As climate changes, activists struggle for Kansas’ attention

Some Republicans worry about costs of pursuing climate change initiatives, and doubt seriousness of the problem.

By

State News

February 21, 2020 - 2:59 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Environmentalists are struggling to get lawmakers to even discuss climate change as a serious issue in Kansas, where some leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature question the widespread scientific consensus that human activity is dangerously warming  the planet.

States such as Virginia, Minnesota and California are pursuing goals for eventually getting all of their electricity from renewable resources. But Kansas proposals aimed at reducing electricity use, making state office space more energy efficient and encouraging farmers to capture and store greenhouse gases have languished without committee hearings. 

Environmentalists had to schedule their own climate change hearing earlier this month outside of lawmakers’ regular meetings. Even more galling for them, a House committee’s first foray Thursday into environmental policy was a hearing on a business-backed measure to bar cities and counties from banning single-use plastic bags  or straws.

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