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.
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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.
Driving this trend is mounting time pressure in many states for utilities to meet deadlines and quotas for renewable energy production, as well as the recession and federal tax incentives.
WDSU, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans (Channel 6), found that BP's highly publicized statement that it is not barring news media from witnessing the cleanup, or its failure, is in fact not true. See video of this and other examples, and get contact info for the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center if you've been denied access.
As the Gulf oil spill continues to spread and become a growing concern to more parts of the US, these key tools will help you tell and illustrate the story.
The changes affect only new drilling areas and may include greater consideration of environmental impacts, more public review, fewer "categorical exclusions" from environmental review, and more.Region:
Workers in the "Vessels of Opportunity" Gulf spill cleanup program had to sign a contract prohibiting them from talking to the news media or disclosing "proprietary and confidential" information.Topics on the Beat: