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.

Three Kansas Republicans in Congress want the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend by 90 days the public comment period on a proposal to list the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act. (Greg Kramos/USFWS)

Lesser prairie chicken may be listed as threatened in Kansas, endangered in southwest

By: - May 26, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lesser prairie chickens could be listed as a threatened species in Kansas and northern stretches of the bird’s habitat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday. The lesser prairie chicken, which lives in prairie grass and shrubs in western Kansas, once numbered in the hundreds of thousands. But with about […]

‘I have to go out and beg’: residents grapple with utility costs as shut-offs resume

By: - May 21, 2021

The pandemic has been especially hard on Louise Lynch’s family.  Her daughter caught COVID-19 as the virus first took hold in Kansas City and nearly succumbed to it. Lynch lost one job at the start of the pandemic. She says she was fired from another because of health complications from getting the virus late last […]

EPA awards Topeka $300,000 cleanup grant to make way for riverfront park

By: - May 19, 2021

TOPEKA — Topeka will receive $300,000 in federal funds to eradicate contamination near the Kansas River to make way for new development, city and federal officials announced Wednesday. The Environmental Protection Agency provided funds from its Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant Program, which is designed to help local governments, American Indian tribes and nonprofits assess […]

Natural gas shortages, high prices helped drive February power outages

By: - May 11, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A precipitous drop-off in natural-gas powered electricity, coupled with high demand and other power generation outages, drove the grid instability that forced power outages in Kansas in February, officials with the Southwest Power Pool said Tuesday. Lanny Nickell, SPP’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, appeared before the Kansas Corporation […]

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)

Public can comment on Evergy sustainability plan after critiques over transparency

By: - May 6, 2021

Members of the public will be allowed to comment on Evergy’s five-year sustainability plan after environmental and consumer advocates criticized regulators’ process as not transparent. The three-member Kansas Corporation Commission voted unanimously Thursday morning to allow public comments on the utility’s “sustainability transformation plan” starting immediately. The public comment period will close July 7. The […]

Evergy earnings shot up following February cold snap that forced blackouts

By: - May 6, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Evergy more than doubled its earnings in the first quarter compared to the beginning of 2020, largely due to the profits it made on sky-high wholesale energy prices during a February cold snap that forced it to cut off power to thousands of customers across the region. The utility, which serves […]

Less pollution, lower bills: Kansas, Missouri move ahead on utility securitization

By: - May 5, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Utility providers across Kansas and Missouri may soon be able to retire coal-fired power plants faster as the energy sector accelerates its transition to renewable energy sources. Kansas already passed legislation that allows companies to shutter coal plants, which release considerable amounts of carbon dioxide, without the financial hit that would […]

Evergy to shutter Lawrence coal plant, speed transition to renewable energy

By: - April 30, 2021

Evergy will retire its coal power plant in Lawrence, the oldest in its fleet, by the end of 2023, the company announced on Friday. The utility revealed its plan to regulators in a filing with the Missouri Public Service Commission. The “integrated resource plan” lays out Evergy’s next few years in capital expenses and pledges […]

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt asserted President Joe Biden's attempt to compel federal contractors to employ vaccinated workers was a cynical attempt to outpace judicial review. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Schmidt joins Republican AGs taking aim at ‘social cost of carbon’ emissions

By: - April 27, 2021

The attorneys general in Missouri and Kansas have joined their Republican counterparts in 20 states demanding that the federal government not consider the social cost of carbon emissions when determining whether to approve new natural gas pipelines.  Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Derek Schmidt of Kansas filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Monday […]

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)

Advocacy groups push for transparency in Evergy’s $8.9 billion ‘sustainability’ plan

By: - April 23, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Environmental and consumer groups are raising alarms about what they claim is limited transparency as Kansas regulators review Evergy’s plan to spend more than $8.9 billion on the utility provider’s infrastructure across the state. “The (plan) represents the direction of the energy future that our monopoly utility is saying we should […]

The House Agriculture Committee approved a bill creating a pathway for agriculture producers to gain county permission to install pipelines for farm uses along right-of-way on county and township roads. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Atchison County Levee District No. 1)

Report says hundreds of levees endanger Missouri River. One county is trying a new way

By: - April 20, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As he watched the river forecasts in early 2019, Regan Griffin hoped for the best. Maybe the Missouri River would top its levees in a few places but spare his community. That year turned out to be one of the most severe floods in recent memory. Parts of Atchison County, Missouri, […]

Grain Belt transmission line forges ahead amid landowner, lawmaker pushback

By: - April 19, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the heels of a historic cold snap that left thousands across the Midwest without power, Kansas and Missouri residents could soon reap the benefits of a massive high-powered transmission line delivering renewable energy. Grain Belt Express, a project a decade in the making, is starting to acquire land along its […]