Flint Hills Energy Discussion Leads to Progress

On August 18 area residents joined local legislators Roger Reitz, Tom Hawk and Sydney Carlin  and Sierra Club’s own Stephanie Cole to discuss the question, “If Kansas Had an Energy Policy, What Would it Look Like.

The evening’s discussion was started with a short but provocative talk by Chris Cardinal, formerly of GPACE.  Chris emphasized the need for Kansans to come together to work out energy issues.  He got everyone thinking and a very productive discussion about ideas to incorporate into an energy policy ensued.

By the end of the evening, a list of elements this group felt important to a Kansas Energy Policy was created.  Our legislators were part of the creation of these ideas, but the discussion was truly a group process.  We hope they will take these ideas back to Topeka in January.

Energy Policy Planks:

  1. Efficiency of use;
  2. Net Metering;
  3. Public funding for technology
  4. More public education including “smart metering”
  5. Load Management
  6. Cost recovery for IOU’s
  7. Lessen Greenhouse Gases
  8. more wind energy
  9. one more nuclear plant
  10. Differentiate Liquid fuel and electricity
  11. Curb Sprawl/Smart Design
  12. Enforce speed limits by ticketing at lower speeds
  13. Recycling of mercury from light bulbs and nuclear waste

The goals are ambitious and the consensus of the group was that although we need a national energy policy, Kansas should not wait for the Federal Government to implement theirs first.  We need to have an energy vision for our state and begin to put it into practice.

This is the beginning of the conversation and we urge other communities throughout the state to have this conversations with your representatives and the citizens of the community.  Together we can create a sound energy future for Kansas.

By Carol Barta

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