energy

Brian Grimmett/KMUW

Overnight temperatures have begun to dip near or below freezing. That can mean increased utility bills, and for many low-income families, increased financial pressure as they try to pay them.

Kansas Geological Survey

The governments of Douglas County and Lawrence are calling for changes to Kansas regulations amid an energy company’s proposal to pump wastewater into wells in rural Eudora.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas energy regulators have given the green light for an oil company to dispose of production-related wastewater in the Flint Hills — a plan that had met with resistance from residents.

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

As a result of changing regulations surrounding the drone industry, Westar Energy has expanded its use of the technology and is using drones commercially. 

In August of last year, the rules surrounding drone usage became less strict, allowing non-pilots to fly unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes, if they earn a certificate.

For Westar Energy, the largest electric utility provider in Kansas, that means the company can use drones to help make maps, inspect equipment and collect data.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has created seismicity guidelines that new oil and gas operations in two areas of the state must follow.

The affected area includes land from the north-central part of the state, east of Oklahoma City, all the way to the Texas border. The new operations are expected to account for the "vast majority" of new oil and gas activity in the state. Scientists have linked Oklahoma's sharp increase in earthquakes to the underground disposal of wastewater from oil and gas production.

Cally Carswell / Inside Energy/Harvest Public Media

In the 1930s, rural electric cooperatives brought electricity to the country’s most far-flung communities, transforming rural economies. In western Colorado, one of these co-ops is again trying to spur economic development, partly by generating more of their electricity locally from renewable resources, like water in irrigation ditches and the sun.

Abengoa Bioenergy

A major player in the ethanol industry with a plant in Kansas has filed for bankruptcy. Midwest corn suppliers say they’re owed millions of dollars.

Spanish company Abengoa produces grain ethanol here in the Midwest. It also built a cellulosic ethanol plant in Kansas to make fuel from grasses and other bio-products.

But that so-called advanced biofuel hasn’t truly hit the market.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Construction of a new energy center near the Kansas Statehouse has been delayed after lawmakers raised concerns about the plan. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the facility will provide heating and cooling to the Capitol and other state office buildings.

Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration reached a $20 million agreement to finance the project, but it was structured so it did not need approval from Kansas lawmakers. That rubbed some lawmakers the wrong way.

Some Kansas officials question the value of data collected in annual reports meant to identify state buildings using excessive amounts of energy.

The Department of Administration presented such a report Tuesday to a joint legislative committee that oversees state construction projects. The report said 120 of the 328 buildings surveyed, or nearly 37 percent, had excessive energy use over the past five years.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Some Kansas lawmakers are considering their options for fighting federal regulations on carbon emissions while at the same time allowing the state to develop a plan to meet those rules.

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