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Abrahm Lustgarten and Joaquin Sapien

Abrahm Lustgarten and Joaquin Sapien 2009


The National Press Foundation has awarded the 2009 Stokes Award for Best Energy Writing to ProPublica reporters Abrahm Lustgarten and Joaquin Sapien for their masterful job of investigative reporting and writing about an increasingly popular method of natural gas drilling known as hydraulic fracturing. The work was showcased in ProPublica’s print and online editions in a series that continued for much of 2009. The stories linked more than 1,000 cases of water contamination to places where hydraulic fracturing had taken place. It raised some of the first questions about whether the process, and the chemicals used, were the cause.

NPF’s judges felt the series clearly explains a complex process that most readers likely had never heard of. It makes clear that government oversight is limited by law and budget, and that the risks and damage are real. It also explores legislative remedies and the obstacles to passage. The judges were impressed by ProPublica’s detailed reporting, clear explanatory writing and dynamic online presentation, including an audio slide show, graphics and excellent photos, also shot by Lustgarten.

Other Winners of this Award

2015NPF Award Winner: Charlie Rose

Charlie Rose

CBS This Morning and Charlie Rose

2015NPF Award Winner: Diane Rehm

Diane Rehm


2015NPF Award Winner: Curtis Tate

Curtis Tate

McClatchy Newspapers

2015NPF Award Winner: Matt Fuller

Matt Fuller

Huffington Post

2015NPF Award Winner: Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

2015NPF Award Winner: Josh Salman

Josh Salman

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

2015NPF Award Winner: Liana B. Baker

Liana B. Baker


2014NPF Award Winner: Heather Gillers

Heather Gillers

Chicago Tribune

2014NPF Award Winner: Alexandra Suich

Alexandra Suich

The Economist

2013NPF Award Winner: Kate Davidson

Kate Davidson


2013NPF Award Winner: Eric Morath

Eric Morath

The Wall Street Journal

2012NPF Award Winner: Daniel Tucker

Daniel Tucker

WYNC, New York Public Radio

2012NPF Award Winner: Victoria McGrane

Victoria McGrane

Wall Street Journal

2011NPF Award Winner: Donna Borak

Donna Borak

American Banker Newspaper

2011NPF Award Winner: Julie Wernau

Julie Wernau

Chicago Tribune


Jennifer Liberto


Stacey Vanek Smith

NPR, Marketplace Morning Report

2014NPF Award Winner: Gilbert Bailon

Gilbert Bailon

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

2013NPF Award Winner: Robert Moore

Robert Moore

El Paso Times

2012NPF Award Winner: Gregory L. Moore

Gregory L. Moore

The Denver Post

2011NPF Award Winner: David Newhouse

David Newhouse

Harrisburg Patriot-News

2010NPF Award Winner: Mark Silverman

Mark Silverman

The Tennessean

2009NPF Award Winner: Paul Anger

Paul Anger

Detroit Free Press

2008NPF Award Winner: Leonard Downie, Jr.

Leonard Downie, Jr.

The Washington Post

2007NPF Award Winner: Jeff Cohen

Jeff Cohen

Houston Chronicle

2006NPF Award Winner: David Remnick

David Remnick

The New Yorker

2005NPF Award Winner: Ron Royhab

Ron Royhab

The Blade (Toledo)

2004NPF Award Winner: Martin Baron

Martin Baron

The Boston Globe


Sandra Mims Rowe

The Oregonian


Howell Raines

The New York Times


Paul E. Steiger

The Wall Street Journal


Howard A. Tyner

Chicago Tribune


Jim Willse

The Newark Star Ledger


John S. Carroll

The Baltimore Sun


Mike Jacobs

Grand Forks Herald


Jim Amoss

New Orleans Times-Picayune


Ed Kelley

Daily Oklahoman