Environment

Evergy, regulators clash over costs of Kansas energy efficiency program

BY: - August 23, 2022

Evergy could soon receive approval for more than $96 million in energy efficiency programs in Kansas meant to lower carbon emissions — and customers’ bills.  But the proposal is in a precarious position.  “I want to be excited, but I also know there’s a big a piece missing still, and it could easily all fall apart,” […]

OPINION
In a collection along I-235 at 47th Street South in Wichita during one day, 72 single-use plastic bags were found, as shown in this photo from 2018. According to activists, the situation is much worse in 2022. (Coleen Flory)

Cities in Kansas require freedom to ban single-use plastic bags, protect environment

BY: - August 23, 2022

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. Lori Lawrence is founder of Bag Free Wichita. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the useful life of a single-use plastic bag is 12 minutes. These […]

OPINION
An old farm windmill used to pull water from the ground stands among dozens of modern wind turbines constructed in southwest Kansas as the state worked to harness the breeze to produce electricity. (Jill Hummels for the Kansas Reflector)

New incentives for clean energy aren’t enough. The Inflation Reduction Act was just a first step.

BY: - August 20, 2022

The new Inflation Reduction Act is stuffed with subsidies for everything from electric vehicles to heat pumps, and incentives for just about every form of clean energy. But pouring money into technology is just one step toward solving the climate change problem. Wind and solar farms won’t be built without enough power lines to connect their electricity […]

From left, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and Florida Rep. Kathy Castor join President Joe Biden as he signs legislation dealing with climate, health care and taxes. (States Newsroom screen capture)

Biden signs into law Democrats’ wide-ranging climate change, health care and tax bill

BY: - August 16, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed his party’s signature climate, health care and tax package into law Tuesday, capping off more than a year of tumultuous negotiations that saw his original proposal to Congress slimmed down considerably. Flanked by a handful of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and […]

House Democrats applaud after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) signed the Inflation Reduction Act on Aug. 12, 2022, during a bill enrollment ceremony after the House passed the legislation at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The $737 billion legislation will focus on slowing climate change, lower health care costs and creating clean energy jobs by enacting a 15% corporate minimum tax, a 1% fee on stock buybacks and enhancing IRS enforcement. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. House Democrats send sweeping climate, health and tax legislation to Biden

BY: - August 12, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House on Friday cleared Democrats’ long-sought climate, health care and tax package, sending it to President Joe Biden for his signature.  The roughly $750 billion measure is much smaller than the $2 trillion reconciliation package the House originally sent to the Senate in November. The final product left out dozens of […]

A piece of lead pipe removed from Jerry Land’s yard in Olathe shows a layer of lining inside the pipe that indicates the city’s water supply provided a thin film that prevented the pipe from leeching lead into the home’s water. (Carlos Moreno/KCUR)

Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids touts federal funds for lead pipe replacement

BY: - August 11, 2022

OLATHE — The locations of lead service lines seem like the sort of thing someone would know, Congresswoman Sharice Davids said Thursday. But as cities and counties across the U.S. grew, water utilities didn’t keep track of them all. Now, they’re finally required to find them. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s updated lead and copper […]

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, in photo, and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, both Kansas Republicans, voted against an election-year spending bill pushed through the U.S. Senate by a narrow margin. The bill now moves to the U.S. House. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Marshall, Moran vote against Democrats’ economic legislation after marathon debate

BY: - August 8, 2022

Kansas' U.S. senators, Republicans Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran, voted against Democrats' latest spending bill touching on climate change, health care and tax fairness.

Historic lead mining and smelting in the Midwest left behind toxic levels of lead in soil that pose a health threat to locals when rain causes the toxin to spread. (Crysta Henthorne/KCUR)

Kansas, Nebraska researchers use plants to limit exposure to toxic lead in soil

BY: - August 8, 2022

In parts of the Midwest where lead mining and smelting lasted for over a century, communities are still dealing with toxic waste left behind by the industry. Lead, a dangerous neurotoxin, persists in the environment, including in water and soil, where it can pose a threat to the health of people living nearby. The risk […]

Coal piles in July 2019 in Wise County, Virginia. (Sarah Vogelsong/ Virginia Mercury)

U.S. Interior Department calls for states to submit mine cleanup proposals

BY: - August 3, 2022

The Interior Department asked states Wednesday to apply for $725 million made available this year to clean up abandoned mine sites as part of the 2021 infrastructure bill. The department officially opened a notice of funding opportunity, which gives states the avenue to request federal grants to close mine shafts, prevent the release of methane […]

President Joe Biden, at the White House on July 28, 2022, discusses details of proposed Democratic legislation addressing health care, climate issues and energy. (Screen shot from White House video)

U.S. Senate Democrats dive into details of surprise 725-page reconciliation bill

BY: - July 31, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden took a preliminary victory lap Thursday to celebrate Democrats striking a surprise deal on a sweeping legislative package that renewed hopes of historic action on the party’s health care, tax and climate goals. But just down Pennsylvania Avenue, Senate Democrats said they needed to read through the bill text to […]

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran urged his Kansas colleague Sen. Roger Marshall to change his vote to allow passage of a revised bill providing health care to veterans suffering from illness from exposure to toxic burn pits during deployments overseas. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Moran implores U.S. Senate GOP colleagues to reverse course on burn pit bill

BY: - July 28, 2022

TOPEKA — U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall of Kansas split on a procedural motion leading to blockage of a bill expanding veterans’ eligibility for health care and benefits for medical conditions tied to burn pits and other toxins during military deployments. The Senate motion failed Wednesday when Marshall and more than two dozen […]

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin makes a statement on Nov. 1, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

Manchin and U.S. Senate Democrats strike a deal on major health, climate, tax package

BY: and - July 27, 2022

WASHINGTON — West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck an agreement Wednesday for a Democrats-only reconciliation package that would allow negotiations on some Medicare prescription drugs, end corporate tax loopholes and address climate change as well as invest in energy projects. President Joe Biden in a statement on […]