Energy & Environment

Courtesy Robbie Gries

Internationally known geologist and former Wichita State University instructor Robbie Gries returns to WSU on Friday to speak at an event celebrating women’s contributions to the earth sciences.

United States Drought Monitor

Kansas' long drought is fading.

Drought covered more than 80 percent of Kansas in April. Now the National Weather Service says most of the state is drought-free.

Still, the dry conditions remain severe in parts of northeastern Kansas.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

After a public outcry last week, Westar Energy is taking another look at addressing concerns about electric poles being installed in some residents' front yards.

Westar’s plan is to upgrade the entire transmission system, including in near-northeast Wichita. The plan includes large metal poles, about 105 feet high, planted in more than 50 yards.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

To be an oil person in Kansas is to understand that bad times follow good and that betting on any dip or upswing is a game for suckers.

Yet it can be so tempting when crude prices soar. There’s so much money to be made.

Or, of course, lost.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

New Trump administration rules aimed at protecting the coal industry reverse Obama-era regulations on greenhouse gases by letting states set their own rules.

That means Kansas regulators could clear the way for more coal, but economic trends have already driven a shift to natural gas and wind power.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Seven years ago, a toxic form of algae bloomed in Milford Lake near Junction City. Kansas had never really seen a bloom quite like it before. It lasted for almost three months and has returned every summer since.

The event set state scientists looking for what spurred the blue-green algae, scientifically known as cyanobacteria, and how to stop the return of what is essentially killer pond scum.

KMUW

More electric buses may be on the way to Wichita.

The City Council voted Tuesday to move forward on a federal grant application for the purchase of six electric buses.

If approved, the nearly $6 million grant could mean electric buses on the street as early as 2019. Electric buses are quieter, better for the environment and more fuel efficient than diesel buses.

The city has applied for two other grants and has received $4 million, according to Mike Tann, Wichita’s transit director.

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