Brian Grimmett

News Reporter

Brian Grimmett is a two-time Regional Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist covering energy and environment stories across the state of Kansas. Brian loves to dive deep into complicated issues with the hope of making them easier to understand for general audiences, as with the award-winning hard news feature Westar Wants Kansans To Pay For Peak Power. What Could It Mean For Your Energy Bill? 

 

Before coming to KMUW and the Kansas News Service, Brian worked at KUER 90.1-FM in Salt Lake City covering the Utah Legislature.

 

Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University. When not reporting, he enjoys spending time with his family and building and flying remote controlled airplanes.

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Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Scientists say that if we’re going to stop rising global temperatures, the world will need to greatly reduce the amount of carbon it’s emitting into the air.

Electricity production is one of the largest culprits and transitioning away from fossil fuels is seen as a key step in stopping climate change.

Under mounting pressure to ditch fossil fuels and amid shifting economics that make coal increasingly less competitive, the largest utility in Kansas pledges to close nearly all of its coal-burning plants in the next 20 years.

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 MANHATTAN, Kansas — Ellen Welti has a Ph.D. in, essentially, grasshoppers.

And yet she was still mystified about why the number of grasshoppers in a long-protected and much-studied patch of Kansas prairie was dropping. Steadily. For 25 years.

After all, the grass that the springy bugs feast on had actually grown more robustly as it absorbed mounting levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

So why were the grasshoppers faring increasingly worse?

Kansas Highway Patrol Air Support Unit

WICHITA, Kansas — Utility companies in Kansas will soon have a new accounting tool that could speed the closure of coal-fired power plants — and save customers money.

The financial tool is known as securitization. It’s not a new idea, but it is complex. The Kansas Legislature passed a bill approving the use of the tool after more than two years of discussion.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Wind now cranks up more kilowatts than any other power source in the state.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — Nearly 70 years ago in a newly formed suburb of Kansas City, Kansas City Power & Light Co. built what it thought was a vision of the future — an all-electric home full of the latest technology.

“It was advertised as the lazy man’s paradise,” said Johnson County Museum curator Andrew Gustafson.

Gas furnace
Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Last February, the city of Cheney, Kansas – located just west of Wichita – paid about $2 per thousand cubic feet, or unit, of natural gas on the wholesale market.

But last week, during the height of the winter storm, it was paying more than $600 per unit.

“We didn’t have the option to just say, ‘We don’t want gas for our community,’” said Cheney City Administrator Danielle Young.  “We just had to take the price we were given to make sure our residents were staying warm.”

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Rolling electrical blackouts rippled across the Midwest Monday while the region shivered in an arctic blast and suddenly found itself short on electrical power.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

KINSLEY, Kansas — In the late 1980s, drought left the wells that supply water to the city of Hays and Russell in western Kansas precariously low. The near-catastrophe sent city leaders on the hunt for more water.

“We were just trying to survive from one year to the next,” former Hays mayor and city councilman Eber Phelps said.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

The electrification of cars and small trucks is on the horizon, but the state of Kansas is doing the bare minimum to be prepared.

A new state scorecard from the advocacy group the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranks the state 29th, with a score of 15.5 out of 100.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

WICHITA — State regulators have expanded their investigation into what’s causing a recent string of earthquakes in eastern Wichita.

Regulators say the earthquakes are most likely naturally occurring, but want to make sure oil and gas operations aren’t contributing.

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