For many, flipping a light switch is a common occurrence. Flip a switch, and a light turns on almost instantaneously. This month we’re taking a look at some of the issues that enable that lightbulb to power on, or enable cars and buses to take you from point A to point B. Today, we’re talking energy.

You can listen to the full episode, or download it here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You can also head to the individual segments for the audio, full conversations, and visuals:

Roundtable Discussion: The COGCC and GEO
The Fracking Debate in Washington
The New Steam
Woody Biomass at Colorado Springs Utilities
Transmission Line Proposal Generates Controversy
Historical Perspective: Nikola Tesla

Western Skies is a collaboration between KRCC News and the Big Something.


Roundtable Discussion: The COGCC and GEO

This month, KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin speaks with Dave Neslin, who heads the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, or COGCC. Also we’ll hear from TJ Deora, who heads the Governor’s Energy Office. We open the conversation with Dave Neslin briefly explaining what the COGCC does.

Listen here, or download:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Here’s the full conversation, also available for download (about 1 hr, 8 minutes):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

In the conversation, Dave Neslin responds to the movie Gasland, saying the film contains some inaccuracies. We attempted to talk to filmmaker Josh Fox, but he was unavailable for an interview.


The Fracking Debate in Washington

In Congress, the drilling debate is moving from oil rigs in water to hydraulic fracturing on land, including here in Colorado. It’s a process commonly called fracking that some fear contaminates drinking water. Patrick Terpstra has a look at the debate from Washington.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

In the full, unedited roundtable discussion above, Dave Neslin of the COGCC mentions FracFocus, which is a chemical disclosure website.


The New Steam

Alternative energy doesn’t just refer to wind and solar power. One inventor just north of Colorado Springs is exploring ways to reduce our dependence on oil. Craig Richardson visited the workshop of one man who’s actually looking to the past while working toward the future.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You can also download the piece here, or visit Eckert’s website.


Woody Biomass at Colorado Springs Utilities

Colorado Springs Utilities is researching the use of woody biomass to supplement coal in energy production. Terry Meikle heads the woody biomass project for the utility. KRCC’s Daniel Edwards and Andrea Chalfin took a tour of the Drake power plant in downtown Colorado Springs to hear about the project. Daniel has this audio postcard of the journey.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Transmission Line Proposal Generates Controversy

A frustrated coalition of landowners and residents in southern Colorado is opposing a plan for a new transmission line in the San Luis and Cucharra Valleys. Known as the Southern Colorado Transmission Improvement Project, it would string nearly 150 miles of new power lines from an existing substation north of Alamosa up to Pueblo. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

You can read more about the project at its website: Southern Colorado Transmission Improvement Project
Trinchera Ranch also has its own website related to the project: Smart Valley Energy


Historical Perspective: Nikola Tesla

In 1899, the great inventor NIkola Tesla moved to Colorado Springs and set up a laboratory to conduct experiments in wireless telegraphy and atmospheric electricity, among many other things. Local author and historian Richard Marold portrays Tesla in this visit from the past.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Comments are closed.

News

April 23, 2017 | NPR · Arkansas Times reporter Jacob Rosenberg talks about the state’s first execution in 12 years, after the U.S. Supreme Court denied requests by a death row inmate to stay his execution.
 

April 23, 2017 | NPR · This week will see a reveal of the White House’s tax plan and the end of President Trump’s first 100 days in office and Trump is still working on making progress on his campaign promises.
 

April 23, 2017 | NPR · Centrist independent Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen lead the first round of the French presidential election. Both are poised to compete in a May runoff.
 

Arts & Life

April 23, 2017 | NPR · This weeks #NPRpoetry Twitter submissions celebrate Mother Earth.
 

April 23, 2017 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Amy Goldstein talks about her book Janesville: An American Story, that’s about a factory town in Wisconsin that lost its lifeblood when its factory shut down.
 

April 23, 2017 | NPR · A slew of new documentaries look back on the Los Angeles riots, 25 years after the city erupted in protest. But why are so many being made and why now?
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
April 23, 2017 | NPR · On his new album, Parking Lot Symphony, Troy Andrews keeps New Orleans’ brass-band sound up-to-date. Thanks to a new generation of musicians, he says, “the future of the music is in good hands.”
 

Screenshot by NPR
April 23, 2017 | NPR · Mona Haydar calls her music “resistance music” because it celebrates diversity and calls for women to be “unapologetic about who they are.”
 

Getty Images
April 22, 2017 | NPR · As a teenager, the Sleater-Kinney guitarist’s local record shop, Rubato Records, became the site of an awakening. “I felt like I had discovered a treasure chest,” she says, “and I dove in.”
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab