As a young medical student, Dr. David Casarett was inspired by the story of a two-year-old girl named Michelle Funk. Michelle fell into a creek and was underwater for over an hour. When she was found she wasn’t breathing, and her pupils were fixed and dilated. That drowning should have been fatal. But after three hours of persistent work, a team of doctors and nurses was able to bring her back. It was a miracle.

If Michelle could come back after three hours of being dead, what about twelve hours? Or twenty-four? What would it take to revive someone who had been frozen for one thousand years? And what does blurring the line between “life” and “death” mean for society? In Shocked, Casarett chronicles his exploration of the cutting edge of resuscitation and reveals just how far science has come.

David Nightingale: Franklin's Electricity

Jun 28, 2015

At the time of the Declaration of Independence it wasn't known what electricity was. A fluid, perhaps? Or a fire?

Electricity prices should fall in western Massachusetts this summer.  The region’s two major investor-owned electric utility companies have filed plans with the state’s regulatory board to cut rates. Also, there should be no concerns about power shortages this summer.

Eversource, formerly known as Western Massachusetts Electric Company, announced this week a plan to cut rates by more than 31 percent. The company said the average customer, using 500 kilowatt-hours a month, can expect to save $22 a month.

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Electric rates in Connecticut are rising. State regulators approved an 8 percent increase in electric generation rates for Connecticut Light and Power residential customers who do not get their electricity from competing suppliers.

The increase announced Friday boosts the average residential bill by $5.29 a month.

A spokesman says the Northeast Utilities subsidiary is passing along increased prices charged by suppliers.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Electric customers in Massachusetts may see lower rates in the future.

A ruling by Administrative Law Judge Michael Cianci would reduce the allowed profit on New England transmission projects from more than 11 percent to 9.7 percent. The ruling is a result of a 2011 complaint from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Attorney General Martha Coakley says the ruling could save Massachusetts customers $50 million. 

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (AP) — New York's electrical grid operator says the average price of wholesale electricity hit a 12-year low last year, thanks to a glut of cheap natural gas and market competition that drives greater efficiency.

The New York Independent System Operator, or NYISO, said Wednesday that the average annual wholesale price of electric energy in the state was $45.23 per megawatt hour. The previous record low was $48.63 in 2009.

At one point after Tropical Storm Irene moved through upstate New York one year ago, national grid reported 156,000  customers without power. For a look back, and a look at what has changed since the storm, WAMC’s Brian Shields talked today with Bill Flaherty, a regional executive with National Grid, who recalls the preparation before the storm hit.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders says "smart grid" electrical technology offers real benefits for Vermont consumers and the environment.

Sanders and some Vermont environmental leaders said at a news conference on Monday that Vermont is a national leader in developing a smarter, stronger, more efficient and reliable electrical system.

Sanders says Vermont received $69 million in federal stimulus funds to modernize its electric transmission system.

Massachusetts Senate Passes Bill on Energy Costs

Apr 6, 2012

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously passed a bill that aims to curb energy costs while requiring state utilities to buy more renewable power.   WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

The bill passed Thursday requires utilities to enter long-term contracts with renewable power companies for 7 percent of their energy supplies, up from 3 percent.

The companies must competitively bid for the contracts, instead of one-on-one negotiations allowed now. And a state payment to utilities that agree to the deals drops from 4 percent of the contract's annual value to 1 percent.