March MPower Newsletter from CEP:

3 years ago | Mar 17, 2015
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March 2015 Newsletter



Renewable Energy Attacks Continue 

For the past three years, the Kansas Legislature has put forward bills that would negatively impact renewable energy.  

 

Each year, CEP and our partners for clean energy have fought long and hard to maintain the Renewable Portfolio Standards and other clean energy policies.

 

Kansans have spoken out, rallied at the Capitol, written letters to the editor, attended hearings, made phone calls, and taken to social media with a singular message:

 

Support Renewable Energy!

 

Despite repeated attacks, we have seen consistent renewable energy wins.  

Even though opponents of renewable energy have more funds, clean energy advocates have what matters:  Kansans who support renewable energy.  

 

We may not have the money that out-of-state lobbying groups have, but we have the voices -  Yours, Mine, and Ours!  

 

Be one of those Kansans who speaks out in favor of renewables.  

 

Take time TODAY to tell your legislator not to repeal the RPS. You can send an email directly to them from www.kansans4cleanenergy.org.    

 

 

What's happening in the legislature

Efforts to repeal the highly-successful Renewable Portfolio Standards.

Hearings on bills to end the Renewable Portfolio Standards (HB 2373 and SB 253) continued into multiple day hearings. HB 2373 will likely be worked in the House Energy & Environment committee this week. SB 253 will also likely be worked this week in Senate Utilities committee. If both bills pass committee, then they'll go to the House and Senate floor in the future so be debated and voted on.

 

Kansans have turned out in droves to support the RPS.  While the hearings have given a disproportionate amount of time to big money opponents of renewables, Clean Energy Advocates stood their ground.  

 

Some Kansas voters had to make the trip to Topeka THREE TIMES to be heard by their elected officials.   Tell your representatives that renewable energy is the future for Kansas. They were elected to represent KANSANS.  Make your voice heard!

 

Thank you to all the supporters and testifiers that filled the room in support of renewable energy! Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to see if any further activity takes place this week.   

HB 2373 (RPS) Final action, possibly this week, 9 am

SB 253 (RPS) Final action, possibly this week, 1:30 pm

 

Other renewable policy:

In addition to RPS repeal, opponents of clean energy are also supporting bills to repeal property tax exemptions for renewable energy, add an unfair tax to renewable generation, and add sales tax to everyone's energy bills.    

 

HB 2396 (property tax) hearing in House Taxation, Thursday, 3:30pm

This bill proposes a ten-year limit on property tax exemption for renewable resources. We oppose this bill because it would impact the contracts already made between counties and wind farms under construction or with Power Purchase Agreements. We want those counties that have competed to host wind farms in their communities to benefit from donation agreements and PILOT payments.

 

HB 2401 (excise tax) hearing in House Taxation, Wednesday, 3:30pm

This bill imposes an excise tax on ethanol production and electricity generated by renewable resources. We also oppose this bill because it is singling out renewable energy generation and driving up the cost by taxing it.

SB 261 (sales tax on electricity) hearing in Senate Assessment & Taxation, Thursday, 9:30am

 

This bill imposes sales tax on sales of gas, electricity, heat, and other fuel sources for production of heat and lighting for residential premises and agricultural use, and will have. If you are reading this email, you are probably paying for electricity and thus would be subject to paying sales tax on your electricity bill if SB 261 passes. Again, this is driving up the cost of electricity by placing a sales tax on it.

 

Water + Energy Progress Awards 

Governor Brownback congratulated the 2015 Water + Energy Progress Award Winners at the Capitol on March 11th. 

Water + Energy Progress Award Winners with Governor Brownback at the Awards Ceremony. Photo Credit: Tim Christian.

Kansas producers were recognized as models of innovation for their water and energy saving practices, which included using cover crops, no-till, managed rotational grazing systems, solar pumping stations, subsurface drip irrigation, irrigation scheduling, wind turbines, local foods production, milk condensing systems, on-farm research, and collaboration.

 

Addressing the award winners, Brownback stated:

We've got to be able to produce more using less water, less energy, less inputs.  We've got to conserve water, and you guys are on the front line doing it.

 

USDA Director of Rural Development, Patty Clark, said, 

We face tremendous challenges with water issues in the state of Kansas.  These producers practice stewardship of water, soil, and energy on a daily basis.  They are the leaders of the pack of innovation.

 

2014 Water + Energy Progress Award Winners include: John Bradley, Douglas County, Mark Eitel, Dighton, Michael Herrmann, Kinsley, Jane Koger, Chase County, Living Acres Network, Gove County, McCarty Dairy, Rexford, Karen and John Pendleton, Lawrence, Shannon Creek Cattle & Quarter Horses, Olsburg, Bill Sproul, Sedan, Lucinda Stuenkel, Palmer, and Darin & Nancy Williams, Waverly.

 

WEP Update: More Great Videos!  
No-till and water conservation in western Kansas
Benefits of Solar and Wind Power 
Benefits of Solar and Wind Power
Leading the way in Dryland No-till 
Michael Herrmann

Looking for a better way to control run-off and conserve soil moisture on 7000 acres near Kinsley, Michael Herrmann and his father, Quentin, developed a dryland, no-till approach. 
 
By converting to no-till, he not only achieved his goals of saving water and reducing runoff, but he also noticed other benefits, including saving time and energy. A model for dryland no-till, Michael's operation also illustrates effective integration of renewable energy. He uses eight windmills to pump
Michael Herrmann
 water on his farm, in addition to solar panels for water pumping and fencing. 

Michael Herrmann has integrated dryland farming and no-till in order to affordably achieve save water, reduce erosion, and save tremendous amounts of energy. Herrmann says, 
 

Water is going to be the biggest issue we have in western Kansas. In order to keep farming, in this part of Kansas, the only feasible way to do it is through no-till, and to conserve all the water you can.

Living Acres Network 

Next month's Water + Energy Progress feature highlights The Living Acres Network (LAN).  This group of farmers in western Kansas are working together to improve soil health and implement water conservation practices by planting cover crops and transitioning to no-till.   

 

There will be even more fantastic videos posted on WaterAndEnergyProgress.org!  All videos are available for viewing and public use on the CEP Vimeo Channel.  Learn something new . .  today!

 

Upcoming Events
Family Farm Day at the Capitol
Kansas Farmer's Union 
March 24, Kansas State Capitol, Topeka KS
The day will start at  9:00 AM in the Capitol Vistors Center auditorium with a briefing/press conference, followed by coffee and rolls on the first floor, south of the rotunda. 

CEP will join other groups with informational booths in the rotunda. 
Wednesday, March 25, 5-7 pm
Merchants Pub & Plate (746 Massachusetts St), Lawrence, KS
Come and go as you like and take the opportunity to meet others who are working, studying, and interested in the environmental field.

Green Drinks is a global network for people who work, study, volunteer, and are interested in the environmental field. Lawrence, KS Green Drinks is organized by the Kansas Women's Environmental Network and will meet once every month on Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. Gatherings are always agenda free and in Lawrence, KS.  

2015 Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education Awards Celebration
Friday, April 10, 6:30-10:00 pm

Sunset Zoo, Manhattan, KS

Every year, educators from across Kansas demonstrate leadership and excellence in providing quality, hands-on, science-based conservation and environmental education that teaches our children about the richness, diversity and importance of our Kansas natural resources. Please join the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) in recognizing those who make a difference for Kansas and our children. 

 

CEP Program Director, Rachel Myslivy, will receive the Community/Nonprofit Award.

 

Kansas Women's Environmental Network Second Anniversary Celebration

Tuesday, April 21, 6:30-8:30 pm

The Kansas Women's Environmental Network connects, inspires and empowers environmentally minded women.  For more information about this event, email kwenleadership@gmail.com.

 

National Adaptation Forum

Action today for a better tomorrow

May 12-14, 2015 - St. Louis, Missouri

The National Adaptation Forum is a biennial gathering created by a group of professionals from the private and public sectors concerned about the need to respond to and prepare for the effects of climate change.  The Forum represents a collective effort to enhance the resilience of the Nation's communities, resources and economy in the face of a changing climate.

 

CEP Program Director, Rachel Myslivy, will present two sessions: one about Water + Energy Progress and another discussing faith-based activism at the 2015 National Adaptation Forum.

 

In The Blog
Be a part of the solution.
As with every legislative session, people across the political spectrum are grumbling that things aren't going the right way.  I have a personal motto,"for every criticism you make, offer one solution."

Coming together for the cause.
Over 100 people participated. CEP and our partners were able to educate people on important bills in the legislature this session. . . together we can make good policies happen.
Published March 3, 2015                                               >>Read Blog 

Clean Energy Future for Kansas? 
Two bills, introduced in the Kansas Legislature in response to  America's Clean Power Plan  have the potential to add a layer of unnecessary government interference into what should be a utility driven process.
CEP in the News
  • KACEE Announces Environmental Education Awards - CEP Program Director, Rachel Myslivy, receives community/nonprofit award
About Climate + Energy Project
Practical solutions for a clean energy future.

     

The Climate + Energy Project (CEP) is a non-partisan 501c(3) organization working to reduce emissions through greater energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. Located in America's Heartland, CEP collaborates with diverse partners across the nation to find practical solutions for a clean energy future that provides jobs, prosperity and energy security.

For more information please contact Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director of the Climate + Energy Project, by calling (785) 424-0444 or emailing  
barnett@climateandenergy.org.
In This Issue
RPS Update
Brownback presents WEP Awards
WEP Updates: Dryland Farming and Collaborative Research
Upcoming Events: KFU Family Farm Day at the Capitol, KACEE Awards, KWEN Anniversary
In The Blog
CEP in the News
Our Projects