Episode 180: 2020 Is A Big Year For New England Politicians; Coal Still Powers Our Electricity

2020 is a big year in politics, and New England senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are among the Democratic front-runners challenging President Trump. This week on NEXT, we look at where things stand in the presidential race and impeachment. And we hear how coal continues to play a role in New England’s electrical grid. Plus, how paid leave proposals and nursing shortages highlight cross-border economies.

As First Primary Nears, A Look At New England Presidential Candidates


We’re a month away from the first primary of the 2020 presidential election, and it’s happening right here in New England. New Hampshire’s primary is on Feb. 11, about a week after the Iowa Caucuses. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts are among the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination. But they’re not the only New Englanders in the race.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld challenging President Trump for the Republican nomination. Another former Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick, entered the Democratic race in November. And just this week, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced he is running as a Libertarian

Anthony Brooks, senior political reporter at WBUR in Boston, talks about where the presidential candidates stand in New Hampshire, particularly these New Englanders.

Coal is Dirty. Amid Protests, Why New England Is Still Burning It For Power.

The Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire. (Annie Ropeik/NHPR)

Two decades ago, New England got 18 percent of its power from coal. Today, it’s just one percent. But environmentalists say even that’s too much. They want to kill coal once and for all. Some people are literally putting their bodies on the line in an attempt to stop coal trains bound for New Hampshire. We take a look at the current state of coal and its future in the region

Philip B. Price: Evolving Over A 30 Year Music Career

Self Portrait: Philip B. Price

Philip B. Price is best known as frontman for the Winterpills, an indie band based in Northampton, Mass. But Price’s music career goes back 30 years. He played in an 80s art-rock quartet called Memorial Garage and later in the power pop group, The Maggies. Along the way, he also released solo records, stopping in 2004.

That changed in November, when Price released his first solo album in 15 years: “Bone Almanac.” Price played a few songs off the album in our studio, and we talked with him about the evolution of his career and the influence of climate change and fatherhood on his music. 

Also on the show this week:

About NEXT

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host: Henry Epp, All Things Considered host at Vermont Public Radio
Producer: Morgan Springer
Executive Editor: Vanessa de la Torre
Senior Director: Catie Talarski
Contributors to this episode: Steve Mistler, Miriam Wasser, Peter Hirschfeld and Josh Rogers.
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England” by Goodnight Blue Moon, 100 Year Storm” by Adam Ezra Group and “Maria” by Francesca Blanchard.

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