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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Episode 135: Your outfit is trash

Oct 15, 2019

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Solar energy heats up despite tariffs

by Erika Beras Mar 14, 2019
In 2018, the Trump administration imposed tariffs of 30 percent on imported solar panels and set quotas to limit solar imports. This caused a slump in the solar energy industry. But two new reports show that last year wasn’t as…
A solar farm under construction in Punta Gorda, Florida, on April 22, 2016.
KERRY SHERIDAN/AFP/Getty Images

Energy giants to ramp up Permian Basin fracking

by , and Mar 5, 2019
The Permian Basin is now far from the preserve of the independent producer.
Pump jacks are seen using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
David McNew/Getty Images

Can a lake have legal rights? Voters in Toledo, Ohio, will decide

by Adrian Ma Feb 22, 2019
Ballot measure supporters want to stop pollution in Lake Erie. Opponents say the measure could unleash a torrent of frivolous lawsuits.
Members of a grassroots group called Toledoans for Safe Water set up a sign on a highway overpass urging people to vote for the Lake Erie Bill of Rights.
Adrian Ma/ideastream

Why sit in traffic when you can rideshare a drone?

by Jack Stewart Feb 18, 2019
Uber and some other big names are proposing a network of electric air taxis that could whisk passengers up and across cities in minutes.
Uber and some other big names are proposing a network of electric air taxis that could whisk passengers up and across cities in minutes.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Budget deal includes funds for rural broadband expansion

by , and Feb 15, 2019
Efforts to expand broadband service in rural areas got a boost from the budget bill approved this week on Capitol Hill. Under the deal, the Department of Agriculture will receive $550 million to support broadband infrastructure in rural, underserved areas.…
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Critics say EPA moving too slowly on regulating chemicals found in Teflon

by Scott Tong Feb 15, 2019
There’s a family of chemicals inside our bodies that’s linked to birth defects, immune system problems and, possibly, cancer. The chemicals — known by the acronym P.F.A.S. — are contained in Teflon, which is found in everything from microwave popcorn…

High-speed rail plans in California suffer setback

by Ben Bradford Feb 15, 2019
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced California does not have the $100 billion to fully build out the project.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced California does not have the $100 billion to fully build out the project.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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Loans for energy-efficient upgrades might be a bigger burden than a high energy bill

by David Brancaccio and Jonaki Mehta Jan 7, 2019
Some see a conflict of interest in how PACE loans are made.
Solar panels are installed on a roof.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

EPA decision could make it harder to impose environmental rules

by Scott Tong Dec 31, 2018
Coal mining companies and power plants that burn coal are trying to sort out the implications of a deregulatory move by the Trump administration late Friday. The EPA is proposing to re-think rules cutting the air pollutant mercury – it’s…

In Houston, a growing debate about flooding and sand mining

by Travis Bubenik Dec 31, 2018
In business-friendly Texas, lawmakers could crack down on sand mines amid flooding concerns.
Excavators dig massive pits at the River Aggregates sand mine near Houston, Texas.
Travis Bubenik for Marketplace