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The Sierra Club just gave Evergy a failing grade for its climate plan. Here's why

 Evergy's Lawrence Energy Center. A coal-fired power plant.
Brian Grimmett
Kansas News Service
Evergy reversed its plan to close the Lawrence Energy Center earlier this year, which contributed to the company's low score. The plant was previously set to close in 2024, but now has plans to remain open until 2028.

Evergy's climate plan scored just 9 points out of 100 this year, down from 18 last year. The drop comes from Evergy's decisions to push back the closure of coal plants in Kansas City and Lawrence, and its proposed expansion of natural gas power.

Evergy says it's on track to decrease its emissions 70% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. But some environmentalists argue the utility should be doing more.

The Sierra Club recently gave Evergy a failing grade in its annual "The Dirty Truth About Climate Utility Pledges" report. The company scored just 9 points out of 100, largely due to its plans to expand its natural gas power and put off closing two of its coal-powered plants, the Hawthorn Power Plant and the Lawrence Energy Center.

Gretchen Waddell-Barwick, the director of the Sierra Club's Missouri chapter, said that Evergy's efforts to invest in renewable energy sources like wind and solar aren't enough. She said the company needs to do more to be a better community partner, such as taking advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act's funding for clean energy.

"We know it is possible to provide reliable and affordable clean energy in a state very similar to Missouri," Waddell-Barwick said. "It's just a matter of utilities choosing to do so."

  • Gretchen Waddell-Barwick, director of the Sierra Club's Missouri chapter
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