Energy & Environment

Support for energy and environment coverage comes from ITC Great Plains and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Jason Penney, Creative Commons

Drive on any major highway in Kansas and you’ll likely see some roadkill.

For decades, biologists at the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism have found a treasure trove in their counts of flattened animals. It’s a way to create a population index of raccoons and beavers.

In 1986, the scientists also started counting armadillos.

Jim Lovett / Monarch Watch

The annual spring migration of monarch butterflies from Mexico northward could reach Kansas in the next few weeks.

The monarchs are important pollinators across the U.S. but have seen large declines in their numbers due to habitat loss and climate change.

Missouri River overflowing its banks
Andrea Tudhope/KCUR 89.3

Major flooding on stretches of the Missouri River from Nebraska and Iowa through Kansas and Missouri resulted in several breached levees and significant damage to cities, towns, and farmland in March. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the threat of even more flooding isn’t over yet.

Flickr: Ian Muttoo

It’s not exactly unusual for customers to complain about their electricity bills. But repeated rate hikes over the past decade have made Westar Energy’s customers particularly mad. And last year’s merger with Kansas City Power and Light only served to keep the company’s finances — and its profit margin — in public view.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service/File photo

Sedgwick County commissioners approved a temporary ban this week on the development of commercial wind farms and solar energy systems in the county.

Quasimime / flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Corporation Commission has approved a rate increase that will cost Kansas Gas customers an average of $2.40 per month.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Westar Energy is organizing several community meetings across the state to help people sign up for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

LIEAP is a federally funded program aimed at providing a one-time payment to people struggling to pay their utility bills.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

Companies have complained for years that electricity rates run higher in Kansas than in surrounding states.

That gives manufacturers and retailers in other states an edge, they say, and discourages businesses from moving to Kansas.

Now the Legislature wants to know what’s causing such a disparity.

Coal Power Plant - Lawrence Energy Center
Brian Grimmett

Wind is beginning to challenge coal’s status as the primary energy source for electricity produced in Kansas.

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