Energy + Environment

Report: Residents in Missouri, Kansas get drinking water from lead pipes at high rates

BY: - July 15, 2021

People in Missouri and Kansas risk lead exposure from drinking water at greater rates than almost any other state, a new report found.  The Natural Resources Defense Council released findings Thursday that as many as 12 million Americans may be receiving drinking water through lead pipes without realizing their water is contaminated.  “There is no […]

While Cedar County awaits ruling in CAFO lawsuit, a large chicken operation moves in

BY: - July 15, 2021

STOCKTON — When the attorney general’s office asked a judge in 2019 to lift a temporary restraining order blocking a Missouri law pre-empting county regulations on concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, that were stricter than the state’s, the argument was straightforward. No one was trying to build a large animal feeding operation in Cedar […]

Bipartisan push in Congress seeks to expand veterans’ free access to national parks

BY: - July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing Tuesday on bipartisan legislation that would give veterans and Gold Star families free lifetime access to national parks and public federal lands. “No one is more worthy of experiencing open access to the incredible places that these men and women have fought to keep […]

Parson vetoes bill ending EPA-mandated emissions testing near St. Louis

BY: - July 9, 2021

With the threat of millions of dollars in sanctions looming, Gov. Mike Parson on Friday vetoed legislation that would have removed three St. Louis-area counties from a federally-mandated vehicle emissions testing program.  In a letter to lawmakers, Parson said he vetoed House Bill 661 because the potential for federal penalties undermine his administration’s work on […]

After winter storm, some Evergy customers could see savings while others pay for years

BY: - July 8, 2021

Evergy customers in parts of Missouri may be repaying electric costs for the next 15 years following February’s winter storm that forced power outages across the Midwest.  Kansas City-area customers in both Kansas and Missouri, however, could see savings. In February, Winter Storm Uri caused sustained cold temperatures across much of the central United States, […]

Climate change triggers rare crop diseases in Missouri

BY: - July 7, 2021

This story was produced by Missouri Information Corps.  New crop diseases pervading Missouri have been linked to climate change, and they’re directly impacting crop production. Climate change has already made Missouri a little more hot and humid, but has also caused some diseases for crops like corn and soybeans to become more prevalent. If not […]

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

BY: - July 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “The EO directs […]

Parson signs bill helping utilities shutter coal plants, transition to renewable power

BY: - July 6, 2021

Missouri utilities will be able to shutter more coal plants, speeding their transition to renewable energy, under a bill signed by Gov. Mike Parson Tuesday.  Parson, a Republican, signed into law a policy known as “securitization,” which allows utility companies to refinance debt they issued to build coal plants and close the facilities early without […]

Consumer watchdog wants feds to acknowledge investors’ influence on Evergy expenses

BY: - July 6, 2021

KANSAS CITY — A consumer watchdog wants federal regulators to acknowledge the influence of activist shareholders on Evergy’s decision-making, mirroring a push that Kansas regulators rejected.  Public Citizen, a 40-year-old nonprofit representing consumers, is pushing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to recognize two investment firms as part of Evergy, arguing last year that one of […]

Endangered fish, leaching ash ponds: Environmental groups oppose Missouri coal plant permit

BY: - July 2, 2021

For years, Lisa Zerbe said she biked, rode horses and ran near Ameren Missouri’s largest coal-fired power plant in Franklin County because she “naively believed” state environmental regulators were protecting citizens from pollution.  Now, she won’t.  “It is truly a disheartening feeling of betrayal from an agency in my younger years I would have imagined […]

Rep. Bruce DeGroot

Governor signs bill enacting new oversight over Missouri clean energy loan program

BY: - June 29, 2021

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday signed legislation enacting new consumer protections for a clean energy loan program that has drawn criticism that it disproportionately harms borrowers in predominantly Black neighborhoods. The legislation, sponsored by Republican Rep. Bruce DeGroot of Ellisville, targets the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, or PACE program. Under the bill, the program […]

Relief payments to Black farmers on hold amid lawsuits backed by former Trump aides

BY: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Trump administration officials and conservative and libertarian nonprofits have launched lawsuits to block federal relief funds aimed at Black and minority farmers—a development that House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott of Georgia calls “an evil system at work here.” Suits have been filed in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas that say it’s unconstitutional […]