This week, a Continental flight from Houston to Chicago used a biofuel blend made in part from algae, and Alaska Airlines will fly passengers using a fuel made in part from cooking oil. The fledgling environmental effort has many hurdles, as biofuel costs nearly six times as much as regular jet fuel.
On the face of it, Italy's economy has plenty of strengths. But its total debt is equal to 120 percent of its GDP. And with the cost of borrowing quickly rising, investors are growing increasingly concerned with the risk of default, which would spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
A recent report by the research project found that one in three Americans raised in the middle class fall out of it as adults. Host Audie Cornish speaks with Erin Currier of the Pew Charitable Trusts' Economic Mobility Project about pressures on the American middle class.
The super committee in Congress is racing to find places to cut more than a trillion dollars out of the nation's deficit by Thanksgiving. The oil industry fears that ending its tax breaks may be one way the super committee will decide to raise revenue. That's spurred Big Oil's lobbying machine to work overtime.
Environmentalists are planning to encircle the White House Sunday to protest the Obama administration's expected support of a new pipeline through the Midwest to carry one of the dirtiest forms of oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries. NPR's Richard Harris explains that the pipeline pits jobs against the environment.
Zynga is a company that makes money by selling nothing. Or, to be precise, by selling imaginary things — like tractors that plow farms on Facebook. Zynga is America's first "virtual goods" company to file for an initial public offering, but how real is the company's value?
Guy Raz talks to Zachary Goldfarb, reporter for the Washington Post, about the growth in Wall Street profits since the financial crisis. According to Goldfarb, Wall Street has made more money during the Obama administration's first term than in the entirety of the Bush administration. Goldfarb says these profits were the direct result of government policies — across two administrations — in response to the financial crisis.
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