ProPublica

Congressman: US May Not Be Prepared to Respond to Nuclear Disaster

March 16, 2011

A Congressman and a disaster-preparedness expert raise concerns that the US does not have a coordinated plan to respond in the event of a nuclear emergency.

Disabled Former Cop in Student Loan Story Gets Her Debt Forgiven

March 2, 2011

The Department of Education finally forgives the student debt of the disabled former policewoman profiled in our investigation.

Education Dept. Pledges to Overhaul Dysfunctional Disability Review Program

Feb. 24, 2011

After a ProPublica investigation, the Education Department has promised to overhaul its broken system for forgiving the federal student loans of disabled borrowers.

The Reform for Disabled Borrowers That the Education Dept. Refuses to Adopt

Feb. 16, 2011

The Education Department has resisted a basic reform to its troubled disability review that its own ombudsman has recommended since 2008.

Interactive Timeline: Calls for Reform and One Borrower’s Struggle

Feb. 14, 2011

An interactive timeline follows the repeated calls for reform of the troubled disability discharge program, and one disabled borrower’s struggle to get her debt forgiven.

Education Department Bureaucracy Keeps Disabled Borrowers in Debt

Feb. 13, 2011

Borrowers who become severely disabled are entitled to get federal student loans forgiven.  But the program for deciding whether they qualify is opaque, dysfunctional, and according to government reports, redundant.

Gulf Claims Czar Makes Mixed Progress on Transparency Pledges

Jan. 11, 2011

Gulf spill paymaster Kenneth Feinberg has made mixed progress in carrying out his transparency promises.

Where Things Stand: Gulf Oil Spill Claims

December 28, 2010

A year-end review of the damage claims process following the Gulf oil spill.

Gulf Spill Paymaster Acknowledges Transparency Problems and Outlines Fixes

December 14, 2010

Kenneth Feinberg said he recognized shortcomings in communicating with claimants and promised to give them more information going forward.

False Attorney Signatures Cast New Doubts on Foreclosures

December 13, 2010

False attorney signatures on foreclosure documents could place thousands of court cases in doubt.

Some Gulf Spill Claimants Waiting for Months: Feinberg Blames Tricky Policy Decisions

November 16, 2010

Some claimants from the Gulf oil spill have been waiting for months without a decision, and claims czar Ken Feinberg says the problem is in deciding, ‘What should we do with that claim?’

Gulf Spill Victims’ ‘Escalated’ Claims Still Languishing

October 25, 2010

Claimants demonstrating financial hardship, who have been promised expedited payment on damage claims, are often waiting for weeks or months for checks.

Gulf Spill Fund Offers Little Information To Claimants

October 14, 2010

Acknowledging his operation should be doing a better job of providing information, the claims czar promises to deploy more agents in the Gulf to respond to desperate claimants.

Gulf Spill Paymaster Says He Has Eliminated Claims Backlog – While Claimants Disagree

September 28, 2010

Gulf spill claims czar Kenneth Feinberg says his operation has eliminated backlog of older claims, but claimants still report problems.

Obama Administration Criticizes Slow Payments By Gulf Spill Claims Czar

September 27, 2010

The pace of BP claims payments is called unacceptably slow, and the official in charge promises new procedures to speed up the program.

Frustrated Oil Spill Claimants Consider Alternative Compensation Fund

September 23, 2010

Some claimants, frustrated by the wait in their applications for funds in the Gulf Coast to be adjudicated by claims czar Kenneth Feinberg, are turning to a little-known alternative fund administered by the Coast Guard.

Gulf Spill Paymaster Defends Progress While Weighing Changes

September 15, 2010

The paymaster managing the claims in the Gulf oil disaster says that he hopes to speed the payments, but that many claims don’t have sufficient documentation.

Gulf Compensation Chief Retreats From Promises to Speed Claims Process

September 9, 2010

Just two weeks into the Gulf oil spill claims process, payout czar Ken Feinberg admits the promises of payments within 48 hours or seven days are unrealistic, and apologizes for letting people down.

New Gulf Compensation Chief Lags in Processing Claims

August 31, 2010

Kenneth Feinberg’s new system for handling claims from the Gulf oil spill is already running into delays.

As Gulf Spill Claims Czar Takes Over, A Checklist of Promised Changes

August 23, 2010

Kenneth Feinberg takes over as the paymaster for the Gulf oil spill, and has promised new rules to speed the process.

BP’s Claims Reporting Leaves a Fuzzy Picture

August 17, 2010

How well claimants are being compensated for oil spill damages is impossible to tell from BP’s numbers.

In Shakeup, Incoming Spill Claims Czar Will Drop BP’s Contractor

August 5, 2010

The independent claims czar for the BP spill plans to drop the contractor BP had been using and hire two companies to replace it.

BP Confirms That Thousands of Claims Decisions Will Be Deferred

August 3, 2010

BP acknowledges its decision to hold off paying many claims—and will wait for Kenneth Feinberg, the independent administrator, to take over.

BP Leaves Many Damage Claims Waiting in Limbo

August 3, 2010

BP is lagging on deciding the validity of many damage claims, and claimants may have to wait until after the special administrator takes over later this month.

ProPublica’s Unofficial Guide to BP Spill Claims

July 27, 2010

Seeking compensation for damages from the Gulf spill? Here’s our handy guide.

Mental Health Claims for Oil Spill Probably Won’t Be Paid

July 27, 2010

The administrator of BP’s $20 billion fund says he will probably not compensate people for mental health claims.

New Safety Training Finally Begins For Offshore Cleanup Workers

July 20, 2010

Prodded by OSHA, BP begins increased training for Gulf oil spill cleanup workers.

New BP Data Shows Payments on Less Than a Third of Claims

July 19, 2010

Many Gulf Coast residents with claims against BP are still waiting for their first checks.

Coast Guard Photos Show Spill Workers Without Protective Gear

July 13, 2010

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires oil cleanup workers to wear gloves, rubber boots and other safety equipment, but Coast Guard pictures from Texas show the rules aren’t always followed.

Despite Tar Balls and Health Complaints, Florida Beaches Stay Open

July 9, 2010

Beaches near Pensacola, Fla., are still open despite tar balls washing up, reports of illnesses of beachgoers and health warnings. Even the EPA chief says she wouldn’t swim there.

Two Weeks Later, New Safety Training for Gulf Workers Has Yet to Begin

July 2, 2010

BP still has not started a longer, more detailed safety course for oil cleanup workers on boats in the Gulf of Mexico. OSHA says it isn’t satisfied with the proposed changes yet.

Warning of Looming Crisis, Lousiana Calls on BP to Fund Mental Health Programs

July 1, 2010

BP has not responded to a request for $10 million to help Louisiana deal with mental health problems that it blames on the oil spill. The state health department says it is seeing anxiety, excessive drinking and thoughts of suicide in affected communities.

As Jindal Criticized Federal Bureaucracy, Louisiana Guard Troops Sat Idle

June 25, 2010

While Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been criticizing the administration for allowing red tape to delay spill cleanup efforts, CBS News points out that the governor has National Guard troops available to help.

OSHA Director: Offshore Cleanup Workers Will Get More Training

June 21, 2010

The head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the safety course for oil cleanup workers on boats in the Gulf will increase from four hours to eight. The expanded preparation will include training on chemical hazards.

OSHA Head Agrees: Gulf Cleanup Workers Need More Training

June 17, 2010

OSHA’s chief agrees with our finding that regulations on how much training an oil spill worker should get are out of date and inadequate.

Gulf Cleanup Training Ignores Advice From Health Agency, Official Says

June 17, 2010

An official with a federal agency that helped BP develop training for cleanup workers in the Gulf says the four-hour course does not cover important topics that were recommended, including some involving chemical exposure.

Experts: Safety Training for Gulf Workers May Be Inadequate

June 16, 2010

A workplace safety expert and a leading Louisiana health official express concern that oil spill cleanup workers in the Gulf aren’t getting adequate safety training.

Rise in Offshore Spills Raises Wider Questions on Drilling

June 10, 2010

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is merely the biggest and most widely reported of oil spills in the Gulf this year. The number of spills nationwide also seems to be on the rise, raising questions about oversight.

The Huffington Post Investigative Fund

How Nonprofits Won Special Treatment in Student Lending Bill

January 7, 2010

A little-known special interest group carves a major loophole in student loan reform legislation.

The Nation

Shell Games in Nigeria

December 16, 2009

Prospects for lasting peace may depend on the oil company’s dubious pledge to clean up its act.

Mother Jones

Cash for Thunder: Bolivia Demands “Climate Reparations”

November/December 2009

Bolivian president Evo Morales has a message for carbon-spewing countries like the United States: Show me the money.

Grist

Bolivia’s leader presses rich nations for climate adaptation funds

April 30, 2009

Evo Morales, the one-time coca farmer and llama herder who rose to become Bolivia’s president, is now wading into the ring of global climate negotiations to embark on his grandest crusade to date.

Americas Quarterly

Beat the Heat

Winter 2008

Floods in Mexico. Hurricanes in the Dominican Republic. Desertification in Brazil. For environmentally conscious CEOs, weather disasters sparked by global climate change represent both a challenge and an opportunity.