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Dorothy Barnett

How Will Kansas Reduce Pollution from Power Plants?

4 years ago | May 17, 2016
By: Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director

Last month our terrific intern Chris Carey gave a thorough update on the Clean Power Plan with his Judicial Update on Climate Change blog. He noted that the Clean Power Plan was the cornerstone of the U.S. commitment to reducing carbon pollution at the Paris Climate Conference. His plea was for Kansas to be proactive and begin to figure out how we can meet the Clean Power Plan targets in an affordable and cost-effective way.

Unfortunately, last week, Governor Brownback signed S.B. 318 into law, which effectively bars state agencies from planning for or spending any money to prepare to meet carbon regulations until the Supreme Court stay is lifted, which may be later than originally anticipated. Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit announced  that the full court (nine judges instead of six) would hear challenges to the Clean Power Plan in September instead of June. Both sides believe that is a good sign for them.

Despite a great deal of work by the Kansas Corporation Commission, the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, Kansas utilities, and clean energy advocates like the Climate + Energy Project, SB 318 delays important and necessary research to determine the most cost effective path for our state to proactively address our energy future and meet historic carbon regulations.  

For the past two years, CEP has traveled the state and heard from thousands of Kansans who support the transition to the clean energy economy. Clean energy protects our health and natural resources, such as water and air quality, while providing secure jobs for Kansans. For instance, the wind industry brought 13,000 jobs and $8 billion in investments.  Farmers, businesses, and families are more engaged and informed about where their energy comes from, and they are seeking to take advantage of the abundant wind, solar, and energy efficiency resources Kansas has to offer.  Legislative leadership is important for anticipating future regulations and securing reliable and affordable energy future in our state. 


This bill takes away precious planning time needed to prepare for eventual carbon regulations like the Clean Power Plan and the opportunity to engage diverse stakeholders in the process.


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