With the skyline of Youngstown, Ohio, in the distance, a brine injection well owned by Northstar Disposal Services LLC is seen in Youngstown on Jan. 4. The company has halted operations at the well, which disposes of brine used in gas and oil drilling, after a series of small earthquakes hit the Youngstown area.
Small earthquakes in Ohio and Arkansas associated with hydraulic fracturing for natural gas have taken many people by surprise. Gas industry executives say there's no hard evidence that their activities are causing these quakes. But some scientists say it's certainly possible; in fact, people have been causing quakes for years.
In the 1960s, geologists realized that gold mines in South Africa had created small earthquakes. Caverns dug into the earth thousands of feet below the surface collapsed. The "pancake" effect caused quakes — in one case a magnitude-5.2 temblor.
Bahrain is the one Arab country where the government has suppressed a major uprising. Here, protesters wave flags at the Pearl Roundabout in the capital Manama on Feb. 20, 2011, when the demonstrations were at their peak.
Credit John Moore/Getty Images
Arab revolts against secular leaders have been much more successful over the past year than those against monarchs. The one monarchy that faced a serious threat was the tiny Persian Gulf island of Bahrain. But after weeks of protests, troops from Saudi Arabia rolled into the country, the Bahraini regime imposed martial law, and a government crackdown followed. Kelly McEvers made several trips to Bahrain this past year and filed this report as part of NPR's series looking at the Arab Spring and where it stands today.
Barbara Scott and Mac Given in Media, Pa., had 21 solar panels installed last March. With government rebates and tax incentives, Scott says, her family spent $21,000 to install the system.
Credit Jeff Brady / NPR
Renewable energy is growing rapidly in the U.S., with wind and solar industries enjoying double-digit growth each year. Part of that growth comes from more homeowners choosing to install solar panels.
With government subsidies, some people can even make a financial argument for installing the panels. But in recent years, the price of one fossil fuel — natural gas — has declined so much that solar panels are having difficulty competing.
Governor Steve Beshear’s chief legislative rival is still waiting to see the meat of the governor’s 2012 legislative agenda. After the governor’s annual State of the Commonwealth address, Republican Senate President David Williams told reporters he gives Beshear credit for delivering a “pleasant speech,” but he’s still waiting to hear the details on proposals like expanded gambling, tax reform and other important issues to the governor.
Google is "downgrading the search result ranking of the company's own Web browser, Google Chrome, for 60 days," as PC World reports, because some bloggers ending up being paid to mention Chrome during a recent ad campaign.
One of the most colorful figures in Kentucky politics has died. Gatewood Galbraith, who was 64 years old, died last night from complications related to emphysema. Over decades, the Lexington attorney frequently sought various political offices. Galbraith ran for governor five times, most recently as an independent. His platform routinely centered around libertarian and progressive issues like marijuana legalization and gun rights.
Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 5:09 pm
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announces an end to her campaign for president on Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa.
Credit Chris Carlson / AP
Several former rivals of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann were quick to applaud the now-suspended campaign run by the only woman to have sought the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Jon Huntsman said Bachmann added an "energetic and passionate voice" to the campaign. Mitt Romney called Bachmann a friend with a "titanium spine." And Newt Gingrich extolled Bachmann's "considerable talent" and "great courage."
The story of how 18-year-old Sarah Dawn McKinley shot and killed a man who authorities say was breaking into her house on Saturday has been getting lots of attention because of the 911 phone call she made and the already tragic circumstances surrounding the incident.
McKinley, of Blanchard, Okla., called 911 to say that a man was trying to get inside her mobile home and that she feared for her life and that of her 3-month-old son. She asked the 911 operator if she could shoot him if he got inside.