BURN An Energy Journal's Election Special, The Power of One

Hour One
The Power of One Election and America's Energy Future

The Obama and Romney campaigns agree on the necessity of mining America's energy resources, but they differ on exactly how to do it. The president advocates an "all of the above" strategy for energy exploration that equally favors wind, solar, and fossil fuels. Governor Romney says the president only likes "sources of energy that come above the ground, not those that come below the ground, like oil and gas and coal."

In this hour of BURN, host Alex Chadwick will parse the energy policies of the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees and examine how the outcome of November's election might shape the country's energy future. BURN also follows a referendum initiative in Michigan to put a constitutionally mandated 25 percent renewable energy standard on the November 6 general election ballot. The proposal would require Michigan energy providers to produce a quarter of their electricity from sources such as wind and solar.

And BURN travels to Pennsylvania's natural gas-rich "Marcellus Shale" region that informs the national fracking controversy. The Marcellus Shale is a vast, underground repository of natural gas that runs beneath parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. The extraction of that fossil fuel has helped resuscitate Pennsylvania's economy, providing residents with jobs and lucrative mineral leases. Some argue that hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") -- the injection underground of vast quantities of water and chemicals to mine the natural gas -- is harmful to the environment. All this is the backdrop to BURN's story, which examines the impact natural gas exploration has had on Pennsylvania.

Hour Two
The Power and Politics of New Energy Frontiers

Whether it is Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, the next president of the United States will have one fundamental energy policy challenge: how to make the country more self-sufficient. The candidates may argue over how best to do this, but they don't disagree on the bottom line. President Obama: "We need an energy strategy for the future -- an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy." Governor Romney: "We need to get America energy secure."

In this hour of BURN, we'll hear stories about the next frontiers of energy development, the fields of exploration that may help the next president propel the U.S. toward energy independence. Alex Chadwick tells the story of one woman and one man who are driven by powerful visions of what America's energy future should look like. The man is Mike Pethel, a garage tinkerer from California who's working on designing a very, very fast green electric car. The woman is a Colorado state research chemist named Amy Prieto who is building a revolutionary battery that just might be the holy grail of green technology.

BURN will also explore the newest frontier of oil and gas exploration: offshore Arctic drilling and its huge potential risks and gains. The reporter is longtime Alaska resident and former NPR correspondent Elizabeth Arnold. And Alex will speak with a former Energy Department scientist who spearheaded an all-out government offensive in search of one all-powerful, cutting-edge energy technology.

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