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11 years ago | Mar 13, 2008

overflow crowd spills into rotunds Governor Sebelius Speaks to Crowd

KANSANS SPEAK OUT FOR CLEAN ENERGY - It turns out that a lot of Kansans (even those who might feel they don't necessarily share a lot of other similarities) can find common ground when it comes to supporting renewable energy, and being cautious about how all energy technologies impact the environment. The Hutch News may have said it best:
"A steel worker, a pilot and a Wal-Mart supervisor were huddled in conversation. Riding a yellow Durham school bus along Interstate 70 toward Topeka on Tuesday, they were just three of the 25 passengers who made up Hutchinson's representation at 'Clean Energy Day' at the Kansas Capitol. It didn't take long to realize they were kindred souls.... As the bus rumbled along, Jade Piros, 30, a supervisor at Wal-Mart, was excited about the trip. Piros likened the power plant to instant gratification - she would rather see Kansas establish itself as a step ahead of other states with renewable energy alternatives. 'Kansas is on the threshold of something great,' she said, as the bus bounced along the interstate. 'We can go one of two ways - we can establish ourselves as a progressive state that's open to using our resources to create jobs in the renewable energy market - or we can go for instant gratification with coal power plants and establish ourselves as people living up to the stereotype of being backward. All the passengers were singing in the same choir."
Letterwriting campaignAccording to organizers of the event - GPACE, Sierra Club, and CEP - about 250 Kansans came from all over the state to participate in the Clean Energy Day rally at the Statehouse. They gathered in front of the House chambers to meet with their representatives, assembled in the Old Supreme Courtroom to engage in a letterwriting campaign, met with about 18 legislators over lunch, and hand-delivered their letter to legislators' offices. They also sat in on a hearing on HB 2949, a bill before the House Select Committee on Energy and Environment in the Future (HSCEEF) that proposes to develop a plan for the energy future of Kansas by focusing on baseload resources of nuclear and coal. Governor Sebelius Speaks to CrowdAbout 75 participants were still around to meet with Governor Sebelius and Lt. Governor Mark Parkinson at the end of the day. Both elected officials spoke to the crowd of constituents about the need to veto SB 327, the Holcomb/ energy bill currently wending its way toward the Governor's desk. "I don't know where that bill is right now," Governor Sebelius said. "But I can pretty well assure you what's going to happen to it," Earlier, during the letter writing campaign, Sierra Club lobbyist Tom Thompson thanked the crowd for showing up. "Constituents are what matter," he told them. "These legislators see me everyday. What really matters, though, is seeing you. You can't imagine the difference it makes." For other news coverage, check out: Photos and info courtesy of many helpful people. Photo ID: (1) Top left, the crowd spills out of the House antechamber and into the Capitol Rotunda, (2) Top right, the crowd listens to Governor Sebelius, (4) Left descending, the crowd participates in letterwriting campaign, (3) Right descending, Governor Sebelius explains the need for clean energy in Kansas. For more images of the event, please check out the climateandenergy flickr page. --- Maril Hazlett,


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