Energy + Environment

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 […]

After February blackouts, energy companies gear up for high summer demand

BY: - June 25, 2021

KANSAS CITY — Even before summer officially began, parts of Kansas and Missouri saw the year’s first heat wave stress an electrical grid nearly consumed by a cold snap just a few months ago.  Earlier this month, as air conditioners worked overtime to keep up with peak temperatures in the 90s, the Southwest Power Pool, […]

U.S. Senators call for legislation to address power of meatpackers

BY: - June 24, 2021

Members of a key U.S. Senate committee called Wednesday for legislation to reduce the power of four large packing companies that control more than 80% of the cattle market.  In a call with reporters, Republican U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said many farmers are losing money on each animal while the packers make $800 […]

Some of Missouri’s largest CAFOs are seeking less stringent state regulation

BY: - June 23, 2021

Eleven of Missouri’s largest concentrated animal feeding operations are working to reduce the state’s oversight of their hog facilities despite a record of manure spills and clean water violations.  Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, has 11 CAFOs seeking new state permits.  The facilities, dotted across northern Missouri, combined are capable of raising more […]

Bipartisan group in U.S. Senate pushing for biofuels support, end of waivers

BY: - June 23, 2021

GOP U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst joined Democratic colleague Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota on Tuesday to push for stronger support of biofuels.  They were joined at a Senate subcommittee hearing that Smith chaired by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, also of Minnesota. Klobuchar cited a recent chorus of rumor-fueled complaints alleging the Biden administration may be […]

Endangered species to get a reprieve under Biden administration plans

BY: - June 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — The lesser prairie-chicken, a rare dancing grouse once abundant on the Great Plains, could benefit again soon from the protection of the U.S. government. So could the rusty patched bumblebee, a black-headed pollinator that at one time ranged from Georgia to Maine and across the Midwest. The Biden administration is rewriting how it protects endangered species—making […]