Ambar Espinoza

Environmental Reporter

Ambar Espinoza’s roots in environmental journalism started in Rhode Island a few years ago as an environmental reporting fellow at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting. She worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio for a few years covering several beats, including the environment and changing demographics. Her journalism experience includes working as production and editorial assistant at National Public Radio, and as a researcher at APM’s Marketplace.

Espinoza joins Rhode Island Public Radio most recently from Seattle, WA, where she earned a master of education with a focus on science education from the University of Washington. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. Espinoza was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles, CA.

Ways to Connect

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Here’s a rundown of what’s happening this week with the proposed Burrillville power plant:

Public comment hearing

The Energy Facility Siting Board holds a hearing Wednesday evening for public comment on the proposed power plant in Burrillville. The hearing will take place at Warwick's Toll Gate High School auditorium at 6 p.m.

Courtesy of Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation is kicking off a new project to collect data on black sea bass, a species that has moved north in search of cooler water.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Green Party Candidate Jill Stein is making the rounds at colleges in southern New England this week.


This morning President Barack Obama announced he's protecting nearly 5,000 square miles of marine ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean. He calls his decision a necessary step to help our oceans bounce back from the negative effects of climate change.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Town of Burrillville is asking the state Energy Facility Siting Board to dismiss Invenergy’s application on grounds that the application is incomplete.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A dozen local and state agencies have filed their advisory opinions for Invenergy's proposed power plant, the Clear River Energy Center.

Well, sort of. A few offices did not offer opinions because they have yet to receive pertinent information and/or permits from Invenergy.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Even with the boom in renewable power, New England still gets about half its energy from natural gas - that’s a huge jump from 15 percent in 2000. The fracking boom in the U.S. meant a big investment in gas-fired power plants. But many environmentalists are pushing back, 

All this week, we’ll bring you more stories from The Big Switch: New England’s Energy Moment. It comes from the New England News Collaborative, a name you may have heard on Rhode Island Public Radio over the past couple of months. You may be wondering what that is. Well, eight public radio stations, including Rhode Island Public Radio, are partnering up to cover some of the most pressing issues across New England. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

With just a couple of weeks of summer left, the season for leaf peeping is fast approaching.

Invenergy is scaling back the potential number of days it would run the proposed Burrillville power plant on oil as a backup.

This revised cap would reduce carbon emissions from the power plant by up to 30,000 tons each year, according to a company statement. Invenergy is amending its application with the state Energy Facility Siting Board.

RIPR File Photo

Across the country, a growing number of major corporations, like Google and Amazon, are buying their own renewable energy. They’re not waiting for utilities to make the shift away from fossil fuels. Here in the Ocean State, the Narragansett Bay Commission is also moving in that direction to save money and reduce carbon emissions.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Fishermen and industry advocates say there’s a real hunger among people to learn more about how fishermen do what they do. That’s why they’re planning to install interpretive signs around the fishing docks at Point Judith to answer people’s questions. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A Connecticut-based company operating at a Westerly quarry embroiled in controversy since 2010 has been gone for nearly a year. But residents are still restless about the stockpiles of stone dust they left behind and the potential impacts to their health. The family that owns the quarry is now renting it to another company tasked with cleaning it up. Local, state and federal officials got a tour of the progress.

Stephen Depolo / Creative Commons License via Flickr

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is opposing National Grid’s proposal to build a natural gas liquefaction facility at Field’s Point in Providence.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling against a request by utilities to charge electricity users for expanding natural gas pipelines is already affecting a similar request in Rhode Island.

The Conservation Law Foundation filed a motion at the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to dismiss National Grid’s proposal to secure gas contracts and recover costs for its Access Northeast Project.