Ross Reynolds talks with Dave Fehling, energy and environment reporter for StateImpact Texas, an NPR reporting project, about oil refinery accidents and what happens when they're criminally prosecuted.
In the months following a deadly refinery explosion in Anacortes, Washington, in April 2010, federal investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board were ready to issue urgent safety recommendations. But management at the agency blocked the release of their urgent alert.
The Northwest’s two main freight rail operators are complying with a federal requirement to inform states about the North Dakota crude oil they’re hauling, but they want the states to keep the public from finding out by signing non-disclosure agreements.
Louisiana's coast is disappearing at the rate of about a football field an hour. Since the 1930s, the Gulf of Mexico has swallowed up an area the size of Delaware.
You can see the water encroaching in Delacroix in St. Bernard Parish, less than an hour southeast of New Orleans. Here, a narrow crescent of land known locally as the "end of the world" is where the road abruptly comes to a dead end; in the distance, you see the tops of now-submerged trees.
Killer whales swimming in Prince William Sound alongside boats skimming oil from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Scientists report that orca populations there have not recovered and oil is still being found.
It's been 25 years since the Exxon Valdez ran aground off the coast of Alaska, spilling millions of gallons of oil into Prince William Sound.
The impact on wildlife was devastating. Cleanup crews poured into the nearby port town, also called Valdez, where an animal rescue center was set up.
"The chaos is incredibly difficult to describe or even imagine," says LJ Evans, a local resident who volunteered to help. "Somebody came back with the first bird — the reporters were so frantic, somebody got in a fight trying to take a picture of this poor little oiled bird."