FROM Todd Woody
Going Where No Man Has Gone Before for Renewable Energy The idea of getting energy from solar collectors in space has been around for a long time, but now the California Public Utilities Commission has given the green light to launch a real project as soon as 2016. It'll cost billions, but Pacific Gas & Electric claims there's no risk to current customers. Todd Woody covers technology and the environment for the New York Times and other publications.
The Cost of Renewable Energy Last week, President Obama doled out $3.4 billion in federal grants for renewable energy projects including " smart meters ," designed to allow consumers to track the electricity they use and, hopefully, change their habits. They're said to be the first step to what's called a " smart grid ." Twenty million dollars went to Burbank Water and Power , the publicly owned utility in a suburb of Los Angeles. Florida Power and Light also received "smart meter" grants, as well as $200 million for a solar photovoltaic plant, much praised by President Obama. That private company has a subsidiary named NextEra , which is developing solar energy "farms" in Southern California.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.