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Citizen Science On The Rez – Kids, Science And North Dakota’s Oil Boom

The University of Colorado Team stands with Prairie Rose Seminole on a bluff overlooking Lake Sakakawea, observing  native plants and the changing landscape.

North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Indian Reservation is at the heart of the Bakken oil boom. When anthropologist Jen Shannon first visited the tribes there, it was to return religious artifacts. But the relationship grew. Next came an oral history project, then a film. And now, a more unusual request - help kids do science projects to understand their changing community. Continue Reading →

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The Carbon Footprint Of Your Thanksgiving Dinner

The traditional Thanksgiving Day meal might be a belt-buster, but it won't bust your carbon footprint score.

Mike Berners-Lee is one of the world’s leading researchers on the carbon footprint of—well—everything (he even wrote a book subtitled “The Carbon Footprint of Everything”), he’s plenty familiar with the impacts of the foods that star in the traditional Thanksgiving Day spread. Continue Reading →

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Fuel: It’s What’s For Dinner

Chard grows in vertical racks under LEDs at the Bright Agrotech warehouse in Laramie.

Up to a fifth of our nation’s total energy use goes into growing, transporting, processing and eventually preparing our food, but those energy inputs are often hidden. In this first story in the Inside Energy and Harvest Public Media collaboration Feasting on Fuel, we look at one place they're not. Continue Reading →

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North Dakota Officials Accept A Low Carbon Future, But Not On EPA’s Terms

North Dakota officials say the days of freely-emitting carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants are over, and the future is a low-carbon one. This idea is not always popular with North Dakotans who work in the coal industry. Pictured here, a man wears a "Legalize Coal" T-shirt to a North Dakota Department of Health meeting about the Clean Power Plan in Beulah, North Dakota, on November 12, 2015. Beulah is in the heart of coal country in North Dakota.

North Dakota is feeling the heat from the federal Clean Power Plan, which targets carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Under the final version of the plan, the state will have to cut its emissions by 45 percent – more any other state except Montana. Officials say it's unfair and illegal, so they're suing to overturn the rule. But they're also working on a plan to comply. Continue Reading →

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CO’s Gold King Mine Spill Renews Interest In Good Samaritans

Mine drainage in Kyler Hollow, in Elk County, Pa.

After Colorado's devastating Gold King Mine spill, federal lawmakers have launched a series of initiatives to clean up mine pollution around the country. They’re looking for guidance from one state with loads of experience cleaning up dirty mines—Pennsylvania. Continue Reading →

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CO Debates New Rules To Ease Oil And Gas Tensions

An oil and gas well pad in northern Colorado.

When oil and gas drilling bumps up next to homes and communities, there are tensions. That has long been evident in Colorado, where a handful of cities have fought to ban the practice within their borders. Now, state regulators are considering some new rules which would would give local governments more input over oil and gas development. Continue Reading →

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Oil and Gas Development Dims Starry Skies

A pumpjack works throughout the night, bathed in the light from flares and electric lights on oil well pads near Watford City, North Dakota, which also illuminate low-hanging clouds.

Oil and gas development involves a lot of bright lights: from flares to drilling rigs to new housing for workers. That's a concern for star gazers, who have documented an increase in light pollution in oilfields in North Dakota and West Texas. Hear how an observatory in Texas an a national park in North Dakota are trying to tackle the oilfield light pollution problem. Continue Reading →

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Overburden Weighs On Wyoming Coal Producers

Cloud Peak Energy moved a dragline from its Cordero Rojo coal mine to its Antelope mine to address the issue of needing to move more dirt to get at the coal seams.

How much coal does a Wyoming coal miner mine? Quite a bit less than he used to, it turns out. Regulations have received most of the blame for coal’s current downturn but that’s not the whole story; it’s also getting more expensive to mine in the nation’s largest coal producing state. Continue Reading →

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