environment

Kathleen Masterson / Vermont Public Radio

Renewable energy has grown to nearly 10 percent of New England's energy mix. But here’s the problem: we can't control when the sun shines and the wind blows. That means sometimes extra renewable energy gets dumped, or a wind plant is told to power down.

NOAA OKEANOS EXPLORER PROGRAM / 2013 NORTHEAST U.S. CANYONS EXPEDITION

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.

Fred Bever / Maine Public Broadcasting News

A major transformation in the way energy is made, delivered and used is happening right now, and it’s disrupting the traditional business model of electric utility companies. That model includes building big infrastructure projects to transmit electricity.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Wind power is about to go big-time in New England, with the opening of the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., located off the Rhode Island coast. And onshore wind projects already dot the region. But Connecticut hasn’t joined the movement. The state doesn’t have a lot of wind, or available space, and only recently lifted a ban on wind turbine projects.

As part of the New England News Collaborative energy series, The Big Switch, WNPR’s Ryan Caron King goes to the tiny town of Colebrook, Connecticut to find out why wind power hasn’t taken off yet, and whether another natural resource - water reservoirs - might be the solution.

Angela Evancie / Vermont Public Radio File Photo

New England now gets nearly 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources - with more on the way. But that change is posing challenges for the region’s electric grid. The Big Switch: New England's Energy Moment looks at this transformative time for how the region powers itself.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The doctor-turned-politician from Massachusetts is running for a second time as the Green Party presidential candidate. 

John Bender / RIPR

The Port of Providence operator has updated its expansion plans to address concerns flagged by environmental advocates at Save the Bay. 

RIPR file photo

The plan to improve the Port of Providence and a proposal to build a new power plan in Burrillville have stirred vigorous debates in recent weeks. 

Gov. Gina Raimondo has scheduled a sit-down with plant opponents. Rhode Island. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders if these plans will reprise the 20th Century battles  between environmentalists and business and labor interests. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed an $8.9 billion budget into law. It includes millions of dollars for environmental initiatives. Rhode Island Public Radio news director Elisabeth Harrison gets the details from our environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza. 

Kate Ter Haar/Flickr

Newport could become the second municipality to ban plastic shopping bags in the Ocean State. An ordinance is working its way through the city council.

Newport Councilman John Florez introduced the measure Wednesday, which would phase out the use of plastic bags at grocery stores and other shops in the city.

Policy and Pinot Panel 05-18-2016
Aaron Read RIPR

This month’s Policy & Pinot will focus on the state of the region’s energy grid, which has undergone dramatic changes. Older oil- and coal-fired power plants are retiring, while natural gas production is increasing. State laws requiring ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions have been driving the shift toward cleaner energy from the sun, wind and water.

Located at Save the Bay's offices overlooking Narragansett Bay, and moderated by RIPR environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza, we’ll talk with our guest panelists about what the future grid could look like, how greener energy may impact consumers, and how Rhode Island’s progress compares to other states.

Kaity Ryan / Preservation Society of Newport County

Crews will break ground later this month on a project to bury utility lines in Middletown, near Sachuest Point. Three Aquidneck Island nonprofit groups partnered up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to pay for the $1.2M project.

sand dunes
Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Gov. Gina Raimondo’s proposed budget devotes about 1.1 percent of all state spending to the state’s two major environmental agencies: the Department of Environmental Management and the Coastal Resources Management Council. The DEM got a small bump from the governor’s last budget, while the CRMC held steady. We break down the numbers.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A state Senate report says the need to lower carbon emissions offers an opportunity to expand green jobs. The report says green jobs are already a growing sector of the state economy, having increased by more than 6 percent in recent years.

The Senate report outlines a series of recommendations to add more green jobs, include creating workforce training programs, increasing sources of renewable energy, and strengthening the state’s solar industry.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Environmental advocacy groups and businesses have been finding common ground in recent years around an unlikely issue: stronger enforcement of environmental laws.

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