Clean Energy Transition Moving Slowly at the Three Largest Utilities in Kansas & Missouri


Edward Smith,

Kansas City, MO – After nearly two years, Ameren Missouri and Evergy have made little progress in their plans to move from coal and gas to clean energy, while Associated Electric Cooperatives Incorporated (AECI) actually regressed. This assessment comes from Sierra Club’s second The Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges report released today. 

According to the updated report, Evergy improved its score the most, moving from 4 percent (F) to 18 percent (D). Ameren Missouri increased its score from 24 percent (D) to 32 percent (D), while AECI saw its score drop from 3 percent (F) to zero percent (F). 

Sierra Club assigned utilities a score based on their plans in three areas: 1) commitments to retire coal by 2030, 2) plans to build gas through 2030, 3) plans to build or purchase clean energy by 2030. The score is on a scale of 0 to 100, with a utility earning points by committing to retire coal and adding clean energy and losing points by adding new gas. The inaugural Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges report was released in January 2021. 

Justification for utility scores include: 

Ameren Missouri’s score slightly improved because of the accelerated retirement of its Rush Island coal plant, energy efficiency programs, and plans to build 2,800MW of wind and solar by 2030. The score remains low because Ameren plans on burning a massive amount of coal at its Labadie coal plant until 2042. 

AECI’s score decreased because it has no new plans to invest in clean energy. AECI’s score was already low because it has no plans to retire its coal plants before 2030.  

Evergy’s score improved because it announced the Lawrence plant will stop burning coal by the end of 2023 and plans to build 2,765MW of wind and solar between now and 2030. Evergy’s score remains low because it plans on burning a massive amount of coal at its Iatan II power plant into the 2040s.    

Statement from Jenn DeRose, Missouri Campaign Representative for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign:  

“Ameren, AECI, and Evergy have known for decades that burning fossil fuels exacerbates the extreme heat, drought, wildfires, and floods that we’re seeing in the Midwest. There’s no excuse for moving slowly on the clean energy transition now that provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act are available to help utilities. Now is the time for leadership from Ameren, AECI, and Evergy, not doubling down slick public relations.”

Statement from Ty Gorman, Kansas Campaign Representative for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign: 

“Kansas is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in wind and solar generation, which makes it disappointing that Evergy is not more ambitious in its forward-looking transition from coal and gas to clean energy. Evergy’s CEO, David Campbell, doesn't have to look any further than the Public Service Company of Oklahoma, which received a 100 percent on our scorecard because it is retiring coal, expanding renewable energy, and has no plans to build new gas, all while providing reliable and more affordable energy than Evergy. Other utilities are demonstrating that it’s technically achievable. Now it’s up to Evergy’s leadership to make it happen."

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit