Jeff Brady | WOSU Radio

Jeff Brady

Nearly 300 coal-fired power plants have been "retired" since 2010, according to the Sierra Club. It's a trend that continues despite President Trump's support for coal. That has left many communities worried that those now-idled places will simply be mothballed.

40 years after the nation's worst commercial nuclear accident, the remaining reactor still operating at Three Mile Island in South-central Pennsylvania is closing.

Exelon announced Wednesday that Three Mile Island Generating Station Unit 1 will shut down by September 30th.

Nuclear power plants are so big, complicated and expensive to build that more are shutting down than opening up. An Oregon company, NuScale Power, wants to change that trend by building nuclear plants that are the opposite of existing ones: smaller, simpler and cheaper.

Congress is once again debating how to dispose of the country's growing inventory of nuclear waste. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is proposing legislation that would jump-start licensing hearings for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site in Nevada.

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If it's been a few years since you shopped for a lightbulb, you might find yourself confused. Those controversial curly-cue ones that were cutting edge not that long ago? Gone. (Or harder to find.) Thanks to a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush, shelves these days are largely stocked with LED bulbs that look more like the traditional pear-shaped incandescent version but use just one-fifth the energy.

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Around the world, students skipped school today to call for more action to address climate change.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: (Chanting in German).

Updated at 4:51 p.m. ET

Tens of thousands of students around the world skipped school school Friday to protest inaction on climate change. It was one of the largest turnouts so far in a months long movement that included the U.S. for the first time, in an event organizers call the "U.S. Youth Climate Strike."

Every few weeks, John Ord does something unusual for most people living in 2019 — he stops by a local hardware store in rural northeastern Pennsylvania to buy coal to heat his home.

He recently spent about $56 to buy 400 pounds of coal. That will keep his 2,400-square-foot house a toasty 70 to 72 degrees for a couple of weeks.

"This is the whole glamorous part, right here," says Ord, as he loads 40-pound bags of Pennsylvania anthracite coal into the back of his white station wagon.

Despite pressure from President Trump, the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors voted Thursday to close a large coal-fired power plant.

Trump's involvement had drawn criticism because the Paradise Fossil Plant in western Kentucky buys coal from a company headed by a large donor to the president's campaign, Murray Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Robert Murray.

In his latest effort to boost the coal business — and in the process help a major supporter — President Trump has called on the Tennessee Valley Authority to, essentially, ignore the advice of its staff and keep a large coal-fired power plant operating.

The move has drawn extra scrutiny because that plant buys coal from a company headed by a large campaign donor to Trump, Murray Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Robert Murray.

For a nonbinding resolution with an uncertain future, the Green New Deal is getting a lot of attention, along with a decidedly mixed reaction.

Dozens of Democrats on Thursday introduced the measure, an ambitious framework for future legislation designed to eliminate the U.S. carbon footprint by 2030.

As the standoff between President Trump and Congress continues over funding for Trump's proposed border wall, the partial shutdown of the federal government means workers will go weeks without a paycheck. That has some looking for temporary jobs to pay their bills.

In Boise, Idaho, Chris Kirk says he's worked for the federal government for 19 years. He administers contracts for the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. Forest Service spends on fighting wildfires. But these days he's on furlough and looking for extra income.

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