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.
Lawmakers in Australia have passed a law that will impose a tax on the country's top 500 polluters, and use the resulting funds to invest in clean energy. The legislation had a long and bitter passage through Parliament, and deeply divided Australians who are heavily reliant on coal-fired power plants.
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.
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.
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.
The system Congress set up 21 years ago to clean up poisonous air pollution still leaves many communities exposed to risky concentrations of benzene, formaldehyde, mercury and many other hazardous chemicals.
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