Energy + Environment

State-supported ‘clean energy’ loans put Missouri borrowers at risk of losing their homes

BY: and - April 23, 2021

This story was originally published by ProPublica. Diana Thomas needed a new furnace and four small basement windows for her two-story home on the east side of Kansas City. But she had little cash and bad credit. In late 2016, a contractor told her about a loan program that required no money down and would […]

Report says hundreds of levees endanger Missouri River. One county is trying a new way

BY: - April 20, 2021

KANSAS CITY — As he watched the river forecasts in early 2019, Regan Griffin hoped for the best.  Maybe the Missouri River would top its levees in a few places but spare his community.  That year turned out to be one of the most severe floods in recent memory. Parts of Atchison County, where Griffin […]

Grain Belt transmission line forges ahead amid landowner, lawmaker pushback

BY: - April 19, 2021

On the heels of a historic cold snap that left thousands across the Midwest without power, Kansas and Missouri residents could soon reap the benefits of a massive high-powered transmission line delivering renewable energy.  Grain Belt Express, a project a decade in the making, is starting to acquire land along its route spanning across nearly […]

U.S. House Agriculture panel probes ‘systemic’ USDA discrimination against Black farmers

BY: - March 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday heard about how Black farmers have faced decades of racial discrimination in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The committee’s chairman, Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., said the testimony at the virtual hearing would help the panel craft legislation that aims to increase the number of […]

Four big questions about the feds’ scrutiny of oil and gas leasing on public lands

BY: - March 23, 2021

In his first week in office, President Joe Biden paused new oil and gas leasing on federal lands as his administration reviewed fossil fuel development policy.  Now that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has taken office, the administration is gearing up to begin that process. A forum comprising the energy industry, conservation groups, labor organizations and […]

EPA to environmental reporters: We are committed to openness

BY: - March 19, 2021

Top public affairs staffers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday told journalists the agency is taking actions to be more open. The Society of Environmental Journalists invited EPA representatives to field questions from journalists. The session was planned as EPA Administrator Michael Regan, who was sworn in Wednesday, prepared to take office. SEJ is a 1,500-member nonprofit, nonpartisan […]

Senate confirms Haaland as first-ever Native American to serve in the Cabinet

BY: - March 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland made history on Monday when she became the first Native American to ever be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold a position in a president’s Cabinet. In a narrow 51-40 vote, senators confirmed Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat, to serve as secretary of interior, where she will run […]

Farmers call for voluntary, financially appealing programs to fight climate change

BY: - March 12, 2021

Congress should use voluntary, financially appealing programs to encourage farmers and foresters to help address climate change, experts told the U.S. Senate agriculture committee Thursday.  Speakers from the corn and soybean fields of Illinois to the rice fields of Arkansas told the panel that it would be best to work through existing farm programs to […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Committee votes to increase size of Missouri Conservation Commission

BY: - March 9, 2021

A proposal to increase the size of the Missouri Conservation Commission and insert members of the Missouri House into the selection process won narrow approval Monday in a House committee. But not before that committee was increased by eight members last week by order of House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, as the vote was looming. […]

U.S. House Agriculture panel to key in on climate change and farming

BY: - February 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — Democrats are eyeing proposals that would support programs for U.S. farmers—who have suffered catastrophic losses from severe weather events in recent years—to reduce carbon emissions on their land. In his first major policy hearing as House Agriculture Committee chairman, Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) said Thursday that the issue of climate change would be […]

Environment group: Trump’s final year in office saw spike in farm subsidies

BY: - February 26, 2021

President Trump’s administration spent $20 billion on farm subsidies in its last year, four times the level at the beginning of his term, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group reported Wednesday. Much of that aid went to the largest farms, the group said. EWG analyzed U.S. Department of Agriculture data, which included a variety of temporary […]

U.S. Senate panel calls on governors, mayor to talk big new infrastructure package

BY: - February 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senators who could decide the fate of President Joe Biden’s push for a major new infrastructure package seemed open to his priorities at a hearing Wednesday, particularly Biden’s emphasis on replacing vehicles that run on gas and diesel with ones that use electric power. But when it came to the question of who […]