Listen

Jeff Brady

At a major climate meeting in Poland, nearly 200 countries are trying to reach a deal on dramatically reducing carbon emissions. But a recent U.N. report found that may not be enough to avoid dangerous impacts from the warming climate. In fact, the world is falling so far short of what's needed, it said, that it might be necessary to pull massive amounts of carbon dioxide out of the air.

The Trump administration plans to eliminate an Obama-era requirement that new coal-fired power plants have expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.

Two years ago in North Dakota, after months of protest by thousands of indigenous and environmental activists, pipeline opponents celebrated when the Obama administration denied a key permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

In the basement of a suburban Philadelphia home, half a dozen high school freshman boys recently met to munch on chips and pretzels — and to talk about sexual assault in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

A Jewish group called Moving Traditions brought them together as part of its programs to encourage teenagers to talk about this and other difficult issues. Temple Sinai in Dresher, Pa., sponsors this local group.

Environmental activists are using a new strategy to block construction of oil and gas pipelines. It already has worked in New York where construction on the Constitution Pipeline has stalled. Now activists are trying the strategy in Oregon.

The proposed Jordan Cove project includes a pipeline that would transport natural gas across the Cascades mountain range to the Oregon coast. There it would be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The number of people graduating with nuclear engineering degrees has more than tripled since a low point in 2001, and many are passionate about their motivation.

"I'm here because I think I can save the world with nuclear power," Leslie Dewan told the crowd at a 2014 event as she pitched her company's design for a new kind of reactor.

President Trump has ordered Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take immediate steps to help financially troubled coal and nuclear power plants.

Johanna Humphrey has a crayon problem.

The Philadelphia resident ordered 24 boxes of crayons to hand out at her son's third birthday party. But retailer Amazon accidentally sent her twice that many and doesn't want the extras back.

"Parents don't need this many crayons in their house," jokes Humphrey as she takes photos of the boxes with her smart phone to list them on her local "Buy Nothing Project" Facebook group. Humphrey wants to give the extra crayons to a local teacher.

President Trump's goal of achieving "energy dominance" for the United States includes producing more oil and gas on federal land, but new government statistics show a mixed record on this front during his first year in office.

Trump has cast himself as an ally of fossil fuel industries. At a 2017 event he told energy industry leaders, "You've gone through eight years of hell," referring to the time former President Obama was in office.

President Trump's announcement that he will withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal sent crude oil prices up slightly. U.S. drivers who have noticed higher prices at the pump may be tempted to blame Trump's Iran decision, but it's only one factor at play right now. Even before Trump's announcement gasoline prices were nearly 50 cents a gallon higher than a year ago.

The United States oil business is booming and the country could soon be the largest crude oil producer in the world. Despite this record-breaking production, climate change activists campaigning to move away from fossil fuels say they are making progress.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Updated at 7:43 p.m. ET

Part of the Republican tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law last week has homeowners around the country doing something unusual: rushing to pay their 2018 property taxes well before the due date.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Think "renewable energy" and the wind and sun come to mind, but someday it may be possible to add ocean energy to that list.

The fledgling wave energy industry is getting a boost from the federal government. The Department of Energy is spending up to $40 million to build a wave energy test facility off the Oregon coast.

The U.S. oil industry is trying to find a new generation of workers in a country that is becoming more diverse. But a history of sexism and racism is making that difficult.

The oil industry has struggled to solve its diversity problem despite having some big advantages. It's a wealthy industry accustomed to taking on complicated challenges (think deep-water offshore drilling and fracking). And oil and gas companies already have decades of experience operating all over the world in various environments. Still, the diversity problem persists.

The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota has been voted out of office, just about one year after the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

Unofficial results show Dave Archambault received about 37 percent of the 1,710 votes cast. His challenger, current tribal councilman Mike Faith, received 63 percent.

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it has temporarily waived a U.S. shipping restriction for Puerto Rico known as the Jones Act.

Under the law, only U.S.-flagged ships are allowed to move goods between any U.S. ports. Now foreign-flagged vessels also will be able to move shipments from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico and between ports there. The move is intended to boost the delivery of much-needed relief supplies after Hurricane Maria battered the U.S. territory last week.

The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration thanked President Trump in a tweet:

Installing solar panels on your home could become more expensive, depending on how President Trump responds to a decision Friday by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The ITC found that low-cost, imported solar panels from China and other countries have hurt two domestic manufacturers. They are Georgia-based Suniva and Oregon-based SolarWorld.

The U.S. power grid could become less reliable if too much electricity comes from renewable energy and natural gas, according to a study from the Department of Energy.

But not everyone is buying it. Environmentalists suspect the Trump administration is just trying to prop up an ailing coal industry.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry called for the study in the spring. The report doesn't say there is a grid reliability problem now — only that one could develop if more coal and nuclear power plants shut down.

NPR reporters are returning to their hometowns this summer to find out how they've changed – from job prospects to schools and how people see their community and the country.

Once home to thriving timber and fishing industries, Gold Beach, Oregon now subsists on tourists and retirees looking for a quiet beach, a nice river trip and, in a few cases, marijuana.

I left Gold Beach after graduating from high school in 1985. Back then, it was a blue-collar town dominated by the timber industry.

The type of siding or "cladding" used on the Grenfell Tower in London — and suspected of feeding the massive fire that killed dozens of residents — is not allowed on the exterior of tall buildings across most of the U.S.

But a few states and the District of Columbia have relaxed building codes in recent years and have started to permit the use of some cladding containing components that don't pass a fire test.

Some of Nevada's largest solar installation companies plan to resume doing business in the state. For the past year-and-a-half Tesla (formerly SolarCity) and Sunrun stopped seeking new customers in this sunny part of the country because the state's Public Utilities Commission chose to phase out incentives for homeowners who install rooftop solar panels.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This story is part of Kitchen Table Conversations, a series from NPR's National Desk that examines how Americans from all walks of life are moving forward from the presidential election. This is the third post-election visit with Jamie Ruppert, 33, of White Haven, Pa.

Jamie Ruppert, 33, switched parties and voted for Donald Trump in November, and for months has been his enthusiastic supporter.

Pages