Environment

Feds ramp up emergency help for Kansas, other states hit by extreme weather

BY: - February 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — White House officials said Thursday they have been in close touch with governors in storm-stricken states, including Kansas, to extend emergency assistance — and they stressed the role of climate change in the weather crisis that has gripped large swaths of the nation. “The extreme weather events that we’re experiencing this week across […]

Regional power shortages, record chill force more blackouts in Kansas

BY: - February 16, 2021

TOPEKA — Operators of the regional power grid again ordered utilities to implement rolling blackouts Tuesday morning to conserve natural gas and electricity as bitterly cold temperatures plunged to double-digit negatives. The rare, emergency action was a temporary response to skyrocketing natural gas prices, high demand for power and an unprecedented week of extreme wintry […]

‘Bitter, dangerous, arctic’ chill disrupts power grid, forcing coordinated blackouts

BY: - February 15, 2021

TOPEKA — Public officials pleaded Monday for Kansans to turn thermostats down and conserve electricity as utilities warned that severe cold would force coordinated power outages across the Midwest. Gov. Laura Kelly declared a state of emergency Sunday in anticipation of sub-zero temperatures and wind chills that reached the -30s. The extreme conditions knocked wind […]

Interior delays last-minute Trump rule that would weaken bird protections

BY: - February 6, 2021

The Interior Department is delaying a last-minute Trump administration rule that would have weakened a century-old law protecting migratory birds, Interior officials said Thursday. Two weeks before former President Donald Trump left office, the Interior Department published a final rule that would have left the federal government unable to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act […]

Kansas Senate demands governor prioritize ‘law-abiding citizens’ over prisoners for vaccines

BY: - February 4, 2021

TOPEKA — A resolution passed Thursday by the Kansas Senate calls on the governor to prioritize “law-abiding citizens” before incarcerated individuals in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution order. The measure also condemns Gov. Laura Kelly’s vaccination plan while simultaneously praising President Trump’s COVID-19 response as a “triumph of American ingenuity.” The resolution does not carry any […]

Sen. Jeff Longbine, a Republican from Emporia, said allowing convenience stores, as opposed to casinos. engage in the business of sports gambling in Kansas sets taxpayers up to absorb losses sustained through bets placed at those retail stores. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Senate bill provides quarter-million-dollar loans to Kansas businesses hurt by pandemic

BY: - February 1, 2021

TOPEKA — Kansas senators moved without opposition Monday to pass a measure using state idle funds to provide low-interest loans to businesses financially hobbled by the pandemic. A second element of the bill would expand credit union field of membership from 500,000 to 2.5 million people, said Sen. Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia. “The third component of […]

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 […]