BURN: Marketplace Stories

Burn: An Energy Journal has partnered with public radio’s Marketplace to bring you Energy news and stories as told through the business and economics prism that has made Marketplace one of public radio’s most listened to programs. BURN and Marketplace are both distributed by American Public Media.

In Texas, a coal mine opens to power Mexico


The coal industry is struggling as cheaper and cleaner natural gas undercuts coal and environmental regulations push utilities to shut down their older coal-burning plants. Still, new coal mines are opening as others expand. In one Texas county on the Mexican border, local officials and residents seem nearly united in their opposition to a new coal strip mine, but the company that owns it says it will ship out the first load of coal by train in September.

August 26, 2015 more »

The little-known coal of Texas

Half an hour out of Austin, a dragline removes earth to get to lignite coal below. (Photo: Ingrid Lobet)

Oil made Texas famous. Then natural gas. Now it’s famous as well for having far and away the most wind energy of any state. But here’s a little-known fact: Texas is a major coal producer. And more than a third of the state’s electricity comes from coal.

August 6, 2015 more »

Louis Michaud’s Vortex Engine

Louis Michaud

You’ve heard of wind and solar. But what about harnessing other forces of nature for energy? Like, tornadoes. That’s Louis Michaud’s idea. He’s an engineer who dreams of powering the world with tornado machines.

April 14, 2015 more »

Fish and Lettuce

magueau and lettuce

Researchers at an indoor fish and vegetable farm say the future is bright for small aquaponics operations. Very small. Like, in the back yard.

September 10, 2014 more »

From Rice to Shrimp

mekong rice

In the Mekong Delta, rice is suffering from greater exposure to salt water as sea levels rise because of climate change. Some farmers are looking to a different crop: shrimp.

September 10, 2014 more »

Shell’s foray into Alaska oil isn’t paying off

Oil rig

Shell started its hunt for oil off the coast of Alaska more than a year ago, but the effort proved disastrous. Reporter Elizabeth Arnold looked into the state of Arctic oil exploration in the U.S.

January 6, 2014 more »

Army’s micro-grid for combat zones


The US Army is preparing to deploy smart micro-grids for combat outposts – basic military camps for about 100 soldiers. The new COPs cut fuel demand by at least half, which means fewer caravans, and fewer casualties.

June 25, 2013 more »

Today’s Army – the march toward better batteries

REF homepage pic

A little-known Army agency is making big changes in how soldiers fight. Among its latest innovations: new, lighter energy sources for outposts around the world.

April 23, 2013 more »

Tokyo Restaurant Serves Fukushima-Sourced Food to Make a Point

Fukushima Restaurant_homepage

2 years after Japan’s nuclear meltdowns, many people still won’t eat anything from Fukushima. So one Tokyo restaurant is deliberately offering food from the region, to help disaster victims and to dispel fears about food safety. Catherine Winter reports.

March 12, 2013 more »

LISTEN || Japanese Worry About Food, 2 Years After Fukushima

Octopus/Japanese Worry for Homepage

2 years after an earthquake, tsunami, & a nuclear disaster hit Japan, concerns about radiation contaminated food persist. Catherine Winter reports.

March 11, 2013 more »