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.

Kansas bill targeting property tax breaks for wind farms fails in committee vote

By: - March 18, 2022

Another in a series of bills criticized as an effort to end development of wind farms in Kansas failed to make it out of committee Thursday. The bill was introduced by Sen. Mike Thompson, a Shawnee Republican and chairman of the Senate Utilities Committee, who has proposed a number of bills critics say are attempts […]

Kansas Senate bill would bolster inspections of dog breeders, animal shelters

By: - March 17, 2022

A Kansas Senate bill could bolster the state’s efforts to inspect dog and cat breeders, shelters and kennels after an audit found the program lacking. The bill — supported by animal shelters and the Humane Society of the United States, and opposed by the Kansas Livestock Association and dog breeders — would establish a division […]

Kansas bill would require wind farms to minimize blinking lights

By: - March 9, 2022

Residents of the Kansas prairie asked legislators Wednesday to restore the night sky they say is dominated by red blinking lights from industrial wind turbines.  “One of the greatest things about living in rural Kansas is being able to enjoy the night sky, the moon and the stars … the red blinking lights have taken […]

‘Shooting themselves in the foot’: Committee guts Kansas bill to protect water

By: - March 1, 2022

The prospects for a major overhaul of Kansas water programs dimmed Tuesday after a legislative committee gutted a reform bill meant to give cabinet-level importance to a near crisis in Kansas. “What ended up happening is we kicked the can down the road again,” said Rep. Ron Highland, chairman of the House Water Committee.  For […]

‘We can’t wait 15 years’: Legislative committee works to overhaul Kansas water policy

By: - February 20, 2022

Time to protect water in Kansas is running short.  Parts of the aquifer in far western Kansas may only have 10 years of water left. Small towns are struggling to provide clean drinking water, and upgrading their facilities would bankrupt them.  If the state is going to preserve its water resources, it has to act […]

Evergy building in downtown Topeka

Aggressive spending or necessary investments? Kansas Senate bill would cap Evergy rate hikes

By: - February 18, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansans can’t keep tolerating electric rate hikes from the state’s dominant monopoly utility, Evergy, say proponents of a bill to cap increases. Energy in Kansas used to be competitive compared to the region, they said, but costs are now soaring past peer states. According to the Energy Information Administration, average electricity […]

Kansas Senate committee unable to advance anti-wind bills, chairman says

By: - February 16, 2022

One of a half-dozen bills opponents say are meant to end renewable energy in Kansas won’t make it out of committee, the senator leading the charge said Wednesday.  As he prepared to adjourn the Senate Utilities Committee, Sen. Mike Thompson, a Johnson County Republican, seemed to say there weren’t enough senators on the 11-member committee […]

‘This is punitive’: Kansas Senate committee considers poison pill wind energy bills

By: - February 13, 2022

A series of bills professing to protect rural residents from industrial wind claim to bring transparency, limit abuse and enact safety measures to protect against the supposed health hazards of turbines. In reality, they would transform Kansas, one of the top producers of wind energy for two decades, into one of the most restrictive states […]

Kansas regulators approve natural gas utility’s plan to recoup $366 million from customers

By: - February 8, 2022

Customers of Kansas’ largest natural gas utility will see their bills go up in the wake of last winter’s deep freeze — but it’s still unclear by how much and for how long.  Kansas regulators on Tuesday approved an agreement with the Kansas Gas Service to recoup $366 million in excess natural gas costs, incurred […]

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)

Wind energy proponent says Senate bills would kill development in Kansas

By: - January 28, 2022

Wind and solar farms would be banned in more than half of Kansas counties — and made nearly impossible in the rest — under a trio of bills heard by legislators this week. One of the bills would require leases presented to landowners to come with a message in 16-point font urging them to hire a […]

Kansas regulators approve $11.47 bill hike for Black Hills customers

By: - January 27, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Natural gas bills will go up next month for 117,000 Kansans, including in the Wichita metro area, following last winter’s deep freeze.  Customers of Black Hills Energy will see, on average, another $11.47 on their monthly bills attributed to Winter Storm Uri under a settlement agreement with regulators and consumer advocates. […]

December 2021 was the warmest on record in Kansas and Missouri — by a long shot

By: - January 17, 2022

Kansas and Missouri logged their warmest average December temperatures on record last month, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Average temperatures over the last half of 2021 were higher than they’ve ever been in either state — and across the country. Meanwhile, despite a devastating cold snap that forced power outages […]