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Environmental Crime and the Media: News Coverage of Petroleum Refining Industry Violations

NCJ Number
Melissa L. Jarrell
Date Published
169 pages
This book provides an overview of environmental crime, and media coverage of petroleum refining industry violations.
The findings of the research indicate that petroleum industry violations are widespread; media reporting of petroleum refining industry violations is limited; the seriousness of the offense based on penalty assessments is the greatest factor leading to coverage; and that penalty departures were lower in predominantly African-American communities. Chapter 1 provides an overview of environmentalism in the United States; describes the nature and impact of environmental crime; explores the causes and consequences of environmental crime and injustice in terms of environmental and human impacts; and presents Federal environmental legislation and enforcement efforts, highlighting corporate and political responses to environmental crime and legislation. Chapter 2 presents overviews of environmental crime within criminological literature and of mass communication in the United States; explores the differences between the mainstream mass media and alternative media sources; and discusses the factors influencing media information, highlighting the political and social impact of mainstream mass media exposure. Chapter 3 presents an overview of the literature concerning the mass media and street crime; discusses the limited media attention given to corporate crime; and described media reporting on the environment and environmental crime, highlighting the problems associated with media reporting of environmental risk, harm, and crime. Chapter 4 of the book presents an overview of the petroleum refining industry and its human health hazards; and discusses the industry’s environmental compliance, along with literature related to petroleum refining industry violations. Methodologies and data collection are discussed in detail in chapter 5; limitations of the study are also addressed. Results, Discussions, and Conclusions are the final three chapters where potential solutions are explored. Tables, references and appendices