Energy & Environment

Win McNamee / Getty Images

The United States will withdraw from the international climate agreement known as the Paris accord, President Trump announced on Thursday. He said the U.S. will negotiate either re-entering the Paris agreement or a work on a new deal that would put American workers first.

During his campaign, Trump vowed to "cancel" U.S. participation in the deal. World leaders and business figures had recently urged him to reconsider. Ultimately, the president decided to withdraw, with the stated intention of renegotiating.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW/File photo

A new report says Kansas is one of five states that were more than 20 percent wind-powered in 2016.

The American Wind Energy Association, which advocates for the wind energy industry, says close to 30 percent of Kansas’ electricity was powered by wind energy last year, ranking it second in the country. According to the data from the federal Energy Information Administration, that’s up from 24 percent the year before.

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.

Courtesy Photo

Landowners and local leaders on Tuesday celebrated the beginning of the construction of the Kingman Wind Energy Center. The site is near the city of Kingman, about 45 minutes west of Wichita.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and other leaders participated in the event, where they signed a 150-foot wind turbine blade that will be used in the project.

John DiDonato, vice president of wind development for Next-Era Energy Resources, says the project will help sustain Kingman County economically and provide clean, renewable energy for generations of Kansans to come.

Joseph Novak / Flickr / Creative Commons

A new wind energy project announced today by Gov. Sam Brownback is one of 10 now under construction in Kansas.

The Cimarron Bend project in Clark County will add another 200 wind turbines to the rural landscape in southwest Kansas. But the power produced there will be used by the tech giant Google and the Board of Public Utilities in Kansas City, Kansas.

BPU general manager Don Gray says wind power has gotten much cheaper in recent years.

Westar Energy Proposes Another Rate Increase

Mar 9, 2016

Westar Energy is proposing an increase in the transmission rate on customers’ bills. That rate pays for what the company spends to transmit power to customers, a fact that Westar says enables the use of cleaner, cheaper electricity in the state.

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.

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