Energy & Environment

Support for KMUW's energy and environment coverage comes from ITC Great Plains and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Nadya Faulx

Kansas business groups have mobilized to snuff out a budding movement among a few cities to ban single-use plastic bags and straws, frustrating environmentalists who can't get the Republican-controlled Legislature to tackle climate issues.

Kansas Geological Survey

WICHITA, Kansas — On Aug. 16, the second day of the school year, students in the Burrton district felt the shake of a 4.2 magnitude earthquake. They knew exactly what to do: hide under their desks until it stopped.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — As global carbon dioxide emissions break records, Kansas is headed in the opposite direction — reducing emissions for 10 straight years.

Kansas’ decline is largely due to the rapid adoption of wind energy and a slow move away from coal powered electricity. That is to say: Kansas produces less carbon dioxide, or CO2, the powerful greenhouse gas that’s released into the atmosphere when we burn fossil fuels and is a major driver of climate change.

Lisa Dusseault / Flickr

The Sedgwick County Environmental Services Department is turning Christmas trees into mulch until Jan. 23 as part of its annual Christmas tree recycling program.

Department officials say the program helps lessen the flood of old Christmas trees to Wichita landfills.

The program also provides another use for the trees: People who drop off their trees for recycling at one of 22 locations in the county are able to get free mulch in return.

Officials remind people to remove all ornaments and lights before dropping off their tree for disposal.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Electric buses will soon be on Wichita’s streets.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

ST. JOHN, Kansas — Water — who gets to use it, when and how — sparks fights all over the world.

The latest battleground is in south-central Kansas, near the federally operated Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.

In its simplest form, it’s a clash between the refuge, which isn’t getting its legal share of water, and the local farmers who may be forced to cut back on how much water they use on their crops.

Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism stands to lose millions of dollars after record spring rains led to park closures, property damage and washed-out roads.

MGP Ingredients Inc., a leading producer of distilled spirits and specialty proteins and starches, has agreed to pay a fine of $1 million in connection with a toxic chemical release at its plant in Atchison, Kansas, three years ago.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — This city’s buses all run on diesel.

They navigate Wichita streets with the distinctive rumble of their time-tested engines, belching the distinctive smell of diesel and a concoction of carbon monoxide, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.

That exhaust clouds the air locally and adds to the greenhouse gases steadily transforming the climate globally.

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