Thomas L. Stokes Award for Best Energy Writing

Applications for the 2017 Thomas L. Stokes Award will open in January 2018.

Each year, the National Press Foundation presents the Thomas L. Stokes Award to a U.S.-based journalist for the best writing on the subject of energy. The Stokes Award was established in the spring of 1959 by friends and admirers of the late Thomas L. Stokes, the syndicated Washington columnist on national affairs. It is given annually for the best writing “in the independent spirit of Tom Stokes” on subjects of interest to him including energy, natural resources and the environment. The winner of the award receives $2,000. The subject may be any form of energy—oil, gas, coal, nuclear, water, solar, etc. The journalism may be reporting, analysis or commentary and can consist of one to three articles on unrelated subjects, or one series of articles or a project on a related subject. The entry should represent the highest standards of journalism.

The Center for Public Integrity received the 2016 Thomas L. Stokes Award for Best Energy Writing for its investigation into the nation’s worst fossil fuel polluters. The heart of the winning entry was a project titled “America’s Super Polluters.” NPF judges said of the project, which is part of CPI’s overall “Carbon Wars” coverage:

“CPI combined two databases to create a list of the worst of the worst polluters, producing a data-driven investigation exposing government laxity, coal industry indifference and the human toll on workers and communities. Methodically filing 50 state FOIA requests, the center also unmasked state-level regulatory cutbacks at a time many areas seek to rein in pollution.”

Honorable mention goes to E&E News for “Dead Seas.” NPF judges said it is “a compelling classic explainer that shows how missteps and misjudgments turned the salt lakes of the West into toxic dust bowls.”