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Trump Will Have to Wait Another Month for a Plan to Rescue Coal

The Trump administration, which was looking to have a plan in place this week to bail out America’s coal country, will instead have to wait until the new year.

Kevin McIntyre, sworn in Thursday as chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, asked for a 30-day extension to act on a sweeping proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would subsidize struggling coal and nuclear plants. Perry, who had called on the commission to come up with a plan by Dec. 11, granted the delay late Friday, saying he “respects the reasons” but “looked forward to swift action.”

How 311 Helped Understand Air Pollution After Harvey

NPR has obtained recordings of calls made by Houston residents fearful about putrid odors in the hours and days after Hurricane Harvey started flooding the city’s petrochemical infrastructure.

Recycling Chaos In U.S. As China Bans ‘Foreign Waste’

China

The U.S. ships a big chunk of its recycled goods to China. But China doesn’t want them anymore, and that’s leaving the recycling industry in turmoil.

(Image credit: Jes Burns/OPB/EarthFix)

Thoroughbred Horses Killed In California Wildfire

NPR’S Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Dan Dunham, trainer at the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center. Several thoroughbred horses were killed there, caught in a California wildfire.

Hundreds Of Thousands Flee California Wildfires

The fires in Southern California have forced many residents to evacuate multiple times within just a few days. That’s leading to confusion about where to head next.

Can Utility-Scale Solar PV Help with Grid Reliability?

As soon as solar started being introduced to the grid, operators and engineers raised concerns about solar resources causing instability. Is it possible, however, for utility-scale solar PV plants to provide grid reliability services? Mahesh Morjaria, vice president of PV systems for First Solar, says yes.

 

Can Your Ceramic Cookware Give You Lead Poisoning?

How does lead wind up in crockpots and other ceramic food and drink containers? Ceramic ware is glazed before entering a kiln to bake. These glazes sometimes contain lead to give products an attractive shine.

Mass-produced crockpots and other ceramic food containers are probably safe, but handmade earthenware might merit a home test.

(Image credit: Joy Ho for NPR)

Looking for New Solar Markets? Think Water.

So if solar won’t be growing in the United States, where should developers look for new markets? One place is in disaster relief. Yung Wong, engineering manager with WorldWater and Solar Technologies explained that when disaster hits, the first thing that the Red Cross and the military do is fly in water bottles. He said that the cost to transport water comes out to about $1.85 per gallon whereas his company can provide drinking water for just a few cents per gallon though a mobile self-sustaining system that purifies water from any source. The system includes 3 kW of solar PV capacity and a 31-kWh deep cycle battery bank and transports as a 7-foot cube.  

Is The Tide Of Antibiotic Use On Farms Now Turning?

Grass-fed, antibiotic-free cattle gather at a farm in Yamhill, Ore. For the first time, government statistics show America

For the first time, government statistics show America’s pigs, cattle, and poultry are getting fewer antibiotic drugs. Public health advocates call the new figures encouraging.

(Image credit: Don Ryan/AP)

Violence In Jerusalem Follows Trump’s Decision To Recognize City As Israel’s Capital

Palestinians demonstrated and clashed with Israeli troops in protest of President Trump’s declaring the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But mostly they’re considering their next steps.