energy

Connecticut First
5:44 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Winter Storm Heads Toward Connecticut; Kleen Energy Fire

Residents, businesses, state and local governments are preparing for another snow day. Up to 12 inches of heavy, wet snow is expected to fall. Officials with Connecticut Light and Power say the storm could threaten power lines as well as equipment. CL&P will activate its emergency response plan tomorrow morning and will have crews standing by across the state.

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Fusion Energy
1:32 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

The National Ignition Facility's 192 laser beams focus onto a tiny target.
LLNL

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 9:00 pm

Researchers at a laboratory in California say they've had a breakthrough in producing fusion reactions with a giant laser. The success comes after years of struggling to get the laser to work and is another step in the decades-long quest for fusion energy.

Omar Hurricane, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says that for the first time, they've produced significant amounts of fusion by zapping a target with their laser. "We've gotten more energy out of the fusion fuel than we put into the fusion fuel," he says.

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Investing in Energy
7:09 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Group of Foundations Unite in Divesting From Fossil Fuels

A group of foundations has decided to divest from companies doing business in fossil fuels.
Credit _J_D_R_ / Creative Commons

A recent move by 17 foundations to stop investing in fossil fuels has added to a growing debate about "green portfolios."

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Connecticut First
5:30 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Developmentally Disabled Children's Caucus Meets; Himes Speaks Out for Shoreline Residents

The Intellectual and Developmental Disability Caucus met in Hartford on Friday to gather comments from state residents concerned about the long-term care of their adult developmentally disabled children. State  lawmakers  heard from many residents who worry about what will happen when they are no longer able to care for their children with autism and other disabilities. 

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Great Plains Oil Rush
10:08 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Much Of North Dakota's Natural Gas Is Going Up In Flames

Gas flaring near Highway 85 southwest of Williston. Analysts estimate that almost 30 percent of the gas being produced in the state is burned off.
Jeff Brady/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:44 am

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.

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Great Plains Oil Rush
11:04 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Oil Boom: See A Modern-Day Gold Rush In Motion

Ritter Brothers, a jewelry shop in Williston, N.D., sells novelties that might appeal to those benefiting from the region's recent oil boom.
Annie Flanagan for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:30 pm

If you've seen any coverage of North Dakota's oil boom, you've seen the images — oil rigs, truck traffic, "man camps," miles of temporary housing.

But there is something about this place that just can't be captured by a still photograph. It's a feeling you get when you cruise down an endless highway under a vast, big sky — until suddenly: BOOM. You're wedged between semitrucks dwarfing what was once a quiet farm town.

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Rubbish
3:11 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

A Compost Professional Explains How It's Done

Composting can be complicated. But you should try it.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

As we began working on a Colin McEnroe Show about composting, Colin made sure we included Susannah Castle, who runs Blue Earth Compost. She provides pails to subscribers in the Hartford area, and for a monthly fee, picks up the pails full of food scraps and other compostable materials from the household once a week. 

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NIMBYISM, Considered
7:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Wind Turbines Have Little Impact on Property Values, Study Finds

A new study observing 122,000 home sales in Massachusetts says nearby wind turbines have little impact on residential property values.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / lamoix

A new UConn report looked at more than 120,000 Massachusetts home sales and found wind turbines have little impact on prices. Carol Atkinson-Palombo is co-author of the paper, which tracked the data spanning a 14-year period.

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Energy
8:10 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Natural Gas Boom Cuts Into Pennsylvania's State Forests

An oversized truck load slowly moves equipment along an icy mountain road in Pennsylvania's Tiadaghton State Forest.
Marie Cusick WITF

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:36 pm

On the side of a mountain road in Pennsylvania's Tiadaghton State Forest, I'm trying to avoid a steady stream of heavy truck traffic. Acres of freshly cut tree stumps stretch out in front of me.

Kevin Heatley lives in the area and has come to these woods for years to hike. He's an ecologist by trade and he's concerned about what he's seeing.

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Host's Diary
10:37 am
Wed December 18, 2013

A Long Fracking Conversation With Dan Esty

Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, during a visit to WNPR.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Okay, so it's not Frost/Nixon. But over the last few years, I've been having an ongoing, at times entertaining, occasionally frustrating, and always interesting conversation on air and on stage with Dan Esty about "fracking" and natural gas. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Dan Esty on Fracking, Wind Power, and Natural Gas

Commissioner Dan Esty speaking with WNPR's John Dankosky at the Mark Twain House.
Credit Tucker Ives / WNPR

Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, has a plan for energy security that includes a huge investment in natural gas. But what about the effects of natural gas extraction methods like fracking and the uncertainty of future low prices? What about the need for renewable sources of energy?

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Innovation
11:13 am
Thu December 12, 2013

North Haven Company Joins Smart America Challenge

Solar panels on building tops are part of smart grids, which give real-time data about energy usage and are part of the "Internet of Things."
Credit National Institute of Standards and Technology

A Connecticut company was among those at the White House Thursday for a summit about the emerging Internet of Things. 

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Business
5:12 am
Tue December 10, 2013

BP Argues Companies Are Unfairly Cashing In On 2010 Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:56 pm

Oil giant BP is challenging hundreds of millions of dollars in claims that were filed by businesses after the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The total price tag for BP's oil spill is huge — $42.5 billion. At issue here is a fraction of that — but still a lot of money. BP says $540 million has been awarded to businesses for losses that "are either nonexistent, exaggerated or have nothing to do with the Deepwater Horizon accident."

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Fracking
11:40 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Connecticut's Complicated Relationship With Natural Gas

A fracking site in Warren Center, Pennsylvania.
Credit Fracking Lawyer / Creative Commons

More than half of Americans surveyed by a new Yale study reported knowing little to nothing about hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as "fracking." Minimal shale deposits mean fracking wells aren't likely to come to Connecticut, but the state is facing another concern: what to do with fracking waste.

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Environment
9:29 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

CRRA Claims Multimillion-Dollar Deficit

CRRA said it's facing a revenue gap of $7.6 million over the next three years, but a state audit said that number was a lot higher - 23 million. CRRA management met with state officials on Tuesday to discuss the agency's plans moving forward.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

Representatives from the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority (CRRA), a trash agency responsible for waste management in more than 50 Connecticut municipalities, said they're facing a $7.6 million budget gap for the next three fiscal years. The gap was revealed to members of a state task force on Tuesday. The reveal comes on the heels of a state-sponsored audit of CRRA released earlier this month that projects a much bigger shortfall: around $23 million. 

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Drillin' Holes
11:30 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Geothermal Projects Expand Across Connecticut

Workers drill a hole into the ground in advance of installing geothermal piping. Geothermal technology uses ambient ground temperatures to heat and cool buildings.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

The town of Tolland said two of its schools will switch to geothermal technology in the coming months. According to the Connecticut Geothermal Association, that project will join a list of nearly 60 active projects in Connecticut.

One of those projects is in South Windham, at Horizons, a camp for developmentally disabled children and adults. I met up with Guy Wanegar, President of the Connecticut Geothermal Association, as a crew dug a hole for geothermal piping outside a new dining hall. The ground was muddy, and gallons of water spewed up as the drill worked its way vertically through hundreds of feet of dirt and bedrock.

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Energy
12:12 pm
Sun November 17, 2013

Regulators Hear Call for Simpler Gas Rates

Credit James Riden / Creative Commons

Connecticut's gas utilities are asking regulators to lower the amount they'd have to charge businesses that sign up for new gas service. The request comes as regulators debate the final shape of the state's new comprehensive energy plan.

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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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Energy
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

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
Read More: http://fw.to
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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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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