Leo Bertucci covers energy and environment for the Victoria Advocate in Victoria, Texas. Prior to joining the Advocate, Bertucci served as a newsletter editor and news reporter for Western Kentucky University’s student newspaper, the College Heights Herald. Bertucci also wrote feature stories and previewed local events as a summer intern for the Daily News in Bowling Green, Kentucky. When he is not writing stories, Bertucci enjoys visiting baseball stadiums and eating hot peppers.
Beat: The local energy industry
Our coverage area includes an assortment of industry including oil and gas and petrochemical plants. We are a rural area where just about everyone is connected to these industries, directly or through a family member. We have aging petrochemical plants along the coast. Most are expanding, adding new processes and new employees. We want to do in-depth studies of the facilities, how old are they, what repairs need to be made, and how often repairs are made, what type of violations have been cited by the EPA and the state environmental organization and other groups and how have the companies tackled these issues. We also want to do follow up reporting on a local plastics plant that was ordered to pay $50 million in a court settlement after being found negligent by the courts of continuing to discharge plastic pellets into the waterways after they were ordered to stop. We want to do an in-depth look into drilling and production to see what type of damages the companies have paid for over the years and how many thousands of acres of pastureland and farmland are no longer available from grazing or farming because of production. We would want the corps member to become a specialist in these industries to produce accurate, well researched, in-depth stories on the industries and the people they affect.