Wind energy tax credits help make wind power more affordable, and have boosted the industry in states like Kansas. But those credits are set to expire at the end of the year, and lawmakers from Kansas disagree on what should be done.
Wichita Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo said last week that the federal government supporting wind energy with tax credits is an intrusion into the economy. Pompeo says opposition is growing and he's arguing to let the credit expire.
A project that has taken more than a decade and cost $300 million is drawing to a close. The renovation of the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka should be mostly finished next month. A state panel heard one of the final updates on the project Tuesday.
The project is in the home stretch, but the Statehouse grounds are very much still an active construction site. There's scaffolding on the building, fences block off large sections and construction equipment rumbles around the property.
The Kansas Corporation Commission and an agency that represents utility customers have been butting heads over comments made by a KCC commissioner. The disagreement is over what the commissioner said about how the KCC decides rate increases for utility customers.
In a filing recently, KCC Chair Mark Sievers endorsed a process that uses a formula to decide future rate increases. The more common process is where advocates for utility customers and the utility make arguments before the KCC, and then the KCC decides on the amount of the increase.
An economic index of Midwestern states plummeted last month, and the survey's authors say the government shutdown played a part.
The monthly report from Creighton University is a survey of businesses in nine states, including Kansas. Creighton Professor Ernie Goss calls October a tough month for the region.
"One fourth of the businesses we surveyed said there were negative impacts from the shutdown," says Goss. "I think those will be temporary and we'll see those effects reversed in the weeks and months ahead."