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

MICHAEL TSARION / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

National Grid is withdrawing its application for the project informally known as the pipeline tax.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Invenergy, the company proposing to build a power plant in Burrillville, offered Johnston the same 20-year water contract as it offered to Woonsocket, according to the company's development director. Johnston stands to earn more than $18 million dollars over 20 years.

CEYHUN (JAY) ISIK / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

In power plant news, Tuesday night while the Woonsocket City Council rejected selling water to Invenergy, the Johnston town council unanimously approved such a deal within a couple of minutes.

Ceyhun (Jay) Isik / Creative Commons License via Flickr

Woonsocket officials say they will carefully consider a proposal from a power plant company to buy water from municipal supplies. The city will also consider the concerns of residents.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

After more than a year of work, Rhode Island’s climate change council has finalized a plan to reduce this state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

It’s been nearly two years since the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Attorney General filed a lawsuit against a metal recycling company on the Providence waterfront for allegedly failing to comply with environmental protection laws.

RI Electoral College Casts Votes For Clinton, Kaine

Dec 19, 2016
Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

In Rhode Island, four electors unanimously cast their votes for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine for the presidential ticket, after they were escorted into the House Chamber to cast their ballots Monday afternoon.  

Earlier in the day, protesters demonstrated outside the Statehouse, calling for electors across the country to join forces and halt the election of Republican Donald Trump.

State Electoral College President Clay Pell said Rhode Island's electors heeded the call of the majority of voters in the Ocean State. 

“I voted for Hillary on November 8th and together with Rhode Islanders across the state, we voted overwhelmingly for Hillary," said Pell. "So for me, there was no question of voting for someone other than Hillary, because she had the will of the people.”

Pell said it’s sad Clinton will not take office, but he’s proud to be a part of the Electoral College. He said the system is imperfect, but electors must follow the rules. 

After casting votes, State Rep. Grace Diaz, one of the state's four electors, initiated a call for a bipartisan committee to investigate suspected Russian interference in the election.  Pell said this is an effort to protect the integrity of American elections in the future.

“This is not about changing the outcome," said Pell. "This is about defending the democratic will of the people. President-elect Trump is the president-elect. I believe in the peaceful transfer of power. But I also believe in making sure that he stands with the intelligence community and the American people and not with the Russian government.”

Pell said it’s not too late to investigate how Russians interfered. He said the American people have a right to know more about the government intelligence that concluded Russia swayed the elections by hacking and releasing emails of important members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

 

Protesters Brave The Cold With Message For Electoral College 

With chants of, "Democracy, yes! Donald Trump, no!" a small group of demonstrators ignored sub-freezing temperatures, and little chance of success, to make their views known outside the Rhode Island Statehouse Monday morning.

RIPR File Photo

It’s been a big week for wind energy. The nation’s first offshore wind farm is up and running off the coast of Block Island. And another Rhode Island wind company just scored a grant from the National Science FoundationAquanis is a tech company trying to improve the efficiency of wind turbines. We introduce you to the wind energy company you may not know about.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The company proposing to build a power plant in Burrillville is tapping into the city of Woonsocket for water to cool the plant. 

Ryan Caron King / New England News Collaborative

The nation’s first offshore wind farm is officially connected to the electric grid, Deepwater Wind announced today.

President Obama’s National Ocean Council has approved the nation’s first ocean plans for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The new wind farm would be located off the coast, about 17 nautical miles northeast of Ocean City, Maryland. If approved, construction for the project -- dubbed the Skipjack Wind Farm -- would begin as early as 2020, and produce 120 megawatts of power. That's four times more than the Block Island Wind Farm is expected to produce.  

Deepwater Wind is in the early stages of developing a 90 megawatt offshore wind farm 30 miles east of Montauk New York, scheduled to start operating in 2022.  

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

In Washington, grassroots groups are calling on Congress to investigate the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Critics say this agency, in charge of regulating interstate transmission of oil, natural gas and electricity, is ineffective in vetting proposals for pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities.

FANG Collective

Providence police arrested four environmental activists protesting the North Dakota Access Pipeline currently under construction by Energy Transfer Partners.  

The activists with the grassroots group FANG Collective used bike locks to chain their necks and arms to the doors of TD Bank's downtown Providence branch. 

TD Bank is one of several banks funding the construction of a crude oil pipeline that will span 1,172 miles from North Dakota to Illinois.

The Conservation Law Foundation is asking the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to reconsider its decision not to reject a consumer tax that would help pay for natural gas pipeline expansions in the region. The PUC denied CLF’s request in September.

The project was billed as a regional solution to rising electricity costs. But since then New Hampshire and Connecticut have followed Massachusetts in dropping the project. CLF Attorney Max Greene said the state of Maine has signaled it will consider the project but only if other New England states participate. 

Pages