Jeff Brady

Jeff Brady is a NPR National Desk Correspondent based in Philadelphia. He covers the mid-Atlantic region and the energy industry.

In this role, Brady reports on the business of energy, from concerns over hydraulic fracturing in Western Pennsylvania to the oil boom in North Dakota and solar developments in the desert Southwest. With a focus on the consumer, Brady's reporting addresses how the energy industry intersects consumers' perspective at the gas pump and light switch.

Frequently traveling throughout the country for NPR, Brady has covered just about every major domestic news event in the past decade. Before moving to Philadelphia in July 2011, Brady was based in Denver and covered the west for NPR.

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 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).

A lot has changed for the energy industry since the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in 1989 and began spilling oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. The outcry over images of oil-soaked wildlife and a once-pristine shoreline dirtied by crude ushered in greater scrutiny of oil operations and increased interest in research on how to clean up oil spills.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Russia's president is also being criticized by Ukrainian-Americans watching the violent confrontations going on in their home country. Ukrainians in the U.S. tend to side with those protesting in Kiev's independent square. They're angry that President Viktor Yanukovych chose a closer relationship with Russia over a deal with the EU.

The Philadelphia area is home to more than 55,000 people of Ukrainian ancestry. NPR's Jeff Brady reports the community is holding rallies and lobbying their members of Congress.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

and we've been hearing in recent weeks about a propane shortage, which is really more about distribution. Companies are having trouble transporting their gas from where it's stored to where it's needed. Now the agency that regulates pipelines is taking an unprecedented step to try to fix that problem.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

Over 400,000 people in Pennsylvania still have no power following this week's ice storm. Many won't get back their power back before Sunday — but another winter super storm is expected over the weekend, worrying officials and residents over how they will stay warm.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Keystone XL oil pipeline may be closer to being built. The U.S. State Department's released an environmental impact statement that says the project would not make climate change any worse, and it's now up to President Obama to decide the fate of the pipeline. NPR's Jeff Brady reports that environmental groups and many Democrats want the president to reject the review's findings.

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

North Dakota's oil boom isn't just about oil; a lot of natural gas comes out of the ground at the same time. But there's a problem with that: The state doesn't have the pipelines needed to transport all of that gas to market. There's also no place to store it.

A remarkable transformation is underway in western North Dakota, where an oil boom is changing the state's fortunes and leaving once-sleepy towns bursting at the seams. In a series of stories, NPR is exploring the economic, social and environmental demands of this modern-day gold rush.

Donny Nelson is a third-generation farmer and rancher near Keene, N.D., a rural community located in the center of an oil rush.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama used the State of the Union speech to talk up the state of the domestic fuel industry.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today, America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades. One of the reasons why is natural gas.

Cold weather this week has boosted demand for heating fuels across the country. Natural gas prices are up, especially in the Northeast. At one point prices for natural gas into New York City jumped nearly tenfold from an average winter price of $5.68 per million BTU to $55.49, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics company.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are in the small town of Casselton, North Dakota, trying to learn what caused a fiery train crash. It's the latest in a series of accidents involving trains hauling crude oil. By far the most destruction happened last summer in Canada, where the center of a town in Quebec was destroyed, leaving 47 people dead.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In a Philadelphia courtroom today, a judge agreed to release a Catholic Church official who's serving prison time for his handling of sexual abuse claims. Last week, a Pennsylvania appeals court overturned Monsignor William Lynn's 2012 conviction. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

Oil giant BP is challenging hundreds of millions of dollars in claims that were filed by businesses after the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The total price tag for BP's oil spill is huge — $42.5 billion. At issue here is a fraction of that — but still a lot of money. BP says $540 million has been awarded to businesses for losses that "are either nonexistent, exaggerated or have nothing to do with the Deepwater Horizon accident."

The state of New York effectively has a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing as the government figures out how to regulate the controversial drilling technology. Still, the state is benefiting from a fracking-fueled drilling boom in next-door Pennsylvania.

For decades, oil has been the fuel of choice for thousands of residential buildings in New York City. But now there are fewer chimneys spewing black smoke. That's because the city has a program encouraging owners to convert to cleaner-burning natural gas.

Two large industries — agriculture and oil — are fighting a pitched battle over access to your car's fuel tank. Americans are buying less gasoline, but a federal law requires the country to include an increasing amount of corn-based ethanol in the country's fuel supply. Facing billions of dollars in lost sales, the oil industry wants the government to reverse course on ethanol.

There's plenty of criticism of the Affordable Care Act and how it's being implemented.

But let's introduce you to someone who is quite pleased with her Obamacare experience: Lela Petersen of Flagler, Colo. She's a small business owner with a very big health insurance bill.

But thanks to the health law, she expects that bill will be cut by more than half in January.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Penn State announced today that it will pay nearly $60 million to settle child sexual abuse claims related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. For much of the past year, the university has been negotiating settlements with more than two dozen people who say they were victims of Sandusky.

Transcript

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: I'm Jeff Brady, and in downtown Philadelphia at Independence National Historical Park, tourists are lining up outside the Liberty Bell again.

CHARLES CUMMINGS: My name's Charles Cummings. This is my wife, Marilyn. We're from Little Rock, Arkansas.

BRADY: Seeing the building where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and signed has Cummings thinking: What if today's politicians were around when the country was being formed?

In a New Orleans courtroom this week, BP and the federal government are arguing over how much oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010.

Oil flowed from the out-of-control well for nearly three months. Just how much oil spilled will be key in determining the amount BP will have to pay in federal fines and penalties.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

In Pennsylvania, more than a half-million people who don't have insurance are waiting to hear whether the state will take advantage of a Medicaid expansion that's part of the Affordable Care Act.

The federal law would allow people earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines to sign up for Medicaid. But a Supreme Court ruling that largely upheld the law gave states the choice whether to expand their Medicaid programs.

Many outsiders assume the Amish reject all new technology. But that's not true.

One Amish man in Lancaster County, Pa., checks his voicemail about four times a day. His shop is equipped with a propane-powered forklift, hydraulic-powered saws, cordless drills, and a refrigerated tank where milk from dairy cows is stored.

Americans are buying less gasoline than they did just a few years back. While many people believe this is a good thing, it does present a problem: Most road construction is paid for with fuel taxes. Less gas tax revenue means less money for roads.

One reason gas purchases are down is that more people are driving more efficient cars, such as hybrid and electric vehicles. Now states are looking for solutions, including charging hybrids extra fees or imposing fees based on miles driven.

If you work for Penn State and don't agree to step on a scale or have your waist measured, it could soon cost you $100 a month. The Pennsylvania State University is joining a growing list of employers penalizing workers who want company-sponsored health benefits but refuse to participate in health improvement programs.

University officials say they need to take dramatic steps to reduce health care costs, and getting their workers in shape is one way to do it.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

An offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico is on fire. Regulators say the rig has partially collapsed. It all began yesterday when members of a drilling crew lost control of a natural gas well they were completing. The crew was evacuated from the rig as a cloud of gas escaped into the air. And then last night, the gas caught fire. NPR's Jeff Brady tells us more.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The documentary Gasland inspired legions of "fracktivists" to oppose natural gas drilling booms across the country. Now the film has a sequel. Gasland Part II by director Josh Fox begins airing on HBO Monday night.

Gay rights activists celebrated two big victories this week before the U.S. Supreme Court, as justices overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and cleared the way for same-sex marriages in California.

Now gay marriage opponents and supporters are turning their attention to individual states, like New Jersey, where polls show most residents support same-sex marriage. So far, one person, Gov. Chris Christie, has stood in the way.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And before leaving on his trip to Africa, President Obama had some other words on another subject. He announced a wide-ranging plan to address climate change. Rather than taking that plan to Congress and fighting it out, Obama is using his executive powers to implement it without new laws. The president wants the Environmental Protection Agency to restrict carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. The biggest source of those emissions is coal-fired facilities.

Lots of passionate people are taking up farming these days, motivated by frustration with industrial farming, concerns about the environment, and a desire to build community and local food markets. Some of these new farmers have joined the Grange, a long-established fraternal organization for farmers with roots in social activism.

In Oregon, Granges dominated by this new generation have banded together in a coalition dubbed "Green Granges," which work together to advance the issues they care about.

A woman was killed when a four-story building collapsed in Philadelphia on Wednesday. A dozen others were rescued from the rubble.

Pages