Amanda Little

Amanda Little is author of Power Trip: The Story of America's Love Affair with Energy. She is a contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek and a writer-in-residence in the English department at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches investigative journalism and creative nonfiction.

What do we want? Entrance! When do we want it? Now!

Chaos and grumbling outside Bella conference center in Copenhagen

Tired, poor, huddled masses, yearning to get in.Photo: Australian Science Media CenterCOPENHAGEN–What requires more stamina? Childbirth or standing outside COP15’s Bella Center for five solid hours in sub-freezing weather in a line of hundreds trying …

War and grease

The U.S. military’s battle to wean itself off oil

Don’t ask what kind of mileage it gets.In the summer of 2006, Marine Corps Major General Richard Zilmer sent the Pentagon an unusual “Priority 1” request for emergency battlefield supplies. Stationed at a temporary base …

Short circuits

Our old electric grid is no match for our new green energy plans

The bowels of New York City’s electricity system.Often referred to as “the world’s biggest machine,” the North American electricity grid as a whole is an integrated network of generators and millions of miles of wires …

Cooking oil

Can you taste the fuels in your food?

Amanda Little on the farm. If you pinned a map of the United States to a dartboard, Kansas would be the bull’s-eye. Smack dab in the center of the country, the Sunflower State is one …

Road hogs

NASCAR and the high-octane American dream

The action at the Talladega Superspeedway.At dawn on a hazy autumn morning, the rising sun spilled over the steel grandstands of the Talladega Superspeedway like foam from a cracked can of Bud. This image likely …

Over a barrel

Exploring the extreme frontiers of oil drilling

The “Cajun Express” oil rig, tapping the black gold deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico.The oil field known as “Jack” is located 175 miles off the coast of Louisiana, below 7,200 feet of water and …

Power Trip

A rollicking tour of America’s energy landscape

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The first step is admitting you have a problem

Confessions of a fossil-fuel addict

The power grid: more feeble than you think.The trouble started on an August afternoon in a remote field in northern Ohio, miles from any town large enough to be marked on a standard road atlas. …

If you could CEQ her now

Coal is here to stay, says Obama’s chief environmental adviser

In an exclusive interview with Grist, Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, says coal isn’t going away anytime soon.  She also says the administration can’t promise a slowdown in mountaintop-removal …