My colleague Jeff Larson made this very cool site that shows how many more gas/oil wells there are per state since 2003, and the relatively small change in staff to inspect them. All done with jquery’s flot.
Related story by Abrahm Lustgarten. Abrahm has pretty much been the journalist at the forefront of covering the important, yet under-the-radar issue of whether the drive for natural gas will threaten our water supplies. Essentially, the technique for drilling – hydraulic fracturing – involves injecting millions of gallons of chemically tainted water to crack open the ground to allow the gas to escape. Yet the process is exempted from the Clean Water Act. And there are currently no realistic ways to treat the billions of gallons of wastewater this drilling is expected to produce.
ProPublica’s complete coverage here.