Author

Allison Kite

Allison Kite

Allison Kite is a data reporter for The Missouri Independent and Kansas Reflector, with a focus on the environment and agriculture. A graduate of the University of Kansas, she’s covered state government in both Topeka and Jefferson City, and most recently was City Hall reporter for The Kansas City Star.

Customers of Kansas’ largest natural gas utility could pay cold snap costs for 10 years

By: - July 30, 2021

Customers of Kansas’ largest natural gas utility could be paying off costs from February’s deep freeze for the next 10 years, the company revealed Friday. The Kansas Gas Service, which serves more than 640,000 Kansas customers, filed plans with regulators to issue securitized bonds for approximately $390 million in extraordinary costs from the cold snap […]

Black Hills monthly bills could go up $14.50 under requests filed with Kansas regulators

By: - July 28, 2021

Black Hills Energy customers could have to pay another $14.50 per month under two separate rate hikes the company has proposed to Kansas regulators. The natural gas utility, which serves more than 117,000 Kansas customers in 50 counties, filed in May with the Kansas Corporation Commission for a $10.2 million increase to customers’ base rates […]

Fuel shortages drove February blackouts, Southwest Power Pool investigators find

By: - July 26, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rolling outages that left thousands without power in February were driven overwhelmingly by fuel shortages — especially in natural gas, executives with the Southwest Power Pool said Monday. This winter, sustained frigid temperatures across the Midwest and South forced huge demand for energy while the weather made generators struggle to keep up. […]

Report: Residents in Kansas, Missouri get drinking water from lead pipes at high rates

By: - July 15, 2021

People in Missouri and Kansas risk lead exposure from drinking water at greater rates than almost any other state, a new report found.  The Natural Resources Defense Council released findings Thursday that as many as 12 million Americans may be receiving drinking water through lead pipes without realizing their water is contaminated.  “There is no […]

Less coal, lower bills: Evergy customers make demands following utility’s ‘sustainability’ plan

By: - July 14, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Evergy’s plan to spend more than $8.9 billion updating its infrastructure is too expensive and doesn’t focus enough on moving the electric utility away from coal power, says the consensus of hundreds of members of the public who commented on the plan. Since last year, the Kansas Corporation Commission and environmental […]

After winter storm, some Evergy customers could see savings while others pay for years

By: - July 8, 2021

Evergy customers in parts of Missouri may be repaying electric costs for the next 15 years following February’s winter storm that forced power outages across the Midwest.  Kansas City-area customers in both Kansas and Missouri, however, could see savings. In February, Winter Storm Uri caused sustained cold temperatures across much of the central United States, […]

Both Kansas and Missouri now have legislation to help utilities shutter coal power plants

By: - July 6, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri utilities will be able to shutter more coal plants, speeding their transition to renewable energy, under a bill signed by Gov. Mike Parson Tuesday.  Parson, a Republican, signed into law a policy known as “securitization,” which allows utility companies to refinance debt they issued to build coal plants and close […]

Gov. Laura Kelly said construction of Inevergy’s new Grain Belt Express transmission line to carry wind-driven electricity to Missouri, Illinois and Indiana can create about 1,000 permanent jobs in Kansas. This image is of Evergy's Flat Ridge Wind Farm near Medicine Lodge. (Submitted/Kansas Reflector)

Consumer watchdog wants feds to acknowledge investors’ influence on Evergy expenses

By: - July 6, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A consumer watchdog wants federal regulators to acknowledge the influence of activist shareholders on Evergy’s decision-making, mirroring a local push that Kansas regulators rejected.  Public Citizen, a 40-year-old nonprofit representing consumers, is pushing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to recognize two investment firms as part of Evergy, arguing last year that […]

After February blackouts, energy companies gear up for high summer demand

By: - June 25, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Even before summer officially began, parts of Kansas and Missouri saw the year’s first heat wave stress an electrical grid nearly consumed by a cold snap just a few months ago.  Earlier this month, as air conditioners worked overtime to keep up with peak temperatures in the 90s, the Southwest Power […]

After winter cold snap drove up natural gas prices, utilities grapple with who should pay

By: - June 16, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Penalties that Spire Missouri issued to suppliers who failed to provide natural gas during a February cold snap that forced power outages across the Midwest could drive bills for hospitals, schools and businesses to astronomical levels, according to a trio of complaints pending before state regulators. During the worst of the […]

As massive livestock operations move in, fighting them gets harder for rural neighbors

By: - June 14, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jeff Jones has lived on his family’s land east of Columbia, Missouri, his entire life. Some of the family’s farms are more than 150 years old. And Jones, who raises cattle and grows row crops, has no intentions of going anywhere.  But after years of fighting, his community is home to […]

Kansas and Missouri utilities may use loophole to charge customers for fossil fuel lobbying

By: - June 7, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas and Missouri residents’ utility bills may be helping to bankroll energy sector lobbying against policies aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Federal and state rules prohibit utility companies from passing their lobbying costs on to customers through bills. But in both Kansas and Missouri, utilities like Evergy, Ameren and Spire […]