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.

Spire claims ‘fatal consequences’ if feds allow St. Louis pipeline to be shut down

By: - July 29, 2021

The largest natural gas utility in Missouri claims its customers could face “potentially fatal consequences” if it is not allowed to continue operating a pipeline in St. Louis while a federal commission reconsiders its earlier approval.  The Spire STL Pipeline, an affiliate of Spire Missouri, petitioned energy regulators earlier this week for a temporary emergency […]

Fuel shortages drove February blackouts, Southwest Power Pool investigators find

By: - July 26, 2021

KANSAS CITY — 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. The […]

Missouri DNR calls allegations it committed civil rights violations ‘unsubstantiated’

By: - July 22, 2021

Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources called claims that it violated residents’ civil rights “unsubstantiated and conclusory” even as it quietly addressed several findings from an ongoing Environmental Protection Agency investigation.  The EPA has been investigating whether DNR, Missouri’s environmental regulator, violated residents’ civil rights when it issued an air pollution control permit for a fuel […]

Report: Residents in Missouri, Kansas 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 […]

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 […]