Environment

The House Agriculture Committee approved a bill creating a pathway for agriculture producers to gain county permission to install pipelines for farm uses along right-of-way on county and township roads. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Atchison County Levee District No. 1)

Report says hundreds of levees endanger Missouri River. One county is trying a new way

BY: - April 20, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As he watched the river forecasts in early 2019, Regan Griffin hoped for the best. Maybe the Missouri River would top its levees in a few places but spare his community. That year turned out to be one of the most severe floods in recent memory. Parts of Atchison County, Missouri, […]

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)

Kansas opts for bonding to help consumers with energy price shocks, transition from coal

BY: - April 19, 2021

Kansas joins pack by allowing utility companies to issue bonds, but questions remain about degree consumers benefit from retirement of coal plants.

Grain Belt transmission line forges ahead amid landowner, lawmaker pushback

BY: - April 19, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the heels of a historic cold snap that left thousands across the Midwest without power, Kansas and Missouri residents could soon reap the benefits of a massive high-powered transmission line delivering renewable energy. Grain Belt Express, a project a decade in the making, is starting to acquire land along its […]

Congressional panel splits on regulation of orphaned oil and gas wells

BY: - April 16, 2021

Members of a U.S. House Natural Resources panel agreed Thursday on the need to clean up and cap abandoned oil and gas wells, but disagreed along party lines about the extent of the federal government’s role in well regulation. The Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing was held to consider a bill introduced by Rep. […]

As businesses grapple with sky-high gas bills from historic cold snap, Kansas looks to loan relief

BY: - April 14, 2021

TOPEKA — Chris Klimek had already started hearing about the exorbitant natural gas bills other businesses got after this winter’s historic cold snap before he found out what his company would owe.  At first, he thought he had been spared. The bill he received at the beginning of March looked normal: $6,763.73.  Last week, though, […]

Biden banks on offshore wind to help curb climate change

BY: - April 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — Two wind turbines, each as tall as the Washington Monument, stand sentinel 27 miles off the coast of Virginia, the nation’s first offshore wind installation in federal waters. The pilot project began producing power last October but is just the beginning for an industry poised for massive growth over the next decade. Longtime […]

Biden pairs ‘down payment’ on climate crisis with rebuilding infrastructure

BY: - April 1, 2021

The sprawling $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs proposal President Joe Biden laid out Wednesday in Pennsylvania includes significant spending to address climate change, providing what conservationists say is an important “down payment” to address the crisis.  A 25-page outline calls for $10 billion for a Civilian Climate Corps, $16 billion for capping abandoned wells and […]

Biden to unveil $2T plan to rebuild infrastructure, create jobs, move to clean energy

BY: - March 31, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday in Pennsylvania will unveil a nearly $2 trillion infrastructure package to rebuild highways and bridges, along with funding programs for housing, broadband and schools and increasing U.S. manufacturing jobs over the next eight years, an administration official told reporters on Tuesday night. Alongside the expansive infrastructure plan, the […]

Kansas measure creating penalties for infrastructure damage prompts questions of intention, necessity

BY: - March 20, 2021

TOPEKA — A Kansas bill creating new crimes for damage of critical public or private infrastructure prompted inquiries into the need for more stringent protection of these sites and possible restriction of free speech. The measure would create four criminal acts ranging from misdemeanor trespassing of infrastructure facilities to felony offenses for criminal damage, aggravated […]

OPINION
The Johnson County Commission voted Monday to adopt solar farm regulations that include a maximum size of 2,000 acres and a 2-mile setback from city boundaries. (Photo by Sirisak Boakaew/Getty Images)

America needs to go all-electric right now — here’s how rewiring our country can help Kansas

BY: and - March 13, 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. Saul Griffith is an engineer, physicist and MacArthur “Genius Award” Fellow. Alex Laskey is a clean energy entrepreneur and founder of Opower. They are founders of […]

Gov. Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 40 that broadened the Legislature's oversight powers during the COVID-19 pandemic and indicated she would re-issue a dozen executive orders April 1, including guidance on wearing masks. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Mulberry files lawsuit accusing BP Energy of price gouging during extreme cold

BY: - March 4, 2021

TOPEKA — A small Kansas town is fighting natural gas prices charged by BP Energy during last month’s extreme cold, accusing the multinational oil and gas giant of “unconscionable profiteering” under state statute. A lawsuit filed Tuesday by the city of Mulberry says BP inflated prices for natural gas from $2.98 per mmbtu on Feb. […]

Legislature moves quickly to spare Kansas towns from financial ruin over gas bills

BY: - March 3, 2021

TOPEKA — Kansas lawmakers moved with lightning speed Wednesday to pass legislation providing $100 million in low-interest loans to cities facing high utility bills as a result of last month’s extreme cold. The House and Senate endorsed the plan on the same day the bill received its first hearing, and sent it to Gov. Laura […]