Camila Domonoske

Camila Flamiano Domonoske covers cars, energy and the future of mobility for NPR's Business Desk.

She got her start at NPR with the Arts Desk, where she edited poetry reviews, wrote and produced stories about books and culture, edited four different series of book recommendation essays, and helped conceive and create NPR's first-ever Book Concierge.

With NPR's Digital News team, she edited, produced, and wrote news and feature coverage on everything from the war in Gaza to the world's coldest city. She also curated the NPR home page, ran NPR's social media accounts, and coordinated coverage between the web and the radio. For NPR's Code Switch team, she has written on language, poetry and race. For NPR's Two-Way Blog/News Desk, she covered breaking news on all topics.

As a breaking news reporter, Camila appeared live on-air for Member stations, NPR's national shows, and other radio and TV outlets. She's written for the web about police violence, deportations and immigration court, history and archaeology, global family planning funding, walrus haul-outs, the theology of hell, international approaches to climate change, the shifting symbolism of Pepe the Frog, the mechanics of pooping in space, and cats ... as well as a wide range of other topics.

She was a regular host of NPR's daily update on Facebook Live, "Newstime" and co-created NPR's live headline contest, "Head to Head," with Colin Dwyer.

Every now and again, she still slips some poetry into the news.

Camila graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina.

When electric pickup maker Lordstown Motors took over an old General Motors plant in Ohio in 2019, it had big ambitions — and made a lot of promises.

It promised a revival for a community agonizingly familiar with lost jobs. It named itself after the town, Lordstown, and named its future truck the Endurance, after the region's enduring residents.

And it promised a fast timeline. Lordstown aimed to bring the first mass-produced electric pickup truck to market, built right there in that old GM plant.

Every day, Laura Pho walks outside her home and creates a new memorial — a chalk drawing, usually of a heart — on the patch of pavement where her mother died last summer.

"I can see it from my office window," Pho says. "It's nice to be able to see just these bright, beautiful drawings that remind me of my mother, who was also bright and beautiful."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Whether or not you want an electric vehicle in your driveway, you might soon spot one showing up on your curb.

All major delivery companies are starting to replace their gas-powered fleets with electric or low-emission vehicles, a switch that companies say will boost their bottom lines, while also fighting climate change and urban pollution.

UPS has placed an order for 10,000 electric delivery vehicles. Amazon is buying 100,000 from the start-up Rivian. DHL says zero-emission vehicles make up a fifth of its fleet, with more to come.

Oil prices have risen sharply over the last few months. Normally, that's a recipe for a drilling frenzy from U.S. oil producers. But something strange is happening, or rather, not happening.

"U.S. producers are actually being restrained at the moment," says Helima Croft, global head of commodities strategy at RBC Capital Markets. "They are trying to be disciplined."

Oil companies are under a lot of pressure to keep their production down. And the call is coming from inside the house: it's oil investors who are pushing for companies to pump less oil.

Driving was markedly down in 2020, yet a new report found a surprising and alarming statistic: Traffic deaths actually rose last year.

The National Safety Council (NSC) says deaths from motor vehicles rose 8% last year, with as many as 42,060 people dying in vehicle crashes.

When comparing traffic deaths to the number of miles driven, the rate of fatalities rose 24% — the highest spike in nearly a century, NSC says.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

OPEC and its allies said Thursday they are keeping oil production largely steady, even as crude prices stage a remarkable recovery, betting that a restrained approach will lay the groundwork for prices to climb even more.

Russia and Kazakhstan will raise their output modestly, but all other members of the alliance will hold their production steady instead of returning more oil to the global market. Saudi Arabia also said it will extend its voluntary cut in oil production of 1 million barrels per day into April.

For Texas, it's looking like a daunting power bill.

The Lone Star State racked up tens of billions of dollars in electricity expenses, as a free-wheeling market design sent prices skyrocketing. It tallied tens of billions more in damage and economic losses from blackouts.

The state could spend years paying down those costs — costs that many experts say were avoidable had Texas taken pre-emptive steps to leave its independent, isolated power system better prepared for this month's winter storms.

This week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appeared on local TV in Dallas and blamed the state's power crisis on the devastating storm that disrupted power generation and froze natural gas pipelines.

He didn't single out one power source to blame. Then he went on Fox News and gave a different story.

"Wind and solar got shut down," he said. "They were collectively more than 10% of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis."

The winter storms gripping much of the United States have devastated many families and businesses, with frigid temperatures and power outages causing particularly dire conditions in Texas.

But for oil and gas producers that have managed to keep production going, this is proving to be a big payday. Jerry Jones, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, appears to be one of the beneficiaries.

Electric automaker Tesla and cryptocurrency Bitcoin have a lot in common.

Both have seen their market value skyrocket last year, defying skeptics and thrilling fans. Both are fueled by mass enthusiasm and techno-utopian idealism.

And they've both got plenty of doubters warning a giant crash could be on the horizon.

The traditional inaugural parade was not an option this year, given security fears and the coronavirus pandemic.

So instead, the Biden Inaugural Committee is throwing a "Parade Across America" — a virtual celebration involving dancers, drum lines, singers and athletes from across the United States.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

Andrea Hall, a career firefighter and union leader from Fulton County, Ga., led the Pledge of Allegiance during the inauguration of President-elect Biden.

Hall recited the familiar words of the pledge out loud and in American Sign Language.

When Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old poet from Los Angeles, took to the stage on Wednesday, it was immediately clear why the new president had chosen her as his inaugural poet.

Gorman echoed, in dynamic and propulsive verse, the same themes that Biden has returned to again and again and that he wove throughout his inaugural address: unity, healing, grief and hope, the painful history of American experience and the redemptive power of American ideals.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden became President Biden at noon Eastern time, after he took the oath of office to become the nation's 46th commander in chief.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts conducted the swearing-in ceremony. Biden placed his hand on a family Bible.

Automakers around the world, from Japan to Texas, are grappling with a global shortage of computer chips.

On Wednesday, Michelle Laughlin realized something: Joe Biden would be the next president.

She had traveled from Nevada for the "Stop the Steal" rally hoping that a second term for President Trump was still possible. She sang patriotic songs as Trump supporters forcibly invaded the Capitol building. But as night fell, and the occupiers were pushed out and Congress resumed its operations, Laughlin saw with clarity where things are headed.

"I think they're going to certify Biden," she said, "and I think that's a terrible, terrible thing."

This year, the hottest trend on Wall Street could be summed up in one strange and unfamiliar word: SPAC.

Shaquille O'Neal's got a SPAC. Former House Speaker Paul Ryan's got a SPAC. Famed investor Bill Ackman launched a $4 billion SPAC. And a 25-year-old became the youngest self-made billionaire thanks to — you guessed it — a SPAC.

So what is a SPAC? A "special purpose acquisition company" is a way for a company to go public without all the paperwork of a traditional IPO, or initial public offering.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

The hottest trend on Wall Street this year is a SPAC. That's spelled S-P-A-C.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: Constantly now - SPAC, SPAC, SPAC.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #2: SPAC frenzy.

The massive spending package just passed by Congress includes the most significant climate legislation in more than a decade, along with significant changes in energy policy.

Faster, stronger, just plain truckier.

Automakers from GM to startup Rivian are racing to bring their first electric pickups ever to market starting next year, and they aren't just arguing a battery-powered truck will be as good as any other pickup.

They are promising it'll be better. Much better.

Ride-hailing giant Uber is selling its autonomous vehicle research unit, Advanced Technologies Group, to the self-driving startup Aurora.

It's a significant symbolic shift for a company that just a few years ago promoted the development of self-driving technology as key to its long-term profitability.

Uber hasn't given up on the promise of autonomous vehicles. But after investing billions of dollars, it is now going to outsource that expensive effort.

How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle? The question is more complicated than it seems, and that's a challenge for the auto industry.

Vehicles have different battery sizes, and charge at different speeds. The same vehicle at different chargers will experience wildly varying charge times.

And no matter what charger a driver uses, an electric vehicle requires a change in habits. That may be an obstacle for automakers who need to persuade sometimes skeptical car buyers to try their first electric vehicle.

U.S. oil and gas companies will soon be facing a climate-conscious president who has vowed to transition away from the oil industry.

So you might expect a sense of existential dread in the oil world about President-elect Joe Biden. Instead, there's a surprising amount of optimism.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter he has tested both positive and negative for COVID-19 after taking four rapid antigen tests.

Experts have long cautioned that such rapid tests are not as reliable as others at diagnosing the coronavirus. There are other tests, including one called PCR, widely seen as the "gold standard." Musk has gotten one of those, too.

Updated on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden called for healing and cooperation in his victory speech on Saturday night, striking an optimistic tone about the prospects for a renewed and reunited America.

The auto industry is roaring back far sooner than expected in the latest sign of the economy's two-track recovery.

Major auto manufacturers have been raking in money this past quarter as consumers who can afford it show unexpectedly strong appetite for expensive new vehicles.

Companies such as Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Daimler and BMW reported impressive earnings in the period between July to September, surpassing their pre-pandemic performance in many key metrics. Honda and Toyota raised their profit forecasts sharply.

Aaron Springer of Odenton, Md., wasn't looking to sell his 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, which he bought used a couple of years ago.

"I love this car," he says.

But Springer heard the used-car market was hot, so he decided he might as well check. To his astonishment, used-car site Carvana offered him $1,500 more than he paid for the vehicle in 2018.

"I mean, it's just too good of a price to not sell it," he says.

In 2008, Daimon Rhea moved to Utah to find work in the oil fields. He didn't have any experience — and he didn't need any.

"I was out there for two days and I had a job making about $30 an hour," he says. He started as a roughneck, doing hard physical labor on drilling sites, and easily pulled in double what he could have earned back home in California.

"I was able to turn my life around," Rhea says.

It wasn't easy — the hours were rough as a single dad — but Rhea was making great money.

Pages