Energy + Environment

Next battle in Congress over Ukraine aid, as Biden presses House speaker for vote

BY: - October 2, 2023

WASHINGTON — Republican and Democratic lawmakers are searching for a way to clear more aid for Ukraine, after Congress approved a short-term spending bill that didn’t include any additional money for the country. President Joe Biden on Sunday said that U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed to find the votes needed to pass a supplemental […]

Missouri regulators OK Evergy changing default time-of-use pricing plan

BY: - October 2, 2023

Missouri regulators approved Evergy’s request to change customers’ default plan days before its mandatory time-of-use pricing goes into effect. The Missouri Public Service Commission last week approved the Kansas City-based electric utility’s request to change the default selection for customers who fail to select one of the company’s four time-of-use pricing plans.  The commission, which […]

Congress takes aim at state animal welfare laws

BY: - September 29, 2023

Earlier this year, Oregon Democrats pushed through state legislation that allows local governments to require setbacks between neighbors and factory farming operations. The law prohibits farms from drawing unlimited amounts of free groundwater and requires farmers to apply for a permit before applying manure to their fields. It’s the kind of state regulation at risk […]

Nearly all national park sites to close during government shutdown

BY: - September 29, 2023

Almost all National Park Service sites will be inaccessible during a partial federal government shutdown likely to start this weekend, the U.S. Interior Department said Friday. The agency will bar access to most of the nation’s 425 parks, recreation areas, national historic sites and other units, according to a fact sheet from the Interior Department, […]

Foreign ownership of farmland probed at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - September 28, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. senators said during a Wednesday hearing that foreign ownership of farmland is a national security threat that should be further examined. The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry discussed foreign ownership of the nation’s agricultural lands, with testimony from experts and Senate colleagues who have been taking the lead on […]

Biden vetoes bill that would remove lesser prairie chicken protections

BY: - September 28, 2023

U.S. President Joe Biden vetoed legislation meant to undermine federal protections for the lesser prairie chicken, a previously ubiquitous bird that is now endangered in several states. The legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, and co-sponsored by fellow Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran and four other senators, sought to undo a listing by […]

The farm bill is on the verge of expiring. Congress is months away from a new version

BY: - September 27, 2023

WASHINGTON — As the deadline for Congress to pass a new farm bill looms this weekend, staff members of the House and Senate Agriculture committees say it will be months – if not longer – until they reach agreement on a new bill. Lawmakers must rewrite the sweeping farm bill every five years to set […]

Ameren Missouri plans new natural gas plants along with clean energy additions

BY: - September 26, 2023

Ameren Missouri announced plans Tuesday to burn more natural gas in the coming years, though it claims the decision doesn’t undermine pledges to reduce its carbon emissions.  The St. Louis-based utility, which serves more than 1.2 million Missouri customers, says it is still planning to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.  Ameren announced its plans […]

Battery storage seen as ‘backbone’ of reliable electric grid but adoption uneven across U.S.

BY: - September 26, 2023

SEARCY, Ark. — In the decarbonized future envisioned by many states, utilities and the federal government, expect more power plants like Entergy Arkansas’ facility here, where thousands of gleaming panels and banks of batteries spread across 800 acres about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock. The Searcy Solar Energy Center, a 100-megawatt solar and storage […]

U.S. Senate panel grapples with how to ensure access to water amid Western drought

BY: - September 21, 2023

Decades of drought in the West has made water quality and quantity a major issue requiring government funding and innovation to fix, members of a U.S. Senate panel said Wednesday. Demand for water in growing municipalities is stretching agricultural and tribal communities, while shrinking availability is leading to higher water prices, witnesses told the Senate […]

Evergy withdraws request to make time-of-use pricing optional in Missouri

BY: - September 19, 2023

Just 10 days after seeking permission to allow customers to opt out of controversial time-of-use pricing, western Missouri’s major electric utility withdrew its request with state regulators.  Under an order from the Missouri Public Service Commission, Evergy is expected next month  to implement time-of-use pricing, which places a premium on electricity prices at times of […]

Farm profits reached new heights last year, but are expected to drop in 2023

BY: - September 15, 2023

As food prices rose around the country, so did farmers’ take-home pay. Net farm profits rose by 30% from 2021 to 2022, according to recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At the same time, food prices inflated by more than 10%. The USDA predicts farm incomes will drop by about 20% in 2023 […]