Raymond Red Corn remembers every bit of the drive up to Kansas to buy back his people’s land. Red Corn, who was the assistant principal chief of the Osage Nation, had gotten up early one morning in January 2016 and, with a colleague, loaded up in a Ford SUV they jokingly called “the chief mobile.” It wasn’t a long drive from Osage County, in northern Oklahoma, to Hutchinson, where a ranch broker stood ready to collect bids for the sprawling patch of prairie, but Red Corn wasn’t taking any chances. There was a backup plan: If he crashed or the truck broke down, Osage Nation police would leave him on the side of the road. Their only job was to make sure the sealed envelope they were carrying got to Kansas.
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Beto Lugo-Martinez is a grassroots activist who advocates for clean air. A big part of his work is fighting the expansion of “gas guzzling” vehicles and making sure that historically underserved communities receive infrastructure updates, partly to encourage driving an electric vehicle in Kansas City.
Kansas farmers, ranchers and rural communities are dealing with challenging conditions these days. Stress is high and uncertainty abounds. Farming has never been easy, but there are a lot of variables at play now that complicate things.
Haviland’s drinking water had failed a state safety test. It had more nitrate than federal limits allow. And as mayor of this small town east of Dodge City, it was his job to help the town figure out what to do.
“This plan, while appearing as a good first step, is not as equitable as it claims to be,” said Laela Zaidi, a leader of Sunrise Movement KC. “It discusses building upgrades, renewable energy and electric vehicles, but it doesn’t spell out how these actions will directly benefit poor or working-class people and communities of color.”
Another in a series of bills criticized as an effort to end development of wind farms in Kansas failed to make it out of committee Thursday.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Thompson, a Shawnee Republican and chairman of the Senate Utilities Committee, who has proposed a number of bills critics say are attempts to stymie renewable energy development dressed as efforts to protect rural Kansas.
Kansas City officials want community feedback on a plan to reduce the city’s carbon emissions.
The Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan examines six primary action areas – ranging from creating programs to grow and share nutritional food to exploring more options to provide clean and affordable energy to homes across Kansas City.
Efforts to propel Kansas’ renewable energy future are at a standstill, mired in legislative stalemate. At its center is a former TV weather personality who is using his chairmanship of a key committee to promote questionable claims about green energy and to spotlight complaints from opponents of wind and solar energy projects.
Cotton farming is inching north into the Midwest. Climate change combined with dwindling water resources and new infrastructure means states like Kansas are becoming cotton country.
A series of bills professing to protect rural residents from industrial wind claim to bring transparency, limit abuse and enact safety measures to protect against the supposed health hazards of turbines.