Energy + Environment

Federal judge blocks Biden pause on new oil and gas leases

BY: - June 17, 2021

A federal judge in Louisiana has ordered the Biden administration to restart regular sales of oil and gas leases, forcing the administration to prematurely abandon a central piece of its climate change agenda. In a preliminary ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty granted the request of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and 12 other […]

After winter cold snap drove up natural gas prices, utilities grapple with who should pay

BY: - June 16, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Penalties that Spire Missouri issued to suppliers who failed to provide natural gas during a February cold snap that forced power outages across the Midwest could drive bills for hospitals, schools and businesses to astronomical levels, according to a trio of complaints pending before state regulators. During the worst of the […]

U.S. House panel probes slow cleanup of ‘exploited’ coal mining sites

BY: - June 15, 2021

A U.S. House Natural Resources subcommittee examined the cleanup needs for regions transitioning away from coal production Tuesday, with witnesses representing coal workers and Native American communities saying energy companies should be responsible for returning the land to its pre-mining state. Much of the conversation at the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing centered on […]

As massive livestock operations move in, fighting them gets harder for rural neighbors

BY: - June 14, 2021

Jeff Jones has lived on his family’s land east of Columbia his entire life. Some of the family’s farms are more than 150 years old.  And Jones, who raises cattle and grows row crops, has no intentions of going anywhere.  But after years of fighting, his community is home to a concentrated animal feeding operation, […]

Congress urged to move faster on regulating toxic chemicals in drinking water

BY: - June 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — Local officials and community leaders pushed Congress to designate toxic chemicals that are contaminating drinking water as hazardous materials, which would trigger federal cleanup standards. In addition, two Democratic senators from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, have introduced legislation that would put additional obligations on the Pentagon to initiate cleanup at military bases. […]

Colonial Pipeline CEO: ‘One of the toughest decisions I have had to make’ to pay $4.4M ransom

BY: - June 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — The CEO of Colonial Pipeline, which underwent a ransomware attack in early May that led to massive shutdowns of gas stations across the Southeast, said during a U.S. Senate hearing on Tuesday that it was his decision to pay a ransom to restore the company’s operations. “It was one of the toughest decisions I […]

National parks struggling with maintenance would get a boost under Biden budget

BY: - June 7, 2021

Basic needs at the largest U.S. national parks top the Biden administration’s first proposed lists of projects to receive funding through public lands trust funds, showing how much maintenance is needed even as parks brace for record numbers of visitors this summer. The projects likely wouldn’t be visible to the usual tourist, but they are […]

At behest of governor’s office, Missouri DNR created new senior post for Parson aide

BY: - June 7, 2021

Gov. Mike Parson’s office directed the state’s Department of Natural Resources to create a new senior counsel position for an employee leaving the governor’s team, The Missouri Independent has learned.  Ryan Conway, who worked as special counsel in Parson’s office since receiving his law license in 2018, started at DNR in March, according to an […]

Missouri, Kansas utilities may use loophole to charge customers for fossil fuel lobbying

BY: - June 7, 2021

KANSAS CITY — Missouri and Kansas residents’ utility bills may be helping to bankroll energy sector lobbying against policies aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Federal and state rules prohibit utility companies from passing their lobbying costs on to customers through bills. But in both Kansas and Missouri, utilities like Evergy, Ameren and Spire can […]

Cyberattack on meat giant JBS has industry looking to fortify defenses

BY: - June 3, 2021

A ransomware attack on the world’s largest meatpacking company this week drew attention to the need for more cybersecurity in agriculture. JBS plants across the U.S. had moved toward reopening at full capacity late Wednesday after a cyberattack on servers. The White House said a Russian crime organization is likely to blame.  President Joe Biden […]

As Kansas, Missouri keep building wind, some communities look to regulate

BY: - May 30, 2021

FRANKFORT, Kan. — Austin Cline is the third generation to farm his family’s land in Marshall County. His home, added onto many times over, sits at the edge of 1,000 acres where he raises cattle and bales hay.  From his driveway, he has a more than 180-degree view of neighbors’ land and native prairie grass. […]

Heading for a national park? The ‘biggest season in the history of the Park Service’ predicted

BY: - May 27, 2021

Leaders of a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday extolled national parks for providing a respite during the COVID-19 pandemic, but cautioned that enthusiasm for outdoors recreation will create its own problems in this summer’s tourism wave. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent and the chairman of a subcommittee that oversees the U.S. National Park Service, […]