The Center for Public Integrity has won the National Press Foundation’s 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:

center-for-public-integrity“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.”

CPI’s exhaustive coverage of energy and environmental issues previously won the Stokes Award in 2011 and 2014.

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.”

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.

This year’s judges were Rod Kuckro, a reporter for Energy & Environment Publishing; Ronnie Greene, Washington enterprise editor for Reuters; and Tom Davidson, senior director at Gannett Product. The judges noted the strength of the 49 entries for the Stokes award this year.

The primary mission of the National Press Foundation is to increase journalists’ knowledge of complex issues in order to improve public understanding. The nonprofit foundation recognizes and encourages excellence in journalism through its awards and programs.

A complete list NPF’s journalism awards is here. More information about NPF programs is on our website. To support NPF’s work, contact President Sandy K. Johnson at, or make a donation online.