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Abrahm Lustgarten is a senior environmental reporter, with a focus at the intersection of business, climate and energy. His 2015 series examining the causes of water scarcity in the American west, Killing the Colorado, was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting and received the 2016 Keck Futures Initiative Communication Award from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Lustgarten co-produced the 2016 Discovery Channel film Killing the Colorado, and has previously worked with PBS Frontline, including on the 2010 documentary The Spill, about how BP’s corporate culture of recklessness and profiteering led to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. That film was nominated for an Emmy. His early investigation into the environmental and economic consequences of fracking was some of the first coverage of the issue, and received the George Polk award for environmental reporting, the National Press Foundation award for best energy writing, a Sigma Delta Chi award and was honored as finalist for the Goldsmith Prize.
Before joining ProPublica in 2008, Lustgarten was a staff writer at Fortune. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Scientific American, Wired, Salon, and Esquire, among other publications. He is the author of two books; Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, and also China’s Great Train: Beijing’s Drive West and the Campaign to Remake Tibet, a project that was funded in part by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Lustgarten earned a Master's in journalism from Columbia University in 2003 and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Cornell.
Nov. 22, 12:29 p.m.The EPA’s court-backed determination that greenhouse gases are a threat to America’s health and security might prove hard for a Trump administration to undo.
Aug. 30, 7 a.m.A little-known program under federal environment law is being used to permit oil and gas companies to inject waste into the state’s aquifers, even as the thirst for groundwater grows.
Aug. 17, 7 a.m.Experts fear tax deductions for water use as a “depleted asset” could actually worsen the crisis as rivers and reservoirs dry up.
June 9, 7 a.m.Dimock, one of many places where gas drilling boomed in Pennsylvania, gets a sobering take on the quality of its drinking water.
May 31, 7 a.m.A single relatively wet winter has led California officials to relax in a way some water experts fear is reckless.
May 20, 7 a.m.The water crisis in the West has renewed debate about the effectiveness of major dams, with some pushing for the enormous Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River to be decommissioned.
Feb. 8, 8 p.m.A maverick hedge fund manager thinks Wall Street is the answer to the water crisis in the West.
Oct. 22, 2015, 1:18 p.m.Patricia Mulroy’s appointment to the board at Wynn Resorts re-ignites debate about her performance during a time of explosive growth and worsening drought.
Aug. 1, 2015, 7 a.m.California’s cities need water. Its farmers have it. Could leasing rights to it solve the crisis responsibly?
July 17, 2015, 8:30 a.m.Despite decades of accepted science, California and Arizona are still miscounting their water supplies.
July 17, 2015, 8:30 a.m.As America’s west has waged its battle against water scarcity, some of its officials have been miscalculating to some degree just how much water is actually available. If states in the West keep managing water this way, we risk a water crisis even worse than we fear.
June 25, 2015, 11:30 a.m.Why do I keep hearing about the California drought, if it's the Colorado River that we're "killing"? The West's water crisis explained.
June 16, 2015, 7 a.m.The Navajo Generating Station helps move trillions of gallons of water over mountains, through canals, 336 miles into Phoenix and Tucson. But it comes at an enormous cost.
June 9, 2015, 6:59 a.m.“Use it or lose it” clauses give farmers, ranchers and governments holding water rights a powerful incentive to use more water than they need.
June 2, 2015, 7 a.m.How 40 years of unchecked growth may eventually bust Las Vegas’ water supply.
June 2, 2015, 7 a.m.Despite Pat Mulroy's conservation bona fides, Las Vegas' former water chief put the city's expansion above all else. Did she push Vegas past its limits? “I've had it right up to here with all this ‘Stop your growth,’” she says.
May 27, 2015, 8 a.m.How the Colorado was turned into a giant plumbing system.
May 27, 2015, 8 a.m.The federal subsidies that prop up cotton farming in Arizona are just one of myriad ways policymakers have refused to reshape laws to reflect water shortages throughout the Colorado River Basin states.
May 27, 2015, 8 a.m.What led to the West's historic water crisis? What can be done to preserve the Colorado River? ProPublica explores the situation, at a glance.
March 20, 2015, 5:11 p.m.An initial review of rules issued by the Interior Department shows the federal government has taken important steps to protect drinking water resources, while not adopting the strictest regulations in place in some states
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