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.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
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?