Now I am not saying this story is perfect in respect to it's writing or it's content. However what I really do like about this story is it's scope, and the potential that it offers.
In terms of scope, the ability to see a way to deal with the problem at hand is there, the areas of greatest concern are well highlighted and the facts are well established and clearly differentiated from conjecture.
In terms of potential. Well anyone who feels like they really want to "clean up" the oil industry has an instant in. Be they students or already in the job market. Students looking for something to right about ethics, Environmental or otherwise, are well served. If they need to discuss some economic factors or issues in the current light are presented with a wealth of information and a very good place to start. Then there is the ability to discuss the perception of environmental problems. There are references all over the article for this. I could go on and on...
The New York Times did not make it in to my top three of sources for good stories, mainly because they don't have a single destination for all their stories on the environment (they have a blog, the "By Degrees" sub heading and several by-lines) but this story, I feel, just highlights my point that there is always a story or article out there related to what you want to talk about. And sometimes, as in this case, you have an article that presents itself as both a really good article and a really, really good source for much further reading and writting!