Kansas Corporation Commission

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.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Residents of the Flint Hills on Wednesday took a fight against an oil company to Kansas energy regulators as part of their broader battle to stem wastewater disposal in the area.

They fear that a request from Quail Oil and Gas to jettison up to 5,000 barrels a day of brine near Strong City and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve brings a risk for earthquakes or contamination of local groundwater — claims that the company disputes. 

The Kansas Corporation Commission won't allow Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy extra time to renegotiate a new merger.

After the commission in April rejected the proposed merger, the two companies filed a petition asking for extra time to revise the deal to meet commissioners' expectations.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the commission rejected the request Tuesday. The commission's staff has recommended the companies start an entirely new case for the merger.

Keith Ewing / flickr Creative Commons

An annual program meant to protect low-income Kansans during the coldest months of the year is set to go into effect this week.

Kansas’ Cold Weather Rule, established by the Kansas Corporation Commission in 1983, runs from Nov. 1 through March 31. It helps to ensure that electric, gas and water service won’t be disconnected from a person’s home during the winter.

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Kansas regulators are threatening to halt the $12.2 billion sale of Topeka-based Westar Energy to Great Plains Energy if they don't get details on cost savings and other information.

Kansas Corporation Commission took no action at a meeting Tuesday. But an order warned that if merger standards aren't met, possible action could include a request for dismissal of the merger application, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Faces of Fracking, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Corporation Commission has approved an order that puts additional limits on the amount of saltwater that oil and gas producers may inject into wells in Harper and Sumner counties and parts of Kingman, Sedgwick and Barber counties. The change, which is related to earthquake activity, also expands the area where underground disposal is restricted.

Kansas Gas Service Seeking To Raise Net Base Rate

May 6, 2016
https://www.kansasgasservice.com

The Kansas Gas Service is asking the Kansas Corporation Commission for a $28 million increase in its net base rate. The utility’s last rate increase was approved in 2012.

If the request is approved, Kansas Gas Service says the average residential customer's bill would increase by 7.2 percent. Dawn Ewing with the Kansas Gas Service says that’s about $4.34 per month for residential customers.

“This proposal allows us to continue to invest in our natural gas system and provide the safe and reliable service that our customers depend on, ” he says.

Cold Weather Rule For Utilities To End Thursday

Mar 28, 2016
Felipe Skroski, Creative Commons

A program that helps people who are struggling to pay their winter utility bills is ending this week.

The Kansas Cold Weather Rule is in effect throughout the state between November 1 and March 31. The program protects residential customers who can’t fully pay their gas and electric bills from service cut-offs.

Recent Kansas Corporation Commission decisions on utility investments could save customers millions of dollars.

The KCC recently filed a complaint with federal authorities arguing Westar Energy is charging too much return on equity for its transmission projects.

Westar currently charges 11.3 percent. The KCC is arguing it should be 9.37 percent. The reduction could drop rates $15.8 million dollars annually.

The Kansas Corporation Commission has approved a plan that would allow Westar Energy to receive about $3.5 million dollars in revenue for making emissions improvements at the La Cygne power plant in eastern Kansas.

Westar also agreed not to ask for a rate increase until March.

About two-thirds of the company's customers are expected to see an increase of about 16 cents on their bills, but they will not pay more until October of 2015.

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