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When you flip on a light switch, odds are, you're burning coal. But as the fracking boom continues to unleash huge quantities of natural gas, the nation's electric grid is changing. Power plants are increasingly turning to this low-cost, cleaner-burning fossil fuel.

Bill Pentak stands in the middle of a construction site, looking up at his company's latest project towering overhead — a new natural gas power plant.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's late on a Tuesday morning and — as it's done every day for decades — the Patrick Gannaway towboat pushes its two barges up the Mississippi River right through downtown Minneapolis.

To get its 2,400 tons of sand, gravel, and limestone past the river's only waterfall, the barges take a five-story vertical ride inside the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock.

Recycling sewage water has helped free Israel, a desert country, from depending on rain.

Treated sewage water provides close to a quarter of Israel's demand for water, right behind desalination, the other major process that has eased Israel's fear of drought.

But making that water — from toilets, showers, and factories — clean enough to use is challenging.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

New York state's Seneca Lake is the heart of the Finger Lakes, a beautiful countryside of steep glacier-carved hills and long slivers of water with deep beds of salt. It's been mined on Seneca's shore for more than a century.

The Texas company Crestwood Midstream owns the mine now, and stores natural gas in the emptied-out caverns. It has federal approval to increase the amount, and it's seeking New York's OK to store 88 million gallons of propane as well.

Volunteer Rangers Work To Rein In Antler Poachers

Jun 20, 2015

The trick to looking for antlers in the wild — if you're going about it ethically — is to keep your eyes to the ground.

"You're trying to just find something that looks out of the ordinary," Rob Tanner says.

Tanner and his brother-in-law Troy Capps are hiking around juniper trees and bitterbrush in the high-desert terrain of central Oregon. They're looking for antlers that were shed by deer or elk, otherwise known as shed hunting.

"It's just an adrenaline rush," Tanner says. "It's like, 'Oh, you know, this could be the one.' "

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Millions of women around the world take synthetic hormones via birth control pills or hormone replacement therapies. Not all of the estrogen-like compounds from these and other treatments are used by the body — small amounts are excreted and end up in municipal wastewater. And there's been no good way to completely remove these hormones before they head to rivers and seas.

The Obama administration announced new rules today that would require tighter emissions guidelines for medium and heavy-duty trucks in an effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

The rules, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), were expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions from trucks and vans by one-quarter by the year 2027.

The proposed standards affect semi-trucks, large pickup trucks and vans, buses and work trucks and cover model years 2021-2027, officials said.

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