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Pulitzer Works Look at Environmental, Conflict and Natural Resource Issues

News stories and a book dealing with natural resources, commodities and environmental problems have been awarded 2010 Pulitzer Prizes.

The Bristol (Va) Herald Courier won the public service award for its series on natural gas royalty laws and practices in Virginia. Many landowners leasing land to gas companies often found themselves unable to monitor or get funds from a royalty escrow fund, the newspaper reported. Staff writer Daniel Gilbert reported that as of October $24 million sat in an escrow account rather than being distributed to the leaseholders.

David Hoffman won the non-fiction book award for The Dead Hand, a look at the Soviet Union's policies towards highly toxic weapons of mass destruction and the problems that mounted when the USSR dissolved. Hoffman, a former Moscow correspondent for the Washington Post, not only detailed the diplomacy and politics of the arms race, but chronicled in detail the environmental disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power. He also described the problems the Russians had disposing of highly lethal nerve gas and biological weapons.

Michael Moss and the New York Times won the explanatory prize for describing contaminated hamburgers and other food safety problems. The series prompted a Federal review of food inspections.

The Washington Post also won the international reporting prize for the work of Anthony Shadid in Iraq. Shadid had won a previous award for covering the invasion of Iraq. Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post won the feature photography award for pictures from Iraq. Propublica and the New York times won for investigative reporting of medical responses to Hurricane Katrina.

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