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Connecticut on the Cutting Edge

Dec 29, 2016
Yoan Carle / Flickr Creative Commons

From self-driving cars to 3D printing to hydrokinetic energy technology, New Englanders are at the forefront of the latest cutting edge tech. 

This hour, we explore the latest gadgets and tech trends and learn about their impact locally and around the globe.

Carlito2000 / Creative Commons

President-elect Donald Trump appears to have fossil fuels on his mind as he makes his cabinet picks: The former governor of Texas at the Department of Energy, an ExxonMobil CEO running the State Department, and Oklahoma’s attorney general for the Environmental Protection Agency.

But it’s an uncertain time for Republicans who have embraced clean energy. Do renewables fit into this conservative agenda? 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

With holiday travel expected to reach its highest levels this year, the state Department of Consumer Protection is warning drivers to watch for a type of fraud at the gas pump called “skimming.” 

This week, President Obama announced what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic seaboard.

President-elect Donald Trump has appointed several Cabinet members with strong ties to oil and gas. And he's been clear about his support for coal. That could leave renewable energy companies out in the cold.

For months, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others in North Dakota mounted a massive protest against the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, in part over concerns that any leak could contaminate their drinking water.

Updated 7:51 a.m. ET Dec. 14 with official announcement of Perry's nomination.

It's a good thing former Texas Gov. Rick Perry once forgot he wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy, because President-elect Donald Trump is nominating him to lead the agency.

kateausburn / Creative Commons

After pushback from environmental and consumer advocates, state regulators have decided to delay a decision canceling a clean energy program.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, or PURA, wanted to eliminate the Connecticut Clean Energy Options Program, or CCEO.

That's a program that allows electric customers to pay a few dollars more on their bill to support clean energy development.

President-elect Donald Trump, in a statement early this morning, announced his intention to nominate ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department and become the country's top diplomat.

The selection, which had been rumored for the past week, is unusual in a number of ways, and could face more scrutiny than usual when the Senate holds confirmation hearings.

Here are some key facts about the president-elect's nominee for the final major position to be filled in his Cabinet:

NAIT / Creative Commons

Connecticut has a program that allows electric customers to buy renewable energy credits. But some officials want to eliminate the program, and are getting pushback from environmentalists and the state office of Consumer Counsel.

James Riden / Creative Commons

Federal and state authorities are being urged to do more to help families in Connecticut who struggle to afford utility bills. 

The Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the construction of a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, granting a major victory to protesters who have been demonstrating for months.

The decision essentially halts the construction of the 1,172-mile oil pipeline just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Thousands of demonstrators from across the country had flocked to North Dakota in protest.

FuelCell Energy, Inc.

Danbury-based FuelCell Energy, Inc., announced Thursday it will cut nearly 100 jobs, news which comes on the heels of a decision by the state to pass over several clean energy proposals submitted by the company.

FuelCell Energy, Inc.

Connecticut is home to several fuel cell manufacturers whose products are competitive on the global market, but state officials still overlooked fuel cell technology in the latest round of picks for clean energy development.

Fishermen and scientists are trying to understand how the Block Island Wind Farm may affect fish in Rhode Island waters. This week Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ambar Espinoza reported on what we know and don't know yet about the impact of the offshore wind farm on fisheries. She joined Rhode Island Public Radio News Director Elisabeth Harrison for an update on acoustics, marine mammals and wildlife habitats.

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