Aug. 05, 2022
Best of the Week — First Winner
Innovative AP team sheds light on methane ‘super emitters’ — invisible and virtually unregulated
It’s difficult to write a compelling story about a highly technical subject, harder still to produce a rich visual package on a literally invisible threat — but this all-formats AP team rose to the challenge, delivering an engaging package on “super emitters” of methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas.
The journalists took the coordinates of 533 known sites along the Texas-New Mexico border and painstakingly cross-referenced them with public documents to piece together the corporations most likely responsible. And because methane is invisible, AP used a specialized infrared camera to make mesmerizing still and video images of the gas spewing into the sky.
The package, as distinctive as it is alarming, received heavy play and readership, and had impact: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it was launching an enforcement action.
For smart, innovative journalism, and above all teamwork, Michael Biesecker, Helen Wieffering, David Goldman, Mike Pesoli and Dario Lopez earn AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner honors.