Public Integrity, InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel have exami …"

"… ancial interest in at least one energy company active in the Eagle Ford, a Center for Public Integrity analysis of personal financial disclosure forms shows. “I believe if yo …"

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 "Maine":

"… their top state judges. They are Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jer …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "energy":

"… s release because 90 percent of the $2.3 million in funding came from nine energy companies, including Encana, Chevron and a subsidiary of ExxonMobil. The r …"

"… ecause they know they're being watched and measured,” said Bruce Baizel, energy program director at Earthworks, a nonprofit that advocates for responsible …"

"… ls, and cost a collective $18 million. The work is funded by EDF, the nine energy companies and individual donors. EDF selected the nine companies because …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… country from the impacts of climate change.” The president directed the Environmental Protection Agency to “put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our pow …"

"… on.” Referring to the carbon regulations, the spokesperson said, “The Environmental Protection Agency was directed by the President to issue a proposed rule … in a timely man …"

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 "Tennessee Valley Authority":

"… amounts of coal over the years to both the U.S. Department of Defense and Tennessee Valley Authority. This relationship prompted controversy when Koch’s companies began giv …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "head":

"… have strong industry ties. At a hearing in June, Jeffrey Holmstead, head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s air office under George W. Bush …"

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 "Louisiana":

"… daily therapy: The Bayou Corne that courses through this patch of southern Louisiana like a lifeline. Brown powers past the Tupelo Gum, Cypress Moss and Swamp …"

"… munity here in Belle Rose into a state of emergency: Assumption Parish and Louisiana officials ordered a still-in-effect evacuation as state officials scramble …"

"… ack. It was like quicksand,” said Patrick Courreges, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Natural gas filtered into the aquifer, a …"

"… hird of a mile from the nearest homes anchored on each side of Highway 70. Louisiana officials feared explosion hazards and “potentially toxic constituents o …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mark Sanford":

"… t-minute boost to the congressional campaign of former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. Rich and his wife, Andrea, each donated the legal maximum of $2,600 to S …"

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 "Butler":

"… zen seminars for judges between November 2007 and October 2011. But Henry Butler, the head of George Mason’s Law & Economic Center (LEC), which runs …"

"… zation made a mistake. “Petromina ceased supporting the LEC in 2007,” Butler wrote in an email to the Center for Public Integrity, adding that the comp …"

"… “inadvertently listed” on disclosure forms “in subsequent years.” Butler stated Petromina LLC gave the center $10,000 in 2006 “for a program for …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… Bostic raised from individuals ahead of Election Day, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of FEC records.  Six members of the family, including its e …"

FACT CHECK: State of the Union

By FactCheck.Org

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

RGA, DGA reap riches from corporate donors

By Michael Beckel

RGA, DGA reap riches from corporate donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pfizer":

"… lection haul were several large pharmaceutical companies. Drug maker Pfizer donated $250,000 to the RGA in December, while Eli Lilly contributed $150, …"

"… lly contributed $150,000 and Astrazeneca gave $100,000, records show. Pfizer also gave the same amount to the DGA. Among the other notable donors? Ra …"

"… kets and the BNSF Railway Company each gave $100,000. In addition to Pfizer, only three other companies have made six-figure contributions to the DGA …"

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 "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… Commission (FERC) to build a facility. FERC in turn works closely with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Coast Guard, the Department of Transportation and the states. If the …"

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 "Politics":

"… d with the super PAC it is giving money to.In total, Center for Responsive Politics data shows that 501(c)(4) groups contributed at least $10 million to  …"

"… of the very same post office box.Organizers told the Center for Responsive Politics that the group was designed with the help of their legal counsel, a lawyer …"

"… tion between the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Responsive Politics. For up-to-date news on outside spending in the 2012 election, follow our …"

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.

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 "Aubrey McClendon":

"… interests, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.Aubrey McClendon, the CEO of Chesapeake Energy, the nation’s No. 2 natural gas producer a …"

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 "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… ’s 8th District, it has attacked Democrat Rick Nolan for siding with the Environmental Protection Agency against a mining company. Nolan’s campaign has said the former congressm …"

Donor profile: William “Bill” Koch

By Amy Myers

Quick stats on the biggest financial backers of Election 2012

Excerpts from this story referencing "Koch Industries":

"… r of Charles and David Koch and one the four sons of Fred Koch, founder of Koch Industries. Unlike his conservative-leaning brothers, Koch has given money to candida …"

"… lion in 1983 after a failed takeover bid and later sued for more, accusing Koch Industries of stealing oil from federal land. In 2001, the company settled the lawsui …"

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 "Koch Industries":

"… but he does not own a stake in the billionaire brothers’ privately held Koch Industries.Oxbow’s interests include coal, natural gas and petroleum.Energy interes …"

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 "insurance":

"… t Supreme Court has upheld the law's mandate for almost everyone to obtain insurance. Under the law, insurers will be banned from denying coverage to people wi …"

"… e and low-income people will subsidize premiums, people without work-based insurance will have access to new markets and small business gets help for offering …"

"… will have access to new markets and small business gets help for offering insurance. Millions of uninsured are to be reached through expansion of Medicaid wit …"

"… they get sick. And Americans will no longer be denied or dropped by their insurance companies just when they need care the most. That's what change is." …"