The State Department is delaying a decision for at least a year on whether to approve the Keystone pipeline. The $7 billion pipeline would carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, through the U.S. to Gulf of Mexico refineries. Nebraska's state government and environmental groups have put intense pressure on the State Department and White House to reject the pipeline's proposed route. NPR's Richard Harris talks with Robert Siegel about the project.
The State Department has ordered the developer of a pipeline that would carry oil from western Canada to Texas to reroute it from environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska, possibly delaying a final U.S. decision until after the 2012 election.
Inventor Michael Laberge is building a machine that aims to generate electricity through nuclear fusion — the same process that powers the sun. His goal is "insanely ambitious": He thinks he can do it using a much cheaper approach than that used by existing multibillion-dollar fusion labs.
Regulators in Florida recently gave two utilities permission to begin charging customers for nuclear plants that won't be completed for at least a decade. To encourage development of nuclear power, Florida allows utilities to charge customers upfront for the costs. Now there's a movement to rethink that policy.
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.
NASA has relied on a special kind of fuel, called plutonium-238, to power robotic space missions for five decades. that it sometimes seems easier to chart a course across the solar system than to navigate the budget process inside Washington, D.C.
TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline would cut through the Ogallala aquifer, a major water source that supplies about 80 percent of Nebraska's water for drinking and irrigation. Legislators have introduced bills preventing pipelines in environmentally sensitive areas.
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