Two loons swim with their chick on Clear Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Decarbonization ambitions ignite debate over mining, permitting

BY: - June 2, 2023

The decarbonized, electrified future envisioned by the Biden administration, state governments, automakers, utility companies and corporate sustainability goals depends to a huge degree on minerals and metals. Lots more lithium will be needed for car and truck batteries, as well as the big banks of batteries that are increasingly popping onto the electric grid to […]

two fawns converge in a creek

How do Kansans experience their state’s wildlife? This state agency decided to find out.

BY: - June 1, 2023

My earliest forays into nature were made in my father’s wake, as he hunted the timber and fields of my grandparents’ farm. Clambering along behind my dad was my favorite way to spend a Saturday, until the day he took aim at two doves — hitting the first and missing the second. Knowing these birds […]


Grim realities of Kansas generations past collide with climate crisis facing us all today

BY: - May 28, 2023

When I was growing up, I remember my parents heading off to visit the graves of family members at this time of year, taking flowers to set alongside headstones. I usually chose not to go with them, seeing it as something relevant to older folks, but not to me. Now I wish I would have […]

As EPA readies to limit ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water, Kansas has done little testing

BY: - May 26, 2023

Most of the sample results were normal. But one stood out.  Drinking water in rural Barber County contained levels of perfluorooctanoic acid — or PFOA — at more than 30 times a limit under consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency. It was the only substance the lab detected when Barber County Rural Water District #2 had its […]


Farmers face soaring risk of flash droughts in every major food-growing region, new research shows

BY: and - May 26, 2023

Flash droughts develop fast, and when they hit at the wrong time, they can devastate a region’s agriculture. They’re also becoming increasingly common as the planet warms. In a new study published May 25, 2023, we found that the risk of flash droughts, which can develop in the span of a few weeks, is on pace to rise in every major agriculture […]

U.S. Supreme Court members

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Biden wetlands regulation, ruling for Idaho couple

BY: - May 25, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court in a major environmental decision on  Thursday overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of wetlands that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction, siding with an Idaho couple who’d said they should not be required to obtain federal permits to build on their property that lacked any navigable water. All nine justices agreed […]

Sierra Club calls on EPA to strengthen rules on coal plants, affecting two Kansas facilities

BY: - May 25, 2023

Two Kansas utilities could be required to upgrade coal-fired power plants to limit emissions of lead and other hazardous metals under a policy regulators are considering, according to environmental activists.  The Sierra Club on Thursday released a report urging the Environmental Protection Agency to use its existing pollution rules to cut down on harmful exposures […]

With only weeks until winter wheat harvest, drought still plagues Kansas

BY: - May 23, 2023

Month after month without enough rain has made Kansas the epicenter of a stubborn drought covering parts of the Great Plains.  While the drought that plagued almost the entire western half of the U.S. last year has relented, it has only gotten worse in Kansas. The state is experiencing the most severe drought in the […]

Workers at the site of the oil spill from the Keystone pipeline near Washington, Kansas, in December 2022

Keystone pipeline owners knew of defect years before Kansas spill

BY: - May 22, 2023

Owners of the Keystone pipeline knew a defect had formed years before the strain finally caused the pipeline to burst and flood a Kansas creek with oil last year.  The Keystone pipeline, owned by TC Energy, burst near the Kansas-Nebraska border late last year, spilling almost 13,000 barrels of oil onto adjacent farmland and into […]

With summer coming fast, regulator issues electric reliability warning

BY: - May 20, 2023

As much as two thirds of North America could face shortages of electricity this summer in the event of severe and protracted heat, according to the regulator in charge of setting and enforcing standards for the electric grid.  “Increased, rapid deployment of wind, solar and batteries have made a positive impact,” said Mark Olson, manager […]

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Rural electric co-ops to get $10.7B in USDA funds for clean energy grants, loans

BY: - May 16, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin to administer two loan and grant programs worth nearly $11 billion to boost clean energy systems in rural areas, administration officials said Tuesday. Congress approved the federal spending — $9.7 billion for a grant and loan program the department is calling the New Empowering Rural America program, or […]


While we wait placidly, climate change and gun violence threaten Kansans and Americans

BY: - May 16, 2023

Mark Twain liked to say that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it would immediately jump out. However, if you put the frog in cool water and then turned on the heat, the frog would remain in the water until it boils to death. We Kansans — and Americans — […]