Heather Smith

Heather Smith

Signs of movement

Heather Smith (on Twitter, @strangerworks) is interested in the various ways that humans try to save the environment: past, present, and future.

Climate & Energy

There’s oil-by-rail good news, and oil-by-rail bad news

Under new rules, old tank cars won't be ferrying explosive Bakken crude. Instead, they'll carry dirty tar sands crude.

Climate & Energy

Texas messes with Texas, pits landowners against pipeline-builders

Texas loves Big Oil, and the state has let companies run pipelines pretty much anywhere. But Texas also loves property holders, and some of them are unhappy.

Business & Technology

Tesla is becoming the 800-pound green jobs gorilla

As states vie for the automaker's new battery factory, it is being showered with tax breaks -- and California is even considering waiving environmental rules.


Pennsylvania seed-library caper grows loopier

The law used to target a seed library might have a loophole, researchers say -- and there's a lot more we could be doing to promote small-scale seed producers.

Climate & Energy

No solar, please — we’re Florida

The Sunshine State, like many of its Southern neighbors, has a long record of putting up barriers to the solar business models that work in other states.

Climate & Energy

Sort of like the love train, but with a rapping polar bear

From Emeryville, Calif., to the Big Apple, by rail, for the big September climate rally. It only takes three days. But there are workshops!


The little seed library that could … get busted by a state ag department

A modest local effort to build a seed library in Pennsylvania calls down the wrath of the state's farm regulators.

Climate & Energy

Will fracking in the Gulf of Mexico lead to the next Deepwater Horizon?

Deepwater fracking is booming in the Gulf, but nobody has done the research to assess its impact -- and figure out what we need to know when something goes badly wrong.

Climate & Energy

Exploding oil-train owners want insurance slack — just like nuclear power

It costs so much to get adequate insurance for all those rail cars hauling crude across the continent! Why can't the railroads get the same breaks government gives nuclear operators?

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