The Scripps Howard Awards today announced the winners for the best journalism of 2012, and Elizabeth McGowan, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer of InsideClimate News were recognized as finalists for "The Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of" in the Environmental Reporting category.
The other finalist is ProPublica, which was recognized for Abrahm Lustgarten's "Injection Wells: The Hidden Risks of Pumping Waste Underground."
The Los Angeles Times was winner of the Edward J. Meeman Award and the top prize of $10,000 for "Beyond 7 Billion," a five-part series by Kenneth R. Weiss and Rick Loomis that tackles the question "Can we live sustainably on this planet, and for how long?"
The Dilbit Disaster explores the million gallons of oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River in July 2010, which triggered the most expensive cleanup in U.S. historymore than $800 million. Almost three years later, the cleanup still isn't finished.
Why not? Because the underground pipeline that ruptured was carrying diluted bitumen, or dilbit, the dirtiest, stickiest oil used today. It's the same kind of oil that the controversial Keystone XL pipeline could someday carry across the nation's largest drinking water aquifer.
Written as a narrative, this page-turner takes an inside look at what happened to two families, a community, unprepared agencies and an inept company during an environmental disaster involving a new kind of oil few people know much about.
The Dilbit Disaster is available as ebook, readable on any device, desktop, laptop or in a browser, for only 99 cents.