ARKANSAS

ARKANSAS

ARKANSAS

Nicknamed the ‘The Nature State,’ Arkansas boasts a variety of environmental attractions, from the Ozark Mountains to the Arkansas River Valley and the Delta along the Mississippi. Arkansas is home to just over 3 million people and spans about 52 thousand square miles.

Arkansas will become warmer in the coming decades, experiencing more severe floods and drought. Like other states in the Southeast, Arkansas is particularly vulnerable to extreme heat and ensuing extreme weather events, both of which threaten water availability. Annual rainfall is expected to increase, but average rainfall is expected to decrease. This is a dangerous combination. Rainstorms will be more severe, causing damaging floods, but they are also fewer and farther between, with stretches of drought lengthening and intensifying. As a result, the total amount of water running into rivers or recharging groundwater is expected to decline by 5% or more each year. The Arkansas River is the channel of transportation for more than $4 billion worth of freight in a typical year. A shrinking river poses a direct threat to the economy, as barges will not be able to carry as many goods as river levels are reduced.

Arkansas has another interesting connection to climate change: the state is home to the biggest population of Marshall Islands citizens in the US, most of whom left their home to flee climate change as a result of rising sea levels. Of 50,000 Marshall Island citizens, between 12,000 and 15,000 now live in northwest Arkansas (5).

Arkansas continues to rely heavily on coal and natural gas. Coal accounted for 38% of the state’s energy consumption in 201922% of the state’s energy comes from nuclear power. Renewable energy provided almost one-tenth of Arkansas electricity, mostly hydroelectric power and biomass. While the state does not have a renewable energy standard, net metering systems exist that significantly increase energy efficiency.

In 2008, Governor Mike Beebe established the Governor’s Commission on Global Warming. Modified in October, 2010, the GCGW went on to recommend 54 policies, 31 of which were quantified to determine their potential emissions reductions. They were predicted to reduce approximate 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2025. Momentum seems to have been halted in subsequent years. In 2014, the Governor Asa Hutchinson pushed back on former President Obama’s plan to scale back carbon pollution from existing power plants, asserting that governments should not intervene to reduce the climate impacts from fossil fuel production. Arkansas has not developed a climate adaptation plan.

How climate changes impacts Northwest Arkansas & the River Valley

CREDIT: 40/29 News

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Oklahoma joins neighbor states in quest for dollars to prove hydrogen’s worth

03/28/22
Oklahoma is ready to demonstrate hydrogen's viability as a commercial fuel, and it's taking its effort regional through a partnership with two neighboring states. Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana announced this week they have created a…

Standard Lithium Bets Big on Arkansas

03/28/22
A global conglomerate born from the oil industry is, like other big companies, investing more money domestically in greener, more sustainable forms of energy.

Arkansas poised to lead on the future of mobility

03/06/22
Nearly 78% of auto ads in this year’s Super Bowl featured a plug-in vehicle. Consumers are increasingly interested in electric vehicles largely due to a variety of benefits including cost savings from lower fuel consumption,…

Entergy Arkansas brings 100 MW solar farm online, with 30 MW battery storage option

02/01/22
Entergy Arkansas’ Searcy Solar Energy Center went online last week, becoming the company’s first battery storage capable solar farm, with 30 MW of storage capability and no added fuel costs for customers.

Battling climate disruption

11/03/21
The problem of global climate disruption is one of the most complicated issues of our time. Identifying the cause isn’t — the climate is in peril because we humans are spewing ridiculous amounts of greenhouse…

ARKANSAS CLIMATE ACTION PLAN SUMMARY

08/06/20
With the signing of Act 696 of the Arkansas 86th General Assembly (HB2460), Governor Mike Beebe established the Governor’s Commission on Global Warming (GCGW). The 21 members of the GCGW were appointed by the Governor…

State of Arkansas Energy Assurance Plan

04/19/20
The Energy Assurance Plan will provide: a vehicle for documenting and understanding our state’s energy infrastructure; an updated list of contact information for all energy stakeholders; an evaluation of the risks, vulnerabilities, and interconnected issues…

KEY RESOURCES

Arkansas State Profile and Energy Estimates

09/24/21
Arkansas has a diverse geography with natural resources that range from abundant natural gas, rivers, and forests to the rare gems found in the Crater of the Diamonds State Park, home to the only active…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Arkansas

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Arkansas experienced six severe storms and three floods. The damages of these events led to losses of at least $1 billion.

What Climate Change Means for Arkansas

08/13/20
In the coming decades, Arkansas will become warmer, and the state will probably experience more severe floods and drought. Unlike most of the nation, Arkansas has not become warmer during the last 50 to 100…

Arkansas is vulnerable to flooding, drought and increasing temperatures

08/06/20
Unlike most of the nation, Arkansas has not warmed in the past century. Arkansas will become warmer in the future however, with both more flooding and droughts likely. Extreme heat and decreased water availability will…

State-by-State: Arkansas

07/31/20
Arkansas is vulnerable to flooding, drought and increasing temperatures which threaten the state’s agriculture and energy industries and human health

Change in Arkansas

04/19/20
While climate change is often talked about in the future tense, our climate is already changing in both averages and the number and intensity of extremes. Since 2000, major disasters have been declared 23 times…

Arkansas Extreme Heat

04/17/20
Arkansas currently averages about 30 dangerous heat days a year. By 2050, the state is projected to see nearly 90 such days a year.

Future of Arkansas: New Climate Change Report

04/17/20
The American Meteorological Society has released a new climate change report (one every 5 years) to summarize and highlight the latest findings about how our climate may change in the future. While every state and…

Climate Change in Arkansas

04/17/20
Arkansas has a strong history of agriculture, timber, outdoor tourism, and food production - industries that all depend on the hospitable climate of our beautiful State. To preserve our legacy and be stewards of our…

State Energy Portal featuring customizable dashboards and more state data.

04/17/20
Arkansas accounts for about 1.5% of U.S. total natural gas production, and holds almost 1.5% of the nation’s natural gas reserves.

Hydrogen Powered Drones Closer to Commercialization

04/17/20
This is because the F015 combines arguably the two greatest innovations in the auto industry over the past two decades, hydrogen fuel cells and autonomous driving. Thanks to advancing connected car technology, both systems are…

Renewable Energy Shaping a Clean Energy Future

04/17/20
Audubon fully supports the shift to clean, renewable energy. In Arkansas we work with legislators, government agencies and community partners to promote the benefits of clean energy and to support policies that will increase deploymment…

Entergy Arkansas, Inc. 2018 Integrated Resource Plan

10/31/18
While no specific approvals are sought for this IRP pursuant to the Commission’s

What Climate Change Means for Arkansas

08/01/16
In the coming decades, Arkansas will become warmer, and the state will probably experience more severe floods and drought. Unlike most of the nation, Arkansas has not become warmer during the last 50 to 100…

MORE NEWS

Bearden breaks ground on solar project with Today’s Power, Inc.

Photo: Today's Power, Inc. Leslie Holloway   08/11/21  
Mayor Ginger Bailey, City Council Members, leaders of Ouachita Electric Cooperative (OECC), and executives at Today's Power, Inc. (TPI) attended the groundbreaking which was held on August 9th at 5:45 pm at one of two…

Arkansas To Get More Electric Power Generated By Renewables

By Chuck Smith  Photo: Chuck Smith , Red River Radio News   05/04/21  
Electric energy customers in Arkansas will be getting more solar or wind-generated power in the near future.

Abandoned wells a drag on Arkansas

By Ashton Eley   05/04/21  
Nearly 80% of Arkansas’ more than 47,300 oil and gas wells sit spent and abandoned, data shows, and Hendrix College professors and students have found that these unused well lands, along with thousands like them…

Entergy Shopping for Lots More Solar and Wind Power

By Kyle Massey   04/27/21  
Entergy Arkansas, the state's largest electric utility, is seeking at least 300 megawatts of renewable generation projects to supplement its electrical supply by 2026.

Rural Energy for America grants awarded in Arkansas

By Talk Business and Politics Staff   04/23/21  
U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton—along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Bruce Westerman and Steve Womack—announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded over $90,000 in federal grants to Arkansas-based companies as…

Is climate change making allergy season in Arkansas worse?

By Ashley Godwin   04/15/21  
Some are saying warmer weather is causing our allergy season to be worse this year. We find the answer.

President Biden’s end to the Keystone Pipeline could impact Arkansas jobs

By Mills Hayes   01/22/21  
In President Joe Biden’s first few days of office, he has already issued several executive orders. On his first day, he signed an executive order that would cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The project…

School districts and others saving money through Entergy solar power purchases

01/22/21  
Entergy Arkansas customers who became part of the Solar Energy Purchase Option - Option B in the fall of 2020 have already begun to reap savings from the renewable energy generated at the Stuttgart Solar…

Entergy Arkansas Customers to Save $60M with Solar Option

By Chris Counts   01/21/21  
Entergy Arkansas customers who became part of the Solar Energy Purchase Option – Option B in the fall of 2020 have already begun to reap savings from the clean, renewable energy generated at the Stuttgart…

Arkansas lawmakers react to President Biden revoking Keystone XL pipeline permit

By Casey Frizzell   01/21/21  
Some Arkansas lawmakers are showing their displeasures with President Biden revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline during his first day in office. Construction for the Keystone XL pipeline was halted on Wednesday (Jan.…

This co-located solar array serving two Arkansas school districts is also part of agriculture curriculum

By SB Staff   01/20/21  
Cedar Ridge Schools and Midland School District teamed up to improve their districts with a new solar facility. The array, a 1.36-MWdc single-axis tracking system provided by Entegrity, was inaugurated during a “Flip the Switch”…

Leslie Rutledge a loser in Trump fight to protect polluting power plants

By Max Brantley   01/20/21  
A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the Trump administration’s plan to relax restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, paving the way for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to enact new and…

Phase one power plant underway in Hot Springs

By Claire Kreuz   01/19/21  
The City of Hot Springs is going solar. In a partnership with Scenic Hill Solar, they are building the biggest municipal solar plant in the state. City of Hot Springs City Manager Bill Burrough said…

City of Greenwood, White County Schools Join Solar Bandwagon

By Kyle Massey   01/14/21  
Scenic Hill Solar CEO Bill Halter is accelerating his quest to take solar energy to schools and towns across the state with $3 million in new projects, one for Greenwood and the other for White…

Citizens’ Climate Lobby urges carbon fee and dividend initiative

By Roby Brock   01/10/21  
Patrick Kinnamon is the co-founder of MakerMade, a precision tool manufacturing company located in Northwest Arkansas. His company’s carbon footprint and his worldview led him to contemplate how he could get involved to more effectively…

Advanced energy sector continues growth trajectory

01/09/21  
The advanced energy sector expanded in 2020, and its growth is expected to continue into 2021 as the energy industry transitions to renewables. “Advanced energy is growing by leaps and bounds in Arkansas,” said Stephanie…

Scenic Hill Solar, Central Arkansas Water receive regulatory approval for solar array

By Jeff Della Rosa   12/16/20  
Little Rock-based utility Central Arkansas Water and Little Rock-based renewable energy company Scenic Hill Solar announced Wednesday (Dec. 16) a more than $7 million project to build a 4.8-megawatt DC solar array as the first…

Arkansas’ plan on climate change health impacts, new study

By Ninette Sosa  Photo by Getty Images   12/09/20  
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health researchers looked at all 50 states and the District of Columbia and found many states are unprepared for protecting residents when it comes to climate change health impacts. The…

Windgate: ‘Before it’s gone’

By Peter Cullum & Bryan Alexis   11/22/20  
Coming to a close is an exhibition of student photographs displayed in the Don Lee Student Gallery in the Windgate Art and Design building at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. It’s a compelling…

Arkansas School Installs Solar Panels to Save Millions On Energy and Pay Teachers More

By Madeleine Muzdakis   11/17/20  
With the many logistical red-tape hurdles that still exist, administrators might also worry that public opinion could be skeptical of the switch to solar. However, administrators in Batesville found the exact opposite. Living near a…

Grant From Kelloggs Aims To Save 9 Billion Gallons of Water In Arkansas Yearly

By Tim Lawlis   11/17/20  
“In many areas across the state, the aquifer has 10% or less water left in it,” said Jason Milks, Delta Program Director at The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas. “For every minute the timer saves in…

AEP to make 40% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030

By Mark Williams   11/09/20  
"The company’s capital investments reflect our commitment to enhancing service and delivering reliable, clean energy and advanced technologies that exceed our customers’ expectations,” Nick Akins, AEP's chairman, president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…

Scientists try to stem the tide of bee losses

By George Jared   08/11/20  
Their impact to the U.S. economy are valued at about $15 billion per year, according to Scientific American. During the winter of 2018-19 bee keepers across the country lost an estimated 38% of their honeybee…

Petty seeks fourth term to Fayetteville Council Council

By Stacy Ryburn   08/05/20  
"I think there's something really wrong with the part of our society that makes it so an essential worker has to live on the opposite side of town from the essential work we ask them…

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Arkansas

Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein   06/02/20  
Just in the past three years, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back at least 95 environmental rules and regulations to the detriment of the environment and Americans’ public health. Moreover, the administration refuses…

SWEPCO Wind Project approved in Arkansas

05/11/20  
Southwestern Electric Power Co. has received Arkansas Public Service Commission approval of its request to add 810 megawatts of wind energy.

Entergy gains OK for solar project

By Andrew Moreau   04/30/20  
Entergy Arkansas announced Wednesday that it has gained approval to build the state's largest utility-owned solar project in White County. The solar array in Searcy will produce 100 megawatts of solar power and have 10…

Entergy’s Searcy Solar project in Arkansas gets go ahead

By Dave Kovaleski   04/30/20  
The Arkansas Public Service Commission approved the 100-megawatt Searcy Solar project in White County. The solar facility, owned by Entergy Arkansas, will be the largest utility-owned solar project in the state. It will feature 10…

Future Of Arkansas: New Climate Change Report

By Matt Standridge   04/24/20  
The American Meteorological Society has released a new climate change report (one every 5 years) to summarize and highlight the latest findings about how our climate may change in the future. While every state and…
TBP

Farmers to face water shortages as new century unfolds

By George Jared   03/10/20  
The pluses and minuses of building and maintaining a reservoir, implementing various on-farm water conservation practices, and the impacts of the Bayou Meto and Grand Prairie water projects are among the topics to be addressed…

Arkansas Citizens’ Climate League to attend tornado conference

03/09/20  
The group was able to provide 18 lodging scholarships, as well as seven registration scholarships for Arkansans March 13-15. The conference will focus on effective climate communication, market-based climate solutions, agriculture impacts, and public and…

Arkansas is considering new net metering rate structures

By Jaclyn Brandt   02/11/20  
Net metering rate issues have been a discussion point in many states across the country, most recently in Arkansas, where the Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) is considering changing the rates paid to solar users…

Arkansas regulators approve plan to close 721MW Dolet Hills coal plant

01/09/20  
Cleco had invested in upgrades to the Dolet Hills plant in 2015 and 2016, and had previously said the plant was not expected to retire until 2046. Environmental groups had long sought closure of the…

Audubon report says state’s birds in harm’s way from climate change

By Emily Walkenhorst  Photo by Jeff Gammons   10/13/19  
"This is rapid change caused by humans, and it's up to us to do something about it," he added. Under a 5.4-degree Fahrenheit warming, 32 of Arkansas' 125 summer bird species would stand to lose…
TBP

PSC chief reiterates market-based approach for state’s net metering, solar energy expansion

By Wesley Brown   10/08/19  
In his 45-minute speech at the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA)’s annual meeting and policy conference at Heifer International’s global headquarters in downtown Little Rock, Thomas said political differences have kept the nation’s power industry…

Study shows global climate change could dramatically impact wheat crops

Photo by Pixabay   09/28/19  
The risk of widespread drought in wheat production areas is four times the level scientists see today, Song Feng, associate professor of geosciences at the University of Arkansas and the second author on the study…

Hot Springs, Arkansas Is Switching Over to 100 Percent Solar Energy, Joining Only 6 Other Cities in the U.S.

By Jeffery Martin   09/19/19  
The city of Hot Springs, Arkansas has announced plans to switch to 100 percent solar energy. According to KATV, City Manager Bill Burrough says the switch to a renewable energy source will save the city…

Climate change: A matter of geophysics, not belief

By Gene Lyons   05/15/19  
Even for somebody whose job it is to keep up with the news, some stories are just too upsetting. So it was with the recent release of a United Nations scientific report on biodiversity. A…
AMP

Energizing Arkansas’ Startup Economy

By Matthew Waller  Photo by Meredith Mashburn   05/30/18  
Picasolar and WattGlass are technology-driven solar companies with roots in the New Venture Development and Business Plan Project classes, a graduate-level program in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.…

AEP, owner of SWEPCO, announces accelerated move away from coal to renewable energy

By Max Brantley   02/06/18  
AEP announced today release of a report for a “clean energy” future. (Don’t tell Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. She has been fighting for haze, particulates and saving money for electric utilities by not requiring them…