Environment

Australian Bushfires Leave Koalas And Kangaroos Badly Burned

January 21, 2015
The International Fund for Animal Welfare has asked people to make "pouch liners" for baby kangaroos, possums and wallabies. (Yon Veenstra/IFAW)

The worst summer bushfires in more than 30 years have taken a heavy toll on wildlife. The veterinarian coordinator explains.

Nicaragua's Bottom-Up Rural Electrification

January 19, 2015
Thirty years ago, El Cuá was home to just 3,000 people. Since electrification, it has thrived: around 40,000 people live there now and they enjoy a higher standard of living. (Lucas Laursen)

A group of engineers has been transforming the region of El Cuá by building small hydroelectric plants.

Corn And Soy Farmers May Not Benefit From Bumper Crops

January 16, 2015
Corn and soy crop production soared in 2014 , but good news in the fields might mean bad news in the markets.

While the farmers saw record harvests in 2014, they’re selling the crops at a lower price. An agricultural economist joins us.

Orangutan Speaks? Google Translates!

January 14, 2015
Screenshot of Tilda the Orangutan

We listen to orangutan sounds that surprised scientists and give the latest version of Google Translate a try.

Seattle Zoo Ponders Where To Send Its Elephants

January 14, 2015
Chai, the Woodland Park Zoo's 35-year-old Asian elephant, browses for treats thrown by her keeper in the zoo's elephant enclosure. The zoo is looking for a new home for Chai and other remaining elephant, Bamboo. (Deborah Wang/KUOW)

“It’s going to be a bit of a match.com, just in terms of personalities,” says Nancy Hawkes, Woodland Park Zoo’s general curator.

Chevy Bolt Delivers Jolt To EV Industry

January 14, 2015
Chevy unveiled its Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. (Chevrolet)

Industry watchers say the Bolt might become the first mass market electric vehicle success. It will sell for $30,000 after rebates.

Texas’ Diverse Economy May Soften Oil Price Slump

January 14, 2015
A photo taken on June 6, 2013 shows a general view of French oil giant Total's Texan plant in Port Arthur. (Marc Preel/AFP/Getty Images)

It may be the leading producer of oil in the U.S., but only 10 percent of its tax collections come from oil and mineral-related revenue.

In New Congress, Energy Efficiency May Be A Winner

January 13, 2015
Buildings account for 20 percent of energy consumption in the U.S., and much of it is in the form of wasted energy. Making buildings more energy efficient has bipartisan support in the public and private sector. Pictured, a LEED-certified parking structure in Santa Monica. (John McStravick/Flickr)

Energy efficiency is one of the few issues with bipartisan support in both the public and the private sector.

Nebraska Court Throws Out Lawsuit Over Keystone XL Pipeline

January 9, 2015
Senators meet prior to a markup hearing on Keystone XL pipeline before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee January 8, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Bloomberg’s Michael Regan explains what this could mean for the controversial oil pipeline, as the House is set to vote on the project.

Controversial Coal Regulations Pit Wyoming Against EPA

January 9, 2015
Energy worker Brandon Allee shoots pool at Jake's Tavern in Gillette, WY. (Leigh Paterson/Inside Energy)

About 40 percent of America’s coal comes from Wyoming. Leigh Paterson of Inside Energy reports on an EPA plan to curb emissions.

Solar CEO: As Tax Credits Expire, Consolidation Coming In Solar Industry

January 8, 2015
Damon Corkern (left) and Dustin Rodgers, who work for ECS Solar Energy Systems, Inc, install a solar panel system on the roof of a home on April 16, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tony Clifford, CEO of Standard Solar, discusses what effect a Republican Congress will have on the solar industry.

Subzero Cold Closes Schools In Minneapolis, But Not St. Paul

January 7, 2015
Paul Linquist braves subzero temperatures to shovel snow from the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, in St. Paul, Minn. (Jim Mone/AP)

The superintendent of St. Paul public schools explains just how cold it would have to be for the school district to close.

Lingering Questions About Health And Environmental Risks From Fracking

January 6, 2015
A rig drills for natural gas which will eventually be released using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on leased private property outside Rifle, in western Colorado, March 29, 2013. (Brennan Linsley/AP)

Abrahm Lustgarten, who writes about hydraulic fracturing for ProPublica, discusses where the debate is likely to go in 2015.

Wisconsin Is Latest State To Consider Fees On Electric, Hybrid Vehicles

January 5, 2015
Chris and Ellie Eichman purchased a Nissan Leaf electric car in 2012 -- the first sold in Wisconsin. Chris says a fee for his Leaf is reasonable, but he's irked by the fee he'd pay for his second car, a Prius, given that he already pays a gas tax when he fills up. (Susan Bence/WUWM)

The state’s transportation department faces a deficit and is looking for ways to raise $750 million over the next two years.

Energy Showdown Tops Congressional Agenda In New Session

January 5, 2015
Awaiting approval, the Keystone XL pipeline has sat in a field in North Dakota for three years. (Andrew Cullen/Inside Energy)

One of the first things the Republican majority in the Senate will take up is a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

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