The recession came close to killing off some of the American automakers. Now in a slow recovery, the American companies are doing better. Japanese car companies, some of them, are struggling - in particular some of the smaller Japanese automakers are facing trouble. NPR's Sonari Glinton looks at the fortunes of what are known as the Little Three.
Oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to coax out oil and gas has led to a natural gas boom, but some remain concerned of the potential environmental impact.
This past week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report linking climate change to some of the extreme weather events of 2011, like the devastating drought in Texas and record high temperatures in Britain.
None of this bodes well for the future, but there is a glimmer of hope. It turns out that U.S. carbon emissions are down nearly 8 percent since 2006.
The Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District continues to search for economical ways to keep the Atchafalaya Bar Channel clear of sediment.
The Daily Review reports (http://bit.ly/NlVpSB) dredging is expensive takes three to six months. Ship captains begin reporting new sediment buildup in as little as two weeks after the dredging is completed.
After six to eight weeks, the filling channel becomes a navigational issue, engineer Jonathan Hird of Baton Rouge-based Moffatt & Nichol told the port district this past week.
Perry Chighizola has been appointed to the Grand Isle Port Commission.
Chighizola owns Blue Water Sports, a recreational fishing company. The appointment was made by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Jindal also renewed appointments for the following port board members: retired police officer Ambrose Besson; charter fisherman Andy Galliano; commercial fisherman Terry Pizani and Bob Sevin, a retired marketing professional.
Equipment for transporting and housing coal sits idle in Cowen, W.Va. Since the natural gas boom, several mines in Webster County have either slowed or shut down operation, laying off hundreds of workers.
Credit Guy Raz / NPR
Rich Lewis worked as a miner for almost two decades before being laid off by Arch Coal. He says he's considering taking a job at another mine, but it's not certain that mine will stay open.
Earlier this week, NPR and the Center for Public Integrity reported astonishing news: the coal miners' disease called black lung is a growing problem again. The investigative report also showed that weak regulation and industry deception has thwarted the effort to protect miners from the coal mine dust that causes black lung.
NPR's Howard Berkes joins us. Howard, thanks for being with us. first,
HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: It's good to be with you, Scott.
This week, one of the biggest coal mining companies in Central Appalachia, Patriot Coal, filed for bankruptcy protection. Over the past three months, a wave of layoffs has hit coal country hard, and this past month, the share of all U.S. electricity generated from coal hit its lowest level since the 1940s. Our colleague Guy Raz visited Webster County in the middle of West Virginia to find out what's killing King Coal.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. Saturday in most remaining state inside waters east of the Mississippi River. The closure is designed to protect developing white shrimp.
The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds will remain open, but all other inside waters will be closed to shrimping.