IE Investigations

More Recent Investigations

The Numbers Behind Our Clean Power Plan Video (Or Lightning Bolts And The Saturn V Rocket!)

This animation shows the levelized cost of energy for new power sources, in 2015 dollars per MWh. Data is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook, 2010 to 2016. Values have been adjusted for inflation. This chart shows advanced coal with carbon capture and storage, advanced combined cycle natural gas with carbon capture and storage, hydroelectric, advanced nuclear, solar PV, and onshore wind. For more technologies (i.e. natural gas combustion turbines, offshore wind, concentrating solar), see this table.

Inside Energy recently made a video about what the Clean Power Plan means for you. In that video, we used a lot of numbers: 98 quadrillion Btu (the total energy used in the United States last year), 100 lightning bolts (the amount of energy each American used last year…ish), 150,000 (the number of people employed in the U.S. Coal industry), and more. In the video, we had mere seconds to share those numbers. But at Inside Energy, we like to get real nerdy about energy. So we’re sharing the stories behind those numbers. Continue Reading →

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Coal Clean Up, Texas Style

Three Oaks Mine is permitted to operate on nearly 16,000 acres.

As coal companies go bankrupt there is growing concern and uncertainty over who will pay to clean up those mines. But Texas has been there before. In 2014, the state’s largest coal company filed for bankruptcy with over $1 billion in outstanding cleanup costs. Now, more than two years later, this case is held up an example of what works.
Continue Reading →

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Why Everyone In Colorado Is Fighting Over Your Signature

Chris Goodwin is being paid $13 an hour to collect signatures for two oil and gas related ballot initiatives.

In Colorado, the race is on to gather enough signatures to get two controversial oil and gas related initiatives onto the ballot by the August 8th deadline. Contributions to groups both for and against these measures have skyrocketed over the past few weeks. Campaigns on the ground are heating up. Continue Reading →

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Mysterious Gas Leak In A Town Surrounded By Wells

A pumpjack near Rozet, WY. April 12th, 2015.

The search is continuing for the source of a gas leak that shut down the school in Midwest, Wyoming at the end of May. An Inside Energy analysis of the state oil and gas database shows there are more than 700 active and abandoned wells in a one mile radius around the Midwest school. Continue Reading →

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“Senseless Exposures”: How Money and Federal Rules Endanger Oilfield Workers

Truck driver Ryan Ehlis checks his tires before heading out for a night of hauling crude oil around the Bakken oilfield. Ehlis says being exposed to petroleum gas is an unavoidable part of his job.

Every day, thousands of oilfield workers are exposed to deadly petroleum gases — despite the fact that safer technologies exist that could protect them. Inside Energy investigates how federal regulations and financial incentives combine to put workers at risk. Continue Reading →

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Living On Top Of Forgotten Oil And Gas Wells

In the same Fort Collins neighborhood as this  active oil and gas well, there are supposedly several abandoned oil and gas wells that Inside Energy could not locate.

In many parts of the West, areas that are now houses and schools and shopping centers were once oil and gas fields. There’s little in the way of a visible legacy, but hidden underground, there are hundreds of thousands of abandoned wells. An Inside Energy investigation has discovered that in many communities, new development is happening on top of those old wells. Continue Reading →

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