Thomas L. Stokes Award for Best Energy and Environment Writing

Neela Banerjee, John H. Cushman Jr., David Hasemyer and Lisa Song 2015

InsideClimate News

NPF judges selected InsideClimate News’ extraordinary work that revealed Exxon’s secretive scientific research into the impact of fossil fuels on the environment. A team of four reporters produced an exhaustive project titled “Exxon: The Road Not Taken.”

The NPF judges said: “The InsideClimate News project was one of the most significant journalism efforts of 2015. It disclosed stunning information: Exxon knew and decided to hide its scientific findings on the impact of fossil fuels on the environment. How could this stay secret for 30 years? The ground-breaking investigation by InsideClimate News represents a cherished tenet of journalism: to hold people with power accountable.”

The InsideClimate News team included Neela Banerjee, John H. Cushman Jr., David Hasemyer and Lisa Song.

Judges for the Stokes award were Rod Kuckro, a reporter for Energy & Environment Publishing; Ronnie Greene, Washington enterprise editor for Reuters; and John Walcott, NPF past chairman and adjunct professor at Georgetown University. The judges noted the strong field of 39 entries for the Stokes award this year.

The Thomas L. Stokes Award was established in 1959 by friends and admirers of the late Thomas L. Stokes, the syndicated Washington columnist on national affairs. It was to be given annually for the best writing “in the independent spirit of Tom Stokes” on subjects of interest to him, including energy and natural resources.


Other Winners of this Award


NPF Award Winner: Daniel Glick and Jason Plautz

Daniel Glick and Jason Plautz

High Country News


NPF Award Winner: Brett Chase and Madison Hopkins

Brett Chase and Madison Hopkins

Better Government Association


Lisa Song, David Hasemyer, Jim Morris, Greg Gilderman

InsideClimate News, Center for Public Integrity, The Weather Channel



An eight-person team collaborated on the winning entry


Jim Morris, Chris Hamby and Kimberly Leonard

Center for Public Integrity


Tony Bartelme

The Post and Courier


Thomas Content, Lee Bergquist, Joel Dresang

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Robert Collier

The San Francisco Chronicle


The Plain Dealer Staff

Cleveland Plain Dealer


Sudeep Reddy and Pete Slover

The Dallas Morning News


James Bruggers

The Courier Journal


Ralph Haurwitz and Jeff Nesmith

Austin American-Statesman and Cox Newspapers


Peter Eisler

USA Today