Natural gas is much cleaner than coal. But some energy analysts say an overabundance of the fuel could depress development in even cleaner energy sources like wind and solar power. Above, a rig in Washington, Pa., drills into shale rock to extract natural gas.
Credit Keith Srakocic / AP
Wind power advocates say that even if wind is slightly more expensive than natural gas, utilities will still want it in their mix. Windmills aren't subject to variable fuel prices, so the cost of production is predictable, something that's not true for natural gas.
The boom in cheap natural gas in this country is good news for the environment, because relatively clean gas is replacing dirty coal-fired power plants. But in the long run, cheap natural gas could slow the growth of even cleaner sources of energy, such as wind and solar power.
Natural gas has a bad rap in some parts of the country, because the process of fracking is not popular. But many people looking at cheap natural gas from the global perspective see it as a good thing.
Russellville is a small town of about 800 people on the rural outskirts of Jefferson City. A bedroom community for some is a vibrant, tight-knit culture for others. As a former railroad town Russellville has struggled to grow and to stay relevant. But it’s still got a strong sense of itself and hope for its future.
Jefferson City can sometimes be thought as the smaller town next to Columbia, but it has it's own rich history even beyond being the state capital. Nobody knows the history, and tells its stories better than Bob Priddy, whose "Across Our Wide Missouri" series of books are full of the narrative of our state's past.
Hartsburg, Missouri is situated on hilly land just south of Ashland with a population of only about 105. Luther Hunt and his family settled in the area in 1870s and by 1893 a railroad station known as Hart City was built. But it wasn't until 1901 that the town was officially incorporated as Hartsburg.
After a few more days of escalating hoopla, the Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots kicks off on Sunday evening, but whether you've got a small financial interest in the game or if you're just waiting for the ads, there are stories on the field in Indianapolis - the Brady legacy, salsa dancer Victor Cruz, hometown boy Mathias Kiwanuka, and of course the medical epic of the high-ankle sprain. What story will you follow in Super Bowl XLVI?
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The good news, even in the recession, came from American manufacturing. Output is up one-third over the past decade. But over just about that same period of time, six million manufacturing jobs disappeared. About as many people work in manufacturing now as did at the end of the Depression, though our population has more than doubled.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. From the Harlem Renaissance to black power, Langston Hughes spoke to the life of African-Americans. The neglected son of a famous abolitionist family, he immersed himself in books. Eighteen years old and just out of high school, he saw sunset on the muddy Mississippi from a train and wrote the poem that introduced the world to Langston Hughes, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."