The Lever is taking the week off to rest and recuperate, so that in the months to come we are in the best shape possible to hold power accountable. In the meantime, we’re leaving you with a lot to read.

Below, we highlight three of our best longform stories from the past few months, to help you pass the time during the long summer days.

We’ll be back next week to uncover the inner workings of money and power in the U.S. Until then, enjoy.

An Audacious Fossil Fuel Scheme In Utah

Private financiers and fossil fuel drillers in Utah are planning to run crude oil trains along the fragile banks of the Colorado River — and vying for public money to lay new tracks. Back in May, Lever reporter Julia Rock investigated the corporate interests pushing the new rail project forward. In this long read, she talks with activists and insiders about why this project could be disastrous for the American West.

Read More: Biden Admin Boosts Big Oil’s Colorado River Scheme

Learn All Our Investigative Tricks

Score a copy of our Citizens’ Guide to Following the Money and Holding the Powerful Accountable, free with a paid subscription. The e-book gives you all the tools and tricks our reporting team uses to scrutinize power.


Among The Union Busters

At a gathering of the National Restaurant Association (NRA)’s legal arm, lawyers and executives grappled with a worker uprising. The restaurant industry has long coordinated its efforts to suppress labor costs through the NRA, a multimillion-dollar lobbying machine funded by its restaurant members and the fees workers pay for mandatory food-safety classes. Julia Rock attended the conference to understand the state of union busting in an industry that has long been hostile to worker organizing.

Read More: Fear And Loathing Among The Union Busters

The Secret Bank Heist

There’s a major bank heist afoot — and you’re the target. In an eye-opening exposé, David Sirota lays out how banks are making billions off the yawning gap between the paltry rates they pay you in interest and the much higher rates they earn from other institutions when they loan out your money. Since 2019, depositors have missed out on more than $290 billion worth of interest they might have earned at other banks or in different financial vehicles. And thanks to the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates, that gap keeps getting bigger.

Read More: The Great Bank Robbery Of 2023