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.

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 […]

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

By: - June 7, 2021

KANSAS CITY — Missouri and Kansas 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 can […]

As Kansas, Missouri keep building wind, some communities look to regulate

By: - May 30, 2021

FRANKFORT, Kan. — Austin Cline is the third generation to farm his family’s land in Marshall County. His home, added onto many times over, sits at the edge of 1,000 acres where he raises cattle and bales hay.  From his driveway, he has a more than 180-degree view of neighbors’ land and native prairie grass. […]

‘I have to go out and beg’: Residents grapple with utility costs as shutoffs resume

By: - May 21, 2021

Utilites in Kansas and Missouri, including Evergy, resumed shutting off non-paying customers' power after a moratorium during the pandemic.

Missouri eases rules for building CAFOs despite outcry about potential pollution

By: - May 18, 2021

Missouri regulators on Tuesday eased the rules governing design of massive industrial hog facilities in a move critics claim was meant to help one controversial facility.  The state’s Clean Water Commission voted 5-1 to narrow the definition of groundwater in the state’s rules governing construction of “concentrated animal feeding operations” — dense animal raising facilities […]

Missouri lawmakers vote to end EPA-mandated emissions testing near St. Louis

By: - May 14, 2021

With just hours left in their 2021 session, Missouri lawmakers passed legislation removing several St. Louis area counties from a federally-mandated emissions inspection program, potentially putting millions of dollars in federal funds at risk.  But unlike earlier versions of the legislation, proponents won more support by including a clawback: If the federal government imposes sanctions […]

Bill to speed Evergy, Ameren’s move to clean energy wins Missouri legislative approval

By: - May 13, 2021

Legislation that would allow Missouri utility companies to speed their transition to renewable energy is on its way to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk just a day before the General Assembly’s session ends.  The Missouri House voted 146-1 Thursday in favor of a policy — also adopted earlier this year in Kansas — that would allow […]

As KC battled to keep residency requirement for cops, councilwoman pushed repeal

By: and - May 13, 2021

As Kansas City officials were working to block a legislative effort to repeal the city’s residency requirement for police officers, the council’s lone conservative member had other ideas. Councilwoman Heather Hall traveled to Jefferson City last week with the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she met with lawmakers over dinner and meetings at the […]

Anti-Grain Belt legislation could come before Missouri Senate as legislative session wraps

By: - May 12, 2021

Legislation that would effectively kill the proposed Grain Belt Express transmission line could come up on the floor of the Missouri Senate in the waning days of the legislative session — even though the Senate’s own version of the bill is stuck in committee.  Grain Belt, a high-voltage transmission line proposed by Chicago-based Invenergy, would carry […]