Environment

Kansas House OKs bills on drug treatment, Indigenous people, abandoned wells

BY: - January 28, 2021

TOPEKA — A bill passed Thursday by the Kansas House would establish a program diverting people with drug offenses from prison toward resources to fight their addiction. The legislation, which passed by a 123-0 vote, would establish a certified drug abuse treatment program in place of criminal proceedings. Prosecutors would be allowed to sign agreements […]

Biden to pause new oil and gas leases on public lands in sweeping climate order

BY: - January 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is set to sign a host of executive orders on climate Wednesday that will put a hold on new oil and gas leases on federal property, place environmental justice in the center of climate reform and set goals of conserving nearly a third of the nation’s land and water.  On […]

U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, both Kansas Republicans, support legislation to reverse President Joe Biden's decision to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Moran, Marshall support bill to restart Keystone XL pipeline project

BY: - January 22, 2021

U.S. Sens. Moran and Marshall of Kansas want to reverse President Biden's decision to block construction of Keystone XL pipeline.

Buttigieg puts greenhouse gas reduction at center of Biden transportation policy

BY: - January 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg offered an unapologetic defense of President Joe Biden’s vision for improved transportation and greenhouse gas reductions during a Senate hearing to consider Buttigieg’s nomination for U.S. transportation secretary on Thursday.  “We need to build our economy back, better than ever, and the Department of Transportation can […]

KCC, oil and gas associations push bill to accelerate plugging abandoned wells in Kansas

BY: - January 21, 2021

TOPEKA — Legislation heard Wednesday would clarify legal responsibility and make it easier to fund plugging thousands of abandoned gas and oil wells across Kansas, advocates of the bill say. Estimates indicate there are currently about 5,600 wells that require plugging and 10,000 wells plugged to date in the state. Last year, 349 were plugged, […]

Audubon of Kansas files lawsuit to secure water for wildlife refuge

BY: - January 19, 2021

TOPEKA — Audubon of Kansas has filed a lawsuit against federal and state authorities for failing to protect water rights for the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in south-central Kansas. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in December determined there was no need to secure water rights for the refuge because federal, state and local agencies […]

U.S. officials see no need to secure water for Quivira National Wildlife Refuge after ag deal

BY: - January 3, 2021

LAWRENCE — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined there is no need to secure water for a national wildlife refuge in south-central Kansas because voluntary solutions have fixed the refuge’s water impairment. But wildlife advocacy groups say the solution doesn’t do enough to remedy a problem that’s gone on for years.  Kansas’ chief engineer […]

OPINION

Kansas needs to begin measuring how much plastic is really in the air

BY: - December 26, 2020

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. The plastics industry employs about 11,000 workers in Kansas, with a payroll […]

Monarch butterflies qualify for endangered list, but officials may not take action until 2024

BY: - December 19, 2020

TOPEKA — Federal officials have declared the monarch butterfly “a candidate” for endangered status but punted on taking any action for several years, despite the winged insect’s rapidly declining population, to focus on other species awaiting designation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan calls for an annual review of the monarch’s status to determine […]

Pandemic restricts access to malfunctioning weather equipment, compromising accuracy

BY: - November 8, 2020

Temperatures recorded at a western Kansas weather station in late September captured the attention of a researcher looking for the first measurable snowfall in the Midwest. Analysis by Brian Brettschneider, a research physical scientist with the National Weather Service Alaska region, led him to a cooperative observation station 13 miles north-northeast of Tribune in Greeley […]

Conservation project aims to restore Ogallala Aquifer through naturally occurring landforms

BY: - November 7, 2020

The future of water availability in western Kansas is receiving support from a multimillion-dollar project aimed at using existing land formations to recharge a major underground water source. Final details of the Groundwater Recharge and Sustainability Project, or GRASP, are being worked out within the offices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation […]

Kansans blast Evergy’s ‘discriminatory’ fee proposals for solar panel use

BY: - November 6, 2020

About 100 Kansans voiced concerns during a virtual public hearing Thursday night regarding proposals from Evergy to alter the rate structure for solar energy customers, and on the future of renewable energy in the state. The Kansas Corporation Commission invited public feedback as part of its review to accept Evergy’s proposal for a $3 per […]