At Resource Management's materials recovery facility, workers pull plastic bags, other trash and large pieces of cardboard off the conveyor belts before the mixed single-stream recyclables enter the sorting machines. Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio hide caption

itoggle caption Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

A platform owned by Mexico's state-run oil company Pemex is seen off the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico. The country has recently opened up its energy sector to foreign investors. Victor Ruiz/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Victor Ruiz/Reuters/Landov

Renewable energy sources — such as the Eolo wind park about 75 miles south of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua — generate about half of the country's electricity. Officials predict that figure could rise to 80 percent within years. Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images

Proponents of the terminal plan say it would bring economic development to the Vancouver area, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore. Conrad Wilson/OPB News hide caption

itoggle caption Conrad Wilson/OPB News

Opponents of fracking protested in January at the inauguration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. Matt Rourke/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Rourke/AP

Miller Farm, the terminus of Van Syckel's pipeline, in 1868. The oil was pumped to Miller Farm and then transported by railroad. Drake Well Museum/Courtesy of PHMC hide caption

itoggle caption Drake Well Museum/Courtesy of PHMC

An oil well in Garden City, Texas. With prices plunging, oil companies are laying off thousands of workers. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A functioning oil rig sits in front of the capital building in Oklahoma City, Okla. The oil industry is an important employer in the state, but officials are concerned a technique used to dispose of wastewater from oil extraction is behind a surge in earthquakes here. Frank Morris/KCUR hide caption

itoggle caption Frank Morris/KCUR

Elizabeth Ebinger in Maplewood, N.J., bought her solar panels, while neighbor Tim Roebuck signed a 20-year lease. Both are happy with the approach they took, and both are saving money on energy bills. Jeff Brady/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Brady/NPR

Tracy Perryman is production manager for his family's small oil company in Luling, Texas. B.J.P. Inc. owns 116 wells that, combined, produce about 100 barrels a day. John Burnett/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John Burnett/NPR

Susan and Bill Dunavan own 80 acres of land in York County. Melissa Block/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Melissa Block/NPR

Casa Dominique is an ecolodge on Lanzarote's northern coast. Julie Genicot, a French trekking guide, has lived in Lanzarote since her grandparents opened the Casa Dominique when she was a child. She worries that offshore oil drilling might ruin the natural environment she grew up in. Lauren Frayer/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lauren Frayer/NPR

Pipes for TransCanada's planned Keystone XL pipeline are stored in Gascoyne, N.D. The U.S. House has voted to approve the proposed project, which would allow crude oil to flow from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The Senate plans to vote Tuesday on legislation that would greenlight the project. Andrew Cullen/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Cullen/Reuters/Landov

Ray Gerrish repairs a drilling rig near Watford City, N.D. Oil industry analysts predict that oil prices will have to remain low for at least several months before having a significant effect on U.S. production. Jim Gehrz/MCT/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Gehrz/MCT/Landov

Pumpjacks at the Inglewood oil fields in California in March. Some of the most controversial methods of oil extraction, like fracking, oil sands production and Arctic drilling, are also expensive. That's made them less profitable as the price of oil continues to fall. Richard Vogel/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Richard Vogel/AP

Lynn Good has had many mentors throughout her career — but few of them were women. "So I'm generationally on the early part of the ascent of women into leadership roles," the Duke Energy president and CEO says. Pat Sullivan/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Pat Sullivan/AP

A fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D., in this Dec. 30 photo. The fiery crash left an ominous cloud over the town and led some residents to evacuate. Bruce Crummy/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Bruce Crummy/AP

A woman in Senegal charges her cellphone using a port in her solar-powered LED lantern. Bruno Déméocq/Courtesy of Lighting Africa hide caption

itoggle caption Bruno Déméocq/Courtesy of Lighting Africa

In Del Norte, Colo., Public Works Supervisor Kevin Larimore shows off solar panels that provide electricity for the town's water supply. Despite generating its own solar energy, the town is still at risk of a blackout if its main power line goes down. Dan Boyce/Inside Energy hide caption

itoggle caption Dan Boyce/Inside Energy

The National Ignition Facility's 192 laser beams focus onto a tiny target. LLNL hide caption

itoggle caption LLNL