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Annie Ropeik

Annie Ropeik reports on state economy and business issues for all Indiana Public Broadcasting stations, from a home base of WBAA. 

She has lived and worked on either side of the country, but never in the middle of it. At NPR affiliate KUCB in Alaska's Aleutian Islands, she covered fish, oil and shipping and earned an Alaska Press Club Award for business reporting. She then moved 4,100 miles to report on chickens, chemicals and more for Delaware Public Media. She is originally from the D.C. suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland, but her mom is a Hoosier.
 
Annie graduated from Boston University with a degree in classics and philosophy. She performs a mean car concert, boasts a worryingly encyclopedic knowledge of One Direction lyrics and enjoys the rule of threes. She is also a Hufflepuff.

Natural gas use is expected to increase in New York after the closure Friday of the state's largest nuclear plant. But it probably won’t trickle out to New England, according to a regional industry leader.

The impacts of climate change could prompt millions of Americans to relocate in coming decades, moving inland away from rising seas, or north to escape rising temperatures.

Judith and Doug Saum have moved already, recently leaving their home outside Reno, Nev.

New England used more wind and solar power than ever last year, but fossil fuels still make up half the electricity generated in the region.

In new data, power grid operator ISO-New England says 49% of electricity generated in New England last year was from natural gas. Less than 1% was from coal or oil. 

Natural gas use has roughly plateaued in the region in the past few years. It peaked in 2015.

Most New England states have been investing in alternative energy sources for years. But New Hampshire has been slower to act in response to climate change.

Now, the Granite State is looking to be a leader in a major new source of renewable energy: offshore wind.


Throughout the presidential primary campaign, voters in New Hampshire have said climate change is one of their top priorities. And even as candidates emphasize the dangers of global warming – and detail their plans to address it – many voters aren't reassured.

NHPR’s Annie Ropeik has more as part of our series “Where They Stand,” which takes a closer look at candidates’ policy proposals. 

Editor's note, Feb. 4, 2020: Click here to see an updated version of this project with the Democratic field as of the final week of the New Hampshire primary. 

A wastewater plant in Massachusetts says it will stop processing runoff from a landfill in New Hampshire because it contains high levels of PFAS chemicals.

But officials in New Hampshire say this local controversy is just one example of a widespread problem.

New state limits are now in effect for PFAS chemicals in public drinking water supplies.  The now-common industrial contaminants have been linked to health risks. 

New Hampshire's new standards are the nation’s strictest, and largely the first of their kind. 

Annie Ropeik / New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource has officially pulled the plug on the Northern Pass transmission line.

The utility filed a notice with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday, a spokesman says, “reflecting our conclusion that Northern Pass has unfortunately been brought to an end.” 

New Hampshire is at the forefront of a growing debate over PFAS chemical contamination in drinking water. And many of the Democrats campaigning to win the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary are taking notice.

They’re using the issue to connect with a highly engaged block of potential Granite State voters – and local PFAS activists are welcoming the attention.


Dyana / Flickr, Creative Commons

New England has lots of different kinds of special habitats, that are home to so many different species – if you just know where to look. Enter, the Mass Audubon Bird-a-thon. Each year, the best birders in Massachusetts participate, and it’s not as peaceful as it sounds… In fact, there's intense competition to see who can spot the most different kinds of birds around the state.  

The melty weather in New Hampshire this winter has been a big problem for some kinds of seasonal recreation -- and it’s all part of a long-term warming trend.

As this season comes to an end, some of the region's favorite pastimes are preparing for an uncertain future.

Windblown Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing is tucked into the hills of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, not far from the Massachusetts border.

As the climate warms, Americans – and New Englanders – appear to be finding abnormal temperatures less and less remarkable.

Editor's note: After this story was posted Monday afternoon, Mount Washington recorded a peak wind gust of 171 miles per hour - the highest since 1985, and a new February record for the summit.

The original story continues below: 

The Mount Washington Summit Observatory saw some of its highest winds in more than a decade Monday.

Meteorologist Tom Padham said the strong gusts, forecast up to 165 miles per hour, had been buffeting the 6,288-foot-elevation weather station all day.

A new report suggests New Hampshire's Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant will be essential to curbing the effects of climate change in the coming years.

Seabrook and Millstone Station in Connecticut will be the only two nuclear plants left in New England after next year.

They're also some of the most profitable nuclear plants in the country, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Right now, a group of hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut River are undergoing a once-in-a-generation process – a federal relicensing. NHPR’s Annie Ropeik went to the dams and talked with people who live, work and play nearby about what they hope might change.  

Massachusetts energy officials have announced they're going with Plan B to bring Canadian hydroelectric power to the Bay State.

They've selected a back-up project that runs transmission lines through Maine, after New Hampshire state regulators refused to allow Plan A – the controversial Northern Pass project.

But the Maine project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect, also faces an uncertain future.

In Massachusetts, the announcement got kudos and criticism from those closely watching the state's selection of a massive clean energy project:

It's been a few weeks since President-elect Donald Trump celebrated the Carrier company's decision to keep some factory jobs in Indiana instead of moving them to Mexico. The deal hinged on $7 million in state tax credits — some of which came from a rarely used fund for job retention. And now it has manufacturers wondering what the deal might mean for them.

Indiana doles out tens of millions of dollars in tax incentives to companies like Carrier every year — but usually those are for creating new jobs, not retaining existing ones.