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Jeff Brady

Jeff Brady is a National Desk Correspondent based in Philadelphia, where he covers energy issues, climate change and the mid-Atlantic region. Brady helped establish NPR's environment and energy collaborative which brings together NPR and Member station reporters from across the country to cover the big stories involving the natural world.

Brady approaches energy stories from the consumer side of the light switch and the gas pump in an effort to demystify an industry that can seem complicated and opaque. Frequently traveling throughout the country for NPR, Brady has reported on the Texas oil business hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the closing of a light bulb factory in Pennsylvania and a new generation of climate activists holding protests from Oregon to New York. In 2017 his reporting showed a history of racism and sexism that have made it difficult for the oil business to diversify its workforce.

In 2011 Brady led NPR's coverage of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State—from the night legendary football coach Joe Paterno was fired to the trial where Sandusky was found guilty.

In 2005, Brady was among the NPR reporters who covered the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His reporting on flooded cars left behind after the storm exposed efforts to stall the implementation of a national car titling system. Today, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System is operational and the Department of Justice estimates it could save car buyers up to $11 billion a year.

Before coming to NPR in September 2003, Brady was a reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) in Portland. He has also worked in commercial television as an anchor and a reporter, and in commercial radio as a talk-show host and reporter.

Brady graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Southern Oregon State College (now Southern Oregon University). In 2018 SOU honored Brady with its annual "Distinguished Alumni" award.

Around the world leaders see opportunity in the global pandemic to address the other big problem humanity faces: climate change.

With businesses closed and people at home the country is using a lot less energy and emitting fewer of the greenhouse gases that warm the climate.

The big question is whether any of these energy-saving habits we're developing now will stick as daily life starts to return to normal.

U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to decrease an extraordinary 11% this year, according to the Energy Information Administration's May Short-Term Energy Outlook.

As states around the country begin lifting stay-at-home orders, individuals face their own choice over whether it feels safe to resume activities we all used to take for granted.

We asked NPR listeners to tell us how they are making these decisions and nearly 250 people responded.

In general, it's clear that even as local officials lift restrictions, many people plan to wait longer before resuming their old routines.

The COVID-19 pandemic is delivering the biggest shock to the global energy system in seven decades, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Former President Richard Nixon celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970 by planting a tree on the White House South Lawn. An enormous turnout of some 20 million people across the country attended Earth Day festivities, putting the fight against pollution on the political agenda.

That year Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency and went on to sign the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act with broad bipartisan support.

On April 20, 2010, while drilling oil giant BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, the crew lost control of the well. There was a "blowout" that released gas and oil, leading to an explosion that killed 11 workers.

The Deepwater Horizon rig was destroyed and sank two days later. Over the next nearly three months, 210 million gallons of oil flowed from the well into the Gulf.

It was one of the biggest environmental disasters in U.S. history.

The Department of Health and Human Services is stepping back from a plan to end support on Friday for community-based coronavirus testing sites around the country.

Instead, the agency says local authorities can choose whether they want to transition to running the programs themselves or continue with federal oversight and help.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

Some local officials are disappointed the federal government will end funding for coronavirus testing sites this Friday. In a few places those sites will close as a result. This as criticism continues that not enough testing is available.

In the Philadelphia suburbs, Montgomery County has a drive-through site that has tested 250 people a day since March 21.

Clean energy and climate advocates say the huge stimulus bill Congress is negotiating should address not only the economy, but also climate change. But a split over that appears to have contributed to delays in passing the bill.

"Democrats won't let us fund hospitals or save small businesses unless they get to dust off the Green New Deal," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.

McConnell said Democrats were filibustering the $1 trillion-plus bill hoping to include policies such as extending tax credits for solar and wind energy.

Public health officials encourage "social distancing" now but they also worry it is leading to a shortage of donated blood.

The American Red Cross, which supplies about 40% of the nation's blood, says donor drives across the country have been cancelled "at an alarming rate" and the organization now faces a "severe blood shortage."

Oil prices bounced back a bit after President Trump said the Department of Energy would buy crude for the nation's strategic petroleum reserve.

"We're going to fill it right to the top," Trump said Friday in a wide-ranging news conference at the White House. He said it will save taxpayers "billions and billions of dollars" while helping an industry that's been reeling.

While oil prices increased nearly 5% after Friday's announcement, that was just a fraction of the amount they lost earlier in the week.

As the federal government takes a back seat in promoting electric vehicles some states, such as New Jersey, are taking the wheel.

There are nearly 1.5 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads today, according to the Edison Electric Institute. EV boosters concerned about climate change want even more and they say governments should help speed the transition away from internal combustion cars.

Updated at 10:20 a.m.

Climate change is a top issue in the Democratic presidential primaries and some candidates have taken relatively aggressive policy stands, including vows to ban hydraulic fracturing. But some Democrats worry that could push moderate voters in key swing states to reelect President Trump next November.

Updated at 1:40 E.T.

In one of his most sweeping environmental proposals so far, President Trump says he wants to streamline an "outrageously slow and burdensome federal approval process" that can delay major infrastructure projects for years.

Supporters from the fossil fuel, construction, ranching and other industries welcome the move, which they've long sought. Environmental groups warn it would sideline the climate impacts of highways, pipelines and other projects, and they promise a legal challenge.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Now to Jersey City and the funeral for the police detective who was killed last week just before the attack on a kosher market. NPR's Jeff Brady reports police from around the region lined the streets today to pay their respects.

The man most closely linked to President Trump's push to make coal great again — and the head of the country's largest privately owned coal mining company — is now the latest to reckon with the industry's decline.

The Trump administration has spent three years trying to help the coal industry by rolling back environmental regulations and pushing for subsidies for coal-fired power plants. Still, the long list of coal company bankruptcies has continued, and dozens more plants have announced their retirement since President Trump took office.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry plans to leave his position at the end of the year, President Trump confirmed to reporters Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump praised Perry and said he already has a replacement in mind.

"Rick has done a fantastic job," Trump said. "But it was time."

Trump said that Perry's resignation didn't come as a surprise and that he has considered leaving for six months because "he's got some very big plans."

Updated 3:34 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has escalated its fight with California over environmental regulations.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler sent a letter Monday to the California Air Resources Board threatening to withdraw billions of dollars in federal highway money unless the state clears a backlog of air pollution control plans.

Spurred by what they see as a sluggish, ineffectual response to the existential threat of global warming, student activists from around the world are skipping school Friday, for what organizers call a Global Climate Strike.

The young activists are protesting as the U.N. prepares to hold its Climate Action Summit on Monday in New York City.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Updated at 2:42 p.m. ET

Democratic National Committee officials rejected a proposal Thursday to hold a presidential primary debate focused only on climate change.

After the party's resolutions committee voted down the proposal, members of the activist group Sunrise Movement interrupted the meeting by standing on their chairs and singing a version of the song "Which Side Are You On?" They then walked out.

Americans are buying less beer from the country's largest breweries, and that has companies looking for new ways to attract customers.

You can see evidence in the beer aisle, where products like spiked seltzers and hemp-infused ales are aimed at the next generation of drinkers.

Now, 175-year-old Pabst Blue Ribbon is trying hard coffee.

Updated at 3:11 p.m. ET

President Trump has thrown his latest lifeline to the ailing coal industry, significantly weakening one of former President Barack Obama's key policies to address climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of its Affordable Clean Energy rule on Wednesday. It's supported by the coal industry, but it is not clear that it will be enough to stop more coal-fired power plants from closing.

Nearly 300 coal-fired power plants have been "retired" since 2010, according to the Sierra Club. It's a trend that continues despite President Trump's support for coal. That has left many communities worried that those now-idled places will simply be mothballed.

Nuclear power plants are so big, complicated and expensive to build that more are shutting down than opening up. An Oregon company, NuScale Power, wants to change that trend by building nuclear plants that are the opposite of existing ones: smaller, simpler and cheaper.

Congress is once again debating how to dispose of the country's growing inventory of nuclear waste. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is proposing legislation that would jump-start licensing hearings for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site in Nevada.

If it's been a few years since you shopped for a lightbulb, you might find yourself confused. Those controversial curly-cue ones that were cutting edge not that long ago? Gone. (Or harder to find.) Thanks to a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush, shelves these days are largely stocked with LED bulbs that look more like the traditional pear-shaped incandescent version but use just one-fifth the energy.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Around the world, students skipped school today to call for more action to address climate change.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: (Chanting in German).

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