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.

While Cedar County awaits ruling in CAFO lawsuit, a large chicken operation moves in

By: - July 15, 2021

STOCKTON — When the attorney general’s office asked a judge in 2019 to lift a temporary restraining order blocking a Missouri law pre-empting county regulations on concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, that were stricter than the state’s, the argument was straightforward. No one was trying to build a large animal feeding operation in Cedar […]

Parson vetoes bill ending EPA-mandated emissions testing near St. Louis

By: - July 9, 2021

With the threat of millions of dollars in sanctions looming, Gov. Mike Parson on Friday vetoed legislation that would have removed three St. Louis-area counties from a federally-mandated vehicle emissions testing program.  In a letter to lawmakers, Parson said he vetoed House Bill 661 because the potential for federal penalties undermine his administration’s work on […]

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, […]

Parson signs bill helping utilities shutter coal plants, transition to renewable power

By: - July 6, 2021

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 the facilities early without […]

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

By: - July 6, 2021

KANSAS CITY — A consumer watchdog wants federal regulators to acknowledge the influence of activist shareholders on Evergy’s decision-making, mirroring a 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 one of […]

Endangered fish, leaching ash ponds: Environmental groups oppose Missouri coal plant permit

By: - July 2, 2021

For years, Lisa Zerbe said she biked, rode horses and ran near Ameren Missouri’s largest coal-fired power plant in Franklin County because she “naively believed” state environmental regulators were protecting citizens from pollution.  Now, she won’t.  “It is truly a disheartening feeling of betrayal from an agency in my younger years I would have imagined […]

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

By: - June 25, 2021

KANSAS CITY — 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 Pool, […]

Some of Missouri’s largest CAFOs are seeking less stringent state regulation

By: - June 23, 2021

Eleven of Missouri’s largest concentrated animal feeding operations are working to reduce the state’s oversight of their hog facilities despite a record of manure spills and clean water violations.  Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, has 11 CAFOs seeking new state permits.  The facilities, dotted across northern Missouri, combined are capable of raising more […]

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

Jeff Jones has lived on his family’s land east of Columbia 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 a concentrated animal feeding operation, […]

‘Defund the police’ was designed to provoke a response. In Missouri, it worked

By: and - June 9, 2021

For years after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, activists and community leaders have pushed to “re-envision public safety.”  Inspired in part by the Ferguson Commission, which recommended that cities focus more resources on the root causes of crime, organizers across the state echoed these calls.  But they largely fell on deaf ears. After […]

At behest of governor’s office, Missouri DNR created new senior post for Parson aide

By: - June 7, 2021

Gov. Mike Parson’s office directed the state’s Department of Natural Resources to create a new senior counsel position for an employee leaving the governor’s team, The Missouri Independent has learned.  Ryan Conway, who worked as special counsel in Parson’s office since receiving his law license in 2018, started at DNR in March, according to an […]