The August 24, 2010 Webinar for journalists offered tips for better coverage of the Gulf oil spill and related issues. You can replay it online.
- SEJ Publication Types:Visibility:
The National Response Center, a single call-in facility for the reporting of all kinds of oil and chemicals leaks, spills, and discharges, puts all the data online in a form than can be queried or downloaded.
A round-up of resources: from the recent Enbridge spill in Michigan to multiple spills over time by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline; hearings of the US House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials; availability of pipeline maps; Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration info on safety standards, inspections, stakeholder communications; and much more.
The Center for Biological Diversity requested documents from the Department of the Interior on May 18, 2010, but received no response.Topics on the Beat:
An ex-BP security contractor hired to shoo reporters off of public beaches claims he was fired by BP after he took pictures of equations showing how dispersants were being used in the Gulf.
After hearing for years about public concern over the adverse health and environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing used to increase production of natural gas, US EPA has begun a process (including 4 public meetings in July; CO, NY, PA, TX) to decide what the issues are and how to address them.Region:
The University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute's "Toxic 100 Air Polluters" indicates 4 of the worst 12 air polluters are petroleum companies. You can use this resource to look at other groupings of companies, such as utilities, or drug, chemical, or metals manufacturers, or to look at any of the individual companies.
A big fraction of the leaks and spills involved not merely oil, but produced water containing hydraulic fracturing fluid. You'll find lots of useful data on the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission website.
Every spill report coming in to the NRC goes into a database which is, for the most part, publicly accessible. You can query the database online, or download it for use in your own computer-assisted reporting project.
There will be scores of angles to cover as the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster continues to unfold. One of the books compiled by the Association of American University Presses may provide you insight on an oil-related issue, in fields such as economics, politics, international relations, sociology, environment, and technology.