Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ks. State Sen. Anthony Hensley (D - Topeka): "BROWNBACK CAVES ON WIND ENERGY FOR KOCH MONEY"

One of the few issues on which Governor Brownback and I have agreed is the importance of wind energy and the Renewable Portfolio Standard for Kansas. Unfortunately, Sam Brownback has caved on this issue.

After almost a decade of advocating for wind energy, he now says he is in favor of repealing the RPS.

The RPS was approved by the 2009 Kansas Legislature with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. It requires utility companies to show a renewable energy generation capacity of 15 percent by 2016, and at least 20 percent by 2020. The adoption of the RPS is proof that legislators, especially those from western Kansas, support wind energy and thousands of jobs that go with it.

The American Wind Energy Association reported that in 2013, over 19 percent of electricity produced in Kansas was from wind generation. Industry reports also show that Kansas ranks fifth among states for wind energy-related jobs.

So, why would Sam Brownback reverse his position on an issue that greatly benefits our state? Could it be he has sold out to the Koch brothers who have been pushing for repeal of the RPS? Does it mean that, in return, the Koch brothers will pour millions of dollars into Brownback’s re-election campaign to help keep his and their power grip on Kansas?

It is my opinion Brownback’s reversal of the RPS is all about following the money. With only a few weeks left in the 2014 campaign, Kansas voters can expect the airwaves to be flooded with Koch propaganda touting Brownback and demonizing his opponent, Paul Davis.
Simply put, repealing the RPS is also about crippling the wind industry in Kansas, eliminating the Koch brothers’ competition in the energy industry.

This means thousands of Kansans and many rural communities will be pawns in Sam Brownback’s power game.

To that, I say: Game over, governor.

State Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka

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