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Spill coverage reaches far beyond the Gulf

BP oil spill fallout

Photo by Flickr user kthypryn

Four weeks before my internship began in New York City, British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico killing seven people and beginning what would become the biggest oil spill in history.

Leaving San Francisco, I had no idea how bad the situation was going to get and I wasn’t sure of the reaction I would find over the whole debacle on the east coast.

A few weeks ago I was relieved to find a huge crowd of protesters outside a BP gas station protesting the oil giant. (Even though these gas stations are franchises and are run by small local business owners, not BP). Seeing people dressed as mermaids pouring black liquids over themselves, I felt right at home … except these people gave even San Franciscan’s a run for their money!

Here at my network, keeping up on the cleanup efforts as well as the economic and environmental devastation in the Gulf has been dominating air time since the moment I arrived here 4 weeks ago.

Even on the business side, our reporters are working diligently to report the many economic and business stories coming out of this. It seems like everyday another bit of truth comes out, or a new piece of information is available, and our energy desk is working hard to stay on-top of it.

I got a piece of the action a few weeks ago when I pitched a story that would show a smaller scale backlash on the energy companies by communities affected by drilling. I went to a small town in upstate New York that sits atop one of the largest natural gas reserves in the United States. The neighborhood is torn apart over whether to drill or not to drill. Some believe it can contaminate drinking water and poison crops, while others believe it will stimulate their economy.

Not only did I get to see upstate New York during the two hour drive and get the opportunity to work with one of our amazingly talented photo journalists, but I got to do what I love: report.

As the oil continues to gush out of the Deepwater Horizon well and I sit back helplessly watching, my package is hopefully expanding people’s knowledge of energy companies and their presence in American communities.

In ASU Biz Journalism, Energy | Utilities | Mining.

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