Energy + Environment

Biden declares U.S. ban on Russian oil, warns of gasoline price spikes

BY: and - March 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — The United States will no longer import Russian energy in an attempt to further cripple that nation’s economy as it wages war against Ukraine. President Joe Biden announced the newest sanctions Tuesday from the White House, saying that a ban on Russian oil and gas would target “the main artery of Russia’s economy.” […]

Missouri bill that would weaken hazardous waste rules returns for another year

BY: - March 4, 2022

A GOP lawmaker is once again working to reel in what he sees as overly aggressive enforcement of hazardous waste laws by Missouri regulators he contends are “terrifying” small businesses in his district. But critics say the change would put Missourians at greater risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals.  “The people of Missouri are not […]

Farmers seek more favorable trigger for crop payments

BY: - March 2, 2022

The crop-price thresholds that trigger government payments to some U.S. farmers should be increased in the next farm bill to account for soaring fertilizer and fuel costs, according to farm groups that testified Tuesday to members of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. The committee met to review commodity support programs of the Agriculture Improvement Act […]

Biden OKs release of 30 million barrels of oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

BY: - March 1, 2022

President Joe Biden authorized on Tuesday the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, part of an international boost to the global oil supply that has been disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The reserve is a complex of four sites with deep underground storage caverns in salt domes along the […]

Meat companies lag behind other corporations in the food industry on sustainable water use

BY: - February 28, 2022

This story was originally published on The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. Water is critical to America’s meat habit. Cows, pigs and chickens drink it. Farmers clean barns and cool animals with it. Meatpackers sanitize plants and wash their product with it. But, most importantly, water grows the crops needed to feed the millions of […]

Beef processing facility near KC in violation of Missouri regulations for polluting waters

BY: - February 22, 2022

A beef processing facility 40 miles southeast of downtown Kansas City polluted at least a mile of nearby streams and allowed septic tanks of sewage and entrails to overflow, state regulators found this month.  The facility, the former site of a beef operation that neighbors felt threatened a nearby botanical garden, was referred on Feb. […]

Ameren Missouri to acquire its largest solar farm to date

BY: - February 22, 2022

Despite plans to invest in its largest solar facility ever, it’s unclear whether Ameren Missouri will keep up with ambitious goals for investments in renewable energy over the next few years.  Ameren is working to purchase a solar farm under development in southern Illinois for use by its Missouri customers. The electric utility, the largest […]

American Farm Bureau Federation claims it’s the ‘voice of agriculture.’ Others beg to differ

BY: - February 15, 2022

This story was originally published as a collaboration between Investigate Midwest and Watchdog Writers Group. The American Farm Bureau Federation calls itself the “voice of agriculture,” a slogan it trademarked in 2007. But as the divide between agribusiness and small farmers has grown in recent decades, a unified voice of agriculture has become harder to […]

Spire ‘created unnecessary panic and confusion’ with warnings of gas outages, regulators say

BY: - February 14, 2022

Spire Missouri’s warnings that St. Louis customers could be left without heat this winter if the company’s affiliated pipeline shut down were misleading, left out key context and heightened public panic, an investigation by state regulators concluded.  But staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission won’t pursue a complaint against the natural gas utility because […]

Electricity CEOs tout Biden clean energy tax credits, despite stalled plan

BY: - February 10, 2022

Clean energy tax credits President Joe Biden proposed in his massive domestic spending and climate measure last year would help electric utilities build resilience and transmission lines, utility CEOs told Biden at a White House event Wednesday. But the $1.9 trillion budget measure, which Biden and allies call Build Back Better, is in limbo because […]

USDA pledges $1B for ‘climate smart’ ag products

BY: - February 7, 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to spend up to $1 billion to foster the creation of climate-friendly agricultural and forestry products by offering grants to facilitate their production and the markets to sell them. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon in those industries. “Agriculture is such an exciting but […]

Congress clashes over climate in early farm bill talks

BY: - February 2, 2022

Congressional Democrats on Wednesday touted conservation programs for farmers and ranchers as key tools for limiting agriculture’s impact on the global climate as they took initial steps to create the next farm bill. One Republican’s response: So what? “We’ve talked primarily about climate change, and I gotta to be honest with you,” U.S. Rep. Rick […]