Energy Assistance
2:14 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Fuel Affordability Gap Widens

Patricia Wrice of Operation Fuel.
Credit CT-N

The gap between fuel prices and what low-income people can afford to pay to heat their homes in Connecticut has more than tripled in recent years. Operation Fuel, the nonprofit which provides energy assistance to thousands of households in the state, said the number of residents in need is growing. 

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Pull The Plug
3:11 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Drill Simulates Crippling Blow to Power Grid

Connecticut Light and Power will participate in a two-day drill simulating attacks on the power grid. The exercise is being staged by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and will include hundreds of utilities from across North America.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons, angeloangelo

As concerns over the security of America's electrical infrastructure continue to grow, Connecticut Light & Power and the United Illuminating Company said they will both take part in a multi-national security exercise this week. The drill will be run by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (also known as NERC) and will include Homeland Security, FBI officials, and hundreds of utilities. 

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8:45 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Heating Oil Dealers Condemn Regulators' Okay for Gas Plan

DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty and Governor Dannel Malloy.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Heating oil dealers said a decision by regulators to allow a massive expansion of natural gas usage in Connecticut will cost thousands of jobs. The state’s Public Utility Regulatory Authority this week issued a draft decision giving the go-ahead to Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposal. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:36 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Why You Should Be Really Afraid of the American Power Grid Going Dark

Credit Flickr Creative Commons, angeloangelo

The electrical grid has been described as the glass jaw of American industry. According to some reports, we’re just one solar flare or cyber-attack away from massive, cascading power failures. This has happened before. In 2012, a cascading power failure in India plunged around 680 million into darkness. And in 2011, some Connecticut residents found themselves without power for more than a week thanks to a freak October snowstorm. We’ll chat with energy experts about how to strengthen the electrical grid.

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Arctic Sunrise
2:01 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

No Longer "Pirates," Greenpeace Activists Charged With "Hooliganism"

Russian authorities arrested the crew of the Arctic Sunrise last month.
Credit Greenpeace

The main investigative agency in Russia says it has dropped piracy charges against jailed Greenpeace activists. Captain Peter Willcox of Norwalk and 27 other activists have been charged with "hooliganism" instead.

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2:40 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Greenpeace Captain in Russian Custody Speaks With His Wife

Lead in text: 
Peter Willcox of Norwalk spoke with his wife, Maggy Willcox, for the first time Monday since his arrest by Russian authorities on a piracy charge. This improves on her previous communication with him, which was an email saying the Russians were taking over his ship.
  • Source: Fw
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Nuclear Energy
11:46 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Britain To Build New Nuclear Plant, Bucking European Trend

A worker walks inside the turbine hall of the Sizewell nuclear plant in eastern England in 2006. The U.K. government on Monday announced that French-owned EDF would build the first new British nuclear power station in 20 years.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 1:13 pm

Britain has approved the construction of the country's first nuclear power station in 20 years.

NPR's Philip Reeves, reporting on the announcement for our Newscast unit, said the move goes counter to a European trend to phase out nuclear power in the aftermath of Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011.

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Oil Drilling Protest
7:59 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Connecticut Man Among "Arctic 30" Still Held in Russia

The seized Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise.
Credit Greenpeace

With Tom Hanks getting good reviews for his portrayal of a ship captain taken over by Somali pirates, it might be a good time to note that there could be a future Hollywood script being written right now in the Russian port city of Murmansk. 

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Where We Live
7:13 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Life With Cerebral Palsy; "The Israeli Perspective"; and a Connecticut Pirate

Christopher Capozziello
Chion Wolf WNPR

Photographer Christopher Capozziello has been photographing his twin brother Nick for years. Despite being twins, there was a major difference between these two: Nick was born with cerebral palsy. Chris was not.

The photography of both brothers’ is featured in the book The Distance Between Us. It tells the story about how both Capozziellos are living and coping with Nick’s condition.

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Something Smells Crude
11:14 am
Sun October 13, 2013

North Dakota's Delay In Reporting Oil Spill Raises Questions

Cleanup went on Friday at the site of an oil pipeline leak and spill north of Tioga, N.D. Officials took nearly two weeks to tell the public about the break in a Tesoro Corp. pipeline.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 4:25 pm

The handling of an oil spill in North Dakota is raising questions, after a state agency waited to tell the public it had taken place. A wheat farmer was the first to recognize the spill had happened; it became public knowledge nearly two weeks later.

Here's how the AP describes the spill's discovery:

"Farmer Steve Jensen says he smelled the crude for days before the tires on his combines were coated in it. At the apparent break in the Tesoro Corp.'s underground pipeline, the oil was 'spewing and bubbling 6 inches high,' he said in a telephone interview Thursday."

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Government Shutdown
6:36 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Temporarily Closes

Homes sit next to the Exelon Bryon Nuclear Generating Stations in Bryon, Ill.
Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation's one hundred nuclear reactors, has announced it will temporarily close its doors on Wednesday evening, due to the government shutdown. Safety operations will not be affected.

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Electric Cars
4:51 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Tesla Slips From Pedestal That May Have Been Too High

It's been a rough week for Tesla, but extra scrutiny is expected for the new car on the block, says Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:52 am

Over the last year of so, Tesla motors has received some really good press. But this past week, it's been knocked off its pedestal.

"We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals. We do that with people, I think we do that with things," says Jack Nerad, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

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Oil Drilling Protest
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Russia Charges Greenpeace Activists With Piracy

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm



Russian prosecutors have filed charges of piracy against 14 people who were aboard a Greenpeace boat during a protest last month in the Russian Arctic. Under Russian law, piracy is punishable by as much as 15 years in prison. Greenpeace says it was peacefully protesting the dangers of oil drilling in the Arctic and that the Russian government is violating international law.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow.

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3:25 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Northeast Utilities Will Outsource 200 IT Jobs

Credit Devcore / Wikimedia Commons

Northeast Utilities has revealed its plans to outsource 200 information technology jobs to Indian firms. The news comes after weeks of pressure on the company. Northeast Utilities employees had heard rumors that some jobs might be outsourced as the giant company reorganizes in the wake of its merger with Massachusetts-based NStar.

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Arctic Thaw
5:28 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Forum Discusses Arctic Oil And Gas Searches

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 2:52 pm



On the first Monday of the rest of your life, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm David Greene. Climate change is melting ice in the Arctic. And that is opening up the top of the world to drilling, shipping traffic, and also concerns about the environment. Earlier this month, Greenpeace activists were arrested trying to board an oil platform that's owned by Russia's state gas company.

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All Aboard?
4:34 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Malloy: Metro-North Should Pay You Back

Gov. Dannel Malloy on his way to a meeting of the state's bond commission Friday.
Credit Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy said he wants Metro-North Railroad to pay Connecticut customers for tickets they can't use as a result of the service outage. The power failure along an eight-mile section of the New Haven line has frustrated commuters and politicians alike. Officials said it could take weeks to repair.

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10:35 am
Fri September 27, 2013

State Legislators Respond to Rumors of Outsourcing at Northeast Utilities

Credit Guido Gerding / Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers are turning up heat on Northeast Utilities over rumors the utility giant will outsource its information technology functions. The legislators say the company isn't playing straight with them. For several weeks, gossip has been circulating about the intentions of Northeast Utilities with regard to its IT department.

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9:33 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Metro-North Delays Cause More Frustration

Grand Central Station in New York City.
Credit JoeJoeJoe93 / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy met with railroad and utility officials at New York's Grand Central Station Thursday to discuss the disruption of rail service for tens of thousands of commuters on the Metro-North and Amtrak lines, the Associated Press reports.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:32 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Lembo's Fiscal Review; Wind Turbine Ban Extended; Hemp Bake Sale Denied

Kevin Lembo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut is doing a little bit better getting ready for rainy days, we learned from Kevin Lembo this week, but when there's fair weather, the state legislature made sure we won't be generating energy from wind turbines anytime soon. Read about that and more in today's Wheelhouse Digest... where UConn has us thinking about the legality of digesting hemp brownies.

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8:43 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Metro-North Hobbled by Power Disruption; Governor Urges Telecommuting

Credit WNPR

Metro-North's New Haven rail line is disrupted this morning because of a failed commercial power cable. At the state's emergency operations center in Hartford on Wednesday, Governor Dannel Malloy said it could be weeks before Metro-North is back to full strength.

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8:13 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Two Clean Energy Projects Selected for Connecticut

Credit Oregon Department of Transportation

The state of Connecticut is choosing two clean energy projects to help diversify its energy portfolio. Governor Dannel Malloy announced Friday that a solar installation planned in Sprague and Lisbon, and a wind energy farm in Maine, have signed long-term contracts with electricity distributors Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating. The contracts require regulatory approval, and together will provide 3.5 percent of Connecticut’s total energy load.

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Oil Drilling Protest
4:25 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Greenpeace Vessel Is Boarded By Russian Coast Guard

Greenpeace's ship the "Arctic Sunrise" in 2005.
Samuel Aranda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 3:14 am

Greenpeace reports that its vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, has been boarded by the Russian Coast Guard after a protest against oil and gas drilling in the Russian Arctic.

The crew of the vessel tweeted throughout the drama. A tweet by Greenpeace HQ indicated that everyone was safe but that the crew was not "in control of the ship at this point."

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5:55 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Natural Gas May Be Easier On Climate Than Coal, Despite Methane Leaks

A rig drills a hydraulic fracturing well for natural gas outside Rifle, Colo., in March.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 7:11 pm

From the standpoint of global warming, burning natural gas can be better than burning coal, a study published this week suggests.

This is a contentious issue among people who are opposed to the natural gas drilling practice known as fracking. That technique involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into wells to release far more gas than conventional drilling can. Opponents of fracking have been concerned not only about local environmental issues, but also about the potential for methane leaks to make global warming worse.

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4:55 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Hartford High School Students Provide Electricity to a Nepalese School

Students and their teacher stand around one of five pallets that comprised the wind turbine/solar panel system that was ready to be shipped out by truck, plane, and helicopter to Saldang, Nepal. L to R: Akeem Brown, Derrick Cardona, Danilo Sena (UConn), Pravesh Mallik (Uconn), Jazzmin Mitchel, Orlando Nugent, Dave Mangus (teacher), Akwayne Wilson, Samuel King (seated).
Credit Dayl Walker / CBIA

A school in a remote village in Nepal is getting electricity, thanks to a group of Hartford High School students, the Associated Press reports. Fourteen students in the school's academy of Engineering and Green Technology designed and built a wind-powered turbine for a school in Saldang, which is in Nepal's Dolpa region, surrounded by the Himalayan mountains.

The school in Nepal has no power and is accessible only by yak. During the winter months when the region is covered with snow, it is not accessible at all.

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5:29 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Vt. Nuclear Plant Shutdown A Sign Of Changing Energy Market

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:31 pm



After years of litigation and political jousting, Vermont is set to close its only nuclear power plant by the end of next year. As John Dillon of Vermont Public Radio reports, the plant's closure is a sign of how much the country's energy market is changing.

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12:50 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Electric Transmission Companies May Receive Fewer Profits in New England

Lead in text: 
New England electric transmission companies may be required to profit less from transmission line projects, according to a federal ruling this week. A decision is still pending from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Judge Reduces Transmission Line Charges by Christine Stuart | Aug 8, 2013 5:29am Google (0) Comments | Log in to Post a Comment Posted to: Business, Energy A federal judge ruled Tuesday that electric transmission companies in New England should receive less profit from its transmission line projects.
The Wheelhouse Digest
12:39 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Marijuana and Energy

While we're busy being distracted by fake marriage proposals on ballfields, plants are growing in Connecticut, or will be if some in the state have their say. Those stories and more you might have missed.


Former factory space may become quite "green."

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4:51 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Connecticut Nuclear Plant Faces Uncertain Future

A recent report suggests that New England's largest nuclear power plant could be in trouble because of taxes in the future. Millstone in Waterford is in the clear for now, but it could still be economically vulnerable.

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Where We Live
11:03 am
Mon July 29, 2013

The Economics of Nuclear Power

Panther (Wikimedia Commons)

The recent early retirements of four US nuclear reactors, because they’re too expensive to keep up, has some wondering how much longer the two working Millstone reactors in Waterford, Connecticut might last.

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10:16 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Microgrid Pilot Projects Coming to Connecticut

Lead in text: 
Connecticut will soon see nine microgrid pilot projects in eight communities across the state.
The state's first microgrid projects have been announced. Nine projects in eight communities have been approved as part of a microgrid pilot project - the first in the nation - conceived after Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm in 2011 left large swaths of the state without power for more than a week.