Rebecca Beitsch

Rebecca Beitsch writes about energy and the environment for Stateline. She covered state government in Missouri and North Dakota, writing about politics and policy for NewsRadio KMOX, the Columbia Missourian and the Bismarck Tribune.

Some Sunscreens May Kill Corals. Should They Be Banned?

By: - March 7, 2019

Environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers increasingly are working to bar the sale of sunscreens that may damage coral reefs, but the bans are dividing a surprising group: coral scientists. Hawaii last year became the first state to ban sales of sunscreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals that are found in as much as three-quarters of sunscreens […]

Crank Up the A/C, Crank Up the Cost: States Consider ‘Surge Pricing’ for Power

By: - February 19, 2019

Just as more people fly during the holidays and drive during rush hour, the demand for electricity peaks at predictable times. Flights and some toll roads cost the most when demand is highest. Now California wants residents to get used to the same dynamic when it comes to purchasing electricity. Starting in March, the state’s […]

California Warms to Solar Homes; Other States May Give a Cold Shoulder

By: - February 4, 2019

This story has been updated to clarify the contribution California’s solar mandate will make to the state’s increase in solar energy production. California’s first-in-the-nation requirement that all new homes have solar panels is a giant leap toward its goal of a fossil-free future, but the challenge of managing a surge of electricity to the grid […]

Foxconn Rethinks Plans for Factory Along Lake Michigan

By: - January 30, 2019

Foxconn Technology Group may no longer build a Wisconsin factory that would have used millions of gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan. Reuters reported the Chinese company is reconsidering plans to make liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in Wisconsin, citing high labor costs. Producing LCD panels requires large volumes of very clean water. […]

A Regional Push to Clean Up Cars, Trucks and Mass Transit

By: - January 16, 2019

As power-plant emissions decline in the Northeast, a group of East Coast states is targeting another source of greenhouse gases: cars, trucks and mass transit. Governors from Virginia to New Jersey jointly committed last month to develop a plan to cap transportation emissions, likely by charging fuel distributors and using the profits to invest in […]

Rural Recycling Hit Hard by Shifting Scrap Market

By: - January 8, 2019

Big cities have shielded their residents from the impact of China’s decision last year to curtail the solid waste it will accept from other countries. But rural and small-town residents are starting to get squeezed by a change that is wreaking havoc on the global recycling market. Hannibal, Missouri, population 18,000, has stopped accepting recyclable […]

Oklahoma Joins New Mexico in Seeking New Uses for Fracking Waste Water

By: - December 21, 2018

Oklahoma has joined New Mexico in seeking permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to explore possible treatment options and new uses for fracking waste water. Waste water from the oil industry — a mix of fracking solution and salty groundwater — is usually pumped back into earth once the industry can no longer use […]

‘Rescue Angels’ Fight Waste to Feed the Hungry

By: - December 20, 2018

This story was a collaboration between Stateline and Politico. NEW YORK — It’s 10 minutes after closing time, and kitchen workers are busy cleaning up an empty Greenwich Village restaurant. What remains of the day’s menu has been dropped into tin trays that are stacked and waiting for pickup. Just a few years ago, the […]

Few Wells Tested for Contamination After Major Flooding From Hurricanes

By: - December 14, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of homes in the Southeast may have had their wells inundated by record-level floodwater resulting from major hurricanes this year, yet only a fraction have been tested for harmful contaminants. That’s because North and South Carolina, Florida and Georgia — like most other states — don’t require routine testing of private wells. […]

Oil and Water: Finding New Uses for Fracking Waste Water

By: - November 29, 2018

Fracking requires a huge amount of water, a major concern in dry Western states that otherwise welcome the practice. But New Mexico thinks it can mitigate that problem by pushing oil companies to treat and recycle fracking waste water for use in agriculture — or even as drinking water. State officials, with the help of […]

Environmentalists Say the Time to Act on Climate Is Now. Voters Aren’t So Sure.

By: - November 12, 2018

Although numerous left-leaning measures found success at the ballot box last week, many voters said “no thank you” to policies that could curb climate change. Washington state, for the second election cycle in a row, rejected putting a price on carbon emissions. Arizonans won’t require utilities to get half of their energy from renewable sources. […]

Florida OKs Measure to Restore Voting Rights to Felons

By: - November 7, 2018

This story is part of Stateline’s midterm election coverage. Florida voters have lifted the state’s lifetime ban on voting for people with a felony conviction. The Florida measure restores voting rights to an estimated 1.5 million residents. Currently, people can only get their right to vote restored by an appeal to the governor. “Florida voters made […]