Environment

‘It’s a tinderbox situation’: Western governors ask Biden for better wildfire prevention

BY: - July 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden met virtually with governors from Western and Midwestern states on Friday to discuss how federal intervention can best aid states battling wildfires, amid complaints from states about federal forest management. “We’ve got big, complex wildfires burning across multiple areas,” Biden said. “We’re in for a long fight this year, and […]

Customers of Kansas’ largest natural gas utility could pay cold snap costs for 10 years

BY: - July 30, 2021

Customers of Kansas’ largest natural gas utility could be paying off costs from February’s deep freeze for the next 10 years, the company revealed Friday. The Kansas Gas Service, which serves more than 640,000 Kansas customers, filed plans with regulators to issue securitized bonds for approximately $390 million in extraordinary costs from the cold snap […]

Black Hills monthly bills could go up $14.50 under requests filed with Kansas regulators

BY: - July 28, 2021

Black Hills Energy customers could have to pay another $14.50 per month under two separate rate hikes the company has proposed to Kansas regulators. The natural gas utility, which serves more than 117,000 Kansas customers in 50 counties, filed in May with the Kansas Corporation Commission for a $10.2 million increase to customers’ base rates […]

OPINION

Kansas should realize real cost of Styrofoam and phase out harmful products

BY: - July 27, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Syed Jamal teachers college-level chemistry, biology and anatomy/physiology and researches phytoremediation and cancer biology. It’s cheap. It’s convenient. And it’s claimed to be easily recyclable. Yes, […]

Fuel shortages drove February blackouts, Southwest Power Pool investigators find

BY: - July 26, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rolling outages that left thousands without power in February were driven overwhelmingly by fuel shortages — especially in natural gas, executives with the Southwest Power Pool said Monday. This winter, sustained frigid temperatures across the Midwest and South forced huge demand for energy while the weather made generators struggle to keep up. […]

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks reports discovery of an invasive, people-attacking species of crayfish in McPherson State Fishing Lake. (KDWP)

Aggressive, destructive species of crayfish in Kansas likely spread by anglers

BY: - July 23, 2021

Large, aggressive crayfish species capable of outmaneuvering native aquatic animals identified for first time in the wild in Kansas.

OPINION

Audio Astra: Concerns for workers, unvaccinated patients, bird bureaucracy

BY: - July 23, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Listening to podcasts from around the state provides some unexpected connections from week to week and from one podcast to another. This week, those […]

Stone-Manning nomination set to advance to U.S. Senate after emotions run high at committee vote

BY: - July 22, 2021

In a contentious meeting that distilled a weeks-long fight, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee deadlocked 10-10 along party lines Thursday on approving Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination as head of the Bureau of Land Management. That means an extra procedural vote will be forced before the full U.S. Senate takes up the nomination of […]

OPINION

Designation of lesser prairie chicken must consider landowner needs

BY: - July 22, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Shawna Bethell is a freelance essayist/journalist covering the people and places of Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. I never thought much about the lesser prairie chicken, or […]

U.S. House passes PFAS bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

BY: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Wednesday passed bipartisan legislation that would regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water, as well as designate two types of those toxic chemicals as hazardous substances that would spark federal cleanup standards.  The bill, H.R. 2467, also known as the PFAS Action Act of 2021, passed 241-183, with 23 Republicans […]

Democrats unite around ‘climate corps’ that could employ youths, prevent fires

BY: - July 20, 2021

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged on Tuesday to include a Civilian Climate Corps in a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill later this year, as a broad swath of Democrats rallied around a framework of employing thousands of young people to do conservation work. Schumer, D-N.Y., appeared with a handful of congressional Democrats, led by […]

As Congress tries to regulate ‘forever chemicals,’ local water systems push back

BY: - July 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Local water utilities worried about getting hit with lawsuits and high cleanup costs are stepping up their lobbying of Congress as lawmakers move to regulate toxic chemicals found in drinking water. A proposed bill, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, has garnered bipartisan support and two Michigan lawmakers, Reps. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, […]