Amanda Little

Amanda Little, Grist's former Muckraker columnist, is author of Power Trip: The Story of America's Love Affair with Energy. She teaches investigative journalism at Vanderbilt University and her articles on energy and the environment have appeared in publications including Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine. You can follow her on Twitter: @littletrip.

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. The only trace of humanity hung above the trees—an electrical cable known as the Harding-Chamberlin Line, carrying 345,000 volts of power. By 3:00 the air temperature had risen to 90 degrees, and the cable itself had reached nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit—roughly twice its average temperature. The aluminum core of the 3-inch-thick wire was expanding with the heat and beginning to sag. Five hundred miles due …

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 mining.  Here are highlights in video and text. (For more, read the full Q & A.) On coal: [C]learly coal is a part of our energy mix now and it’s likely to be so in the future. … I think there is hope for technology that will help to reduce both the environmental impacts of mining coal and producing electricity with coal. … [E]ven if …

Action Jackson

EPA chief Lisa Jackson on mountaintop removal, climate legislation, toxics, and more

In a wide-ranging interview with Grist, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson hit on a number of hot-button topics. Here are highlights in video and text.  (For more, read the full Q & A.) On mountaintop-removal mining: [T]he current state of the law and regs doesn’t allow us to just change the law and the regs to say that this process will no longer be allowable. There’s no way to do that under current law. What we can do at EPA is commit to a couple things: rigorous scrutiny of permits to make sure that we look at potential impacts to water …

Ted Turner chats about his outsized environmental hopes and ambitions

  Ted Turner has always been — for better and for worse — a head turner. He revolutionized media with the first cable news station, CNN. He gave a cool billion to the United Nations. He won the America’s Cup. He married Jane Fonda. He bought the Atlanta Braves. He earned the moniker “Mouth of the South” for calling Ash Wednesday observers “Jesus freaks,” pro-lifers “bozos,” and Christianity “a religion for losers.” Turner has been equally brazen when it comes to the environment. He bought up some 2 million acres of land in Western and Plains states, making him the …

New Nature Conservancy prez chats about jumping from Goldman Sachs to the green scene

The stereotypes of biz-begrudging enviros and planet-pillaging business leaders were upended years ago. These days, green groups and corporations team up on everything from preserving land to pushing for climate regulations. Now, in the latest example of cross-pollination, they’re even swapping executives. Mark Tercek Photo: Mark Godfrey/The Nature Conservancy Mark Tercek, who took the helm of The Nature Conservancy this week, spent more than two decades as an investment banker and managing director at Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs. In recent years, he oversaw the company’s Environmental Strategy Group and Center for Environmental Markets, and pioneered Goldman’s sustainability initiative, which …

Jeffrey Sachs, economist and eco-problem solver, chats about his plans to save the world

Jeffrey Sachs speaks at the University of North Carolina. Photo: Kevin Tsui Jeffrey Sachs — the renowned economist who devised a grand plan in 2005 to rid the world of poverty — is now focused on an even broader ambition: saving the planet and all of us who call it home. His new book, Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, explores the crises of climate change and ecological degradation in a world squeezed by soaring population and industrial growth. But it’s no doomsayer’s lament. Sachs is a practical problem solver who’s made his name advising big players in international …

An interview with Ralph Nader about his presidential platform on energy and the environment

He brought you the seat belt. He launched a consumer advocacy empire. He got over 2 million votes in the 2000. We interview with Ralph Nader about his presidential platform.

An interview with Florida’s governor, a Republican climate crusader

Photo: Steven Murphy/WireImageMeet Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a surprising blend of Grand Ol’ Party and bleeding-heart greenie. As a Republican, he defends the Bush administration’s environmental record, but he also counts among his personal heroes Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who wrote an entire book condemning Bush as “America’s worst environmental president.” Crist wasn’t backed by green groups during his 2006 race for the governor’s mansion, but now, after his first year in office, enviros in Florida and beyond are singing his praises. Crist has earned their particular admiration for diving into the fight against climate change and spurning plans for …

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