Environment

OPINION

Audio Astra: From sublime to newsy, from speculative to touristy, all in podcasts

BY: - August 27, 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. Writing a headline for this weekly recap can be easy when there are tidy connections or overlaps between one podcast and another. Not so […]

OPINION

Work to repurpose wind turbine blades spotlights Kansas as green economy leader

BY: - August 24, 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 remember the first time I saw a wind turbine. […]

Environmental justice advocates look to historic $3.5T spending bill for bold action

BY: - August 22, 2021

Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration want to use their massive $3.5 trillion spending plan to help communities that have been devastated by environmental pollution and degradation. For years, activists have been pushing for government recognition of what’s known as environmental justice, the broad movement to provide restitution to communities that have suffered disproportionate harm.  […]

Federal appeals court affirms unconstitutionality of Kansas statute applying criminal penalty to activists that lie to get jobs at confined animal facilities to document mistreatment of animals because their actions protected by First Amendment. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Federal court affirms unconstitutionality of Kansas ‘ag-gag’ law targeting whistleblowers

BY: - August 21, 2021

Federal court affirms unconstitutionality of Kansas law altered in 2012 to add criminal penalties for whistleblowers infiltrating livestock facilities.

‘We’re in unprecedented times’: Kansas university looks to new curriculum for climate change era

BY: - August 18, 2021

In light of the catastrophic climate change that has produced devastating wildfires, rising oceans and sweltering summer heat, education that is siloed by students’ chosen fields is no longer workable, says a Kansas professor. “We’re in unprecedented times, so in that context, we cannot have an education like we used to have because the same […]

White House pledges to fight court order on oil and gas leases, but activists want more

BY: - August 17, 2021

The Biden administration plans to appeal a federal court decision forcing the government to restart oil and gas leases that have been paused since January. But administration officials are also promising to comply in a way that takes into account the damage caused by fossil fuel development. The two-part move worries progressive activists and members […]

Kansas, Missouri lost thousands of clean energy jobs last year, report says

BY: - August 17, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After several years of continual gains, Kansas and Missouri lost more than 7,200 combined clean energy jobs last year — primarily because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  A report published last week by E2 and the Clean Energy Trust found that the Midwest, home to nearly one-quarter of the nation’s clean energy […]

As economic impact of winter storm nears $1B, some large Kansas customers want to investigate

BY: - August 15, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The total cost from a more than week-long cold snap that brought the Midwest power supply to the brink of collapse is nearly $1 billion — and growing. The greatest breakdown during the storm, which forced controlled electrical blackouts in Kansas and Missouri, industry groups have said, was natural gas, which […]

Wildlife officials say Topeka shiner is no longer endangered, suggest listing as threatened

BY: - August 12, 2021

Federal wildlife officials are recommending the Topeka shiner be removed from the list of endangered species after successful conservation projects gave the fish a “brighter and more sustainable future,” they announced Thursday. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released findings from a five-year review and recommended the fish be listed as threatened rather than endangered. […]

A Phillips County jury awarded landowners $134,000 after a prominent Kansas hog producer illegally installed pipe on their property to transfer liquified waste from a confined-animal facility so it could be sprayed on fields from irrigation pivots. A judge hasn't set punitive damages against Terry Nelson and Julia Nelson of northcentral Kansas. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Phillips County jury sticks hog producer with $134,000 judgment in rare trespassing case

BY: - August 5, 2021

Prominent Phillips County hog producer hit with $134,000 jury judgment after trespassing on neighbors' land to install pipe to carry liquified hog waste to fields.

‘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 […]