The Net #8
Kansas Legislative Network News
March 8, 2009
Sierra Club Kansas Chapter
5001 Rock Creek Lane, Mission, KS 66205
Phone: 913-236-9161; cell: 913-687-2405;
Substitute for Substitute for Anything That Makes Sense
Last Thursday evening the Senate voted 31 to 9 to pass Senate Substitute for House Substitute 2014, the Holcomb Bill. This bill will now go to a conference committee consisting of the House Energy and Utilities Chair, Vice Chair and ranking minority leader and the Senate Utilities Chair, Vice Chair and ranking minority leader (Reps. Holmes, Knox and Keuther plus Sens. Apple, Peterson and Lee. Only Rep. Keuther voted against 2914.
Since the Senate amended 2014 the conference committee is necessary. In fact, 2014 was substituted with SB 265 last Tuesday.
The word Substitute is used when a bill has been replaced by another bill. In the House, 2014 was originally a bill having to do with fees being charged by the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority. After hearings on a number of energy oriented bills and 4 subcommittees to sort them, 2014 was then “gutted” by the House Utilities Committee and replaced by what was called a Comprehensive Energy Bill changing its name to Substitute for HB 2014. The new Substitute for HB 2014 consisted of many of the bills that the committee previously had hearings for. Many meetings were held on items that ended up in Substitute for HB 2014. This passed the House and went to the Senate (See KLN#7).
In the Senate Utilities Committee SB 265 was being worked as their version of a Comprehensive Energy bill. When they received 2014 from the House, they “gutted” it and replaced it with SB 265 adding another “Substitute.” This happened Tuesday. After the gutting, the committee amended 2014 with a few of the items from the House version. On the floor of the Senate, a couple more items were added.
Regardless of the various substitutes and amendments, 2014 continues to alter the authority of the Secretary of KDHE and allows Sunflower to resubmit its permit application to build the Holcomb coal fired power plant. To find out all the items and changes made to 2014 one can down load the Supplemental Note provided at the legislative web site and included on the page for the “Full Text of Bill.”
The bottom line is that 2014 is still the Holcomb bill. Here is the vote on it from the Senate and House. Yea was for allowing the Holcomb be built; Nay was for denying Holcomb a permit to add 11 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
In the Senate on March 5:
On roll call, the vote was: Yeas 31, Nays 9, Present and Passing 0, Absent or Not Voting
Yeas: Abrams, Apple, Barnett, Brownlee, Bruce, Brungardt, Colyer, Donovan, Emler,
Haley, Huelskamp, Kelsey, Lee, Lynn, Marshall, Masterson, McGinn, Morris, Ostmeyer,
Owens, Petersen, Pilcher-Cook, Pyle, Reitz, Schmidt D, Schmidt V, Taddiken, Teichman,
Umbarger, Vratil, Wagle.
Nays: Faust-Goudeau, Francisco, Hensley, Holland, Kelly, Kultala, Schodorf, Steineger,
In the House on February 27:
Yeas: Aurand, Bethell, Bowers, Brookens, A. Brown, Brunk, Burgess, Carlson, Colloton,
Craft, Crum, DeGraaf, Donohoe, Faber, Feuerborn, Fund, D. Gatewood, George, Goico,
Gordon, Grange, Grant, Hayzlett, Hermanson, Hill, Hineman, C. Holmes, M. Holmes,
Horst, Huebert, Jack, Johnson, Kelley, Kerschen, Kiegerl, King, Kinzer, Kleeb, Knox, Land-
wehr, Light, Lukert, Maloney, Mast, McLeland, Merrick, Morrison, Moxley, Myers, Navinsky, Neufeld, O’Brien, O’Neal, Olson, Otto, Palmer, Patton, Pauls, Peck, Phelps, Powell,
Prescott, Proehl, Rhoades, Roth, Schroeder, Schwab, Schwartz, Seiwert, Shultz, Siegfreid,
Swanson, Vickrey, Watkins, Wetta, Whitham, Williams, B. Wolf, Yoder.
Nays: Ballard, Benlon, T. Brown, Burroughs, Carlin, Crow, Davis, Dillmore, Finney,
Flaharty, Frownfelter, Furtado, Garcia, S. Gatewood, Goyle, Hawk, Henderson,
Huntington, Kuether, Lane, Loganbill, Long, Mah, McCray-Miller, Menghini, Neighbor,
Peterson, Pottorff, Quigley, Rardin, Ruiz, Sawyer, Slattery, Sloan, Spalding, Svaty, Swenson,
Talia, Tietze, Trimmer, Ward, Winn, K. Wolf, Worley.
Present but not voting: None.
Absent or not voting: Henry, Tafanelli.
After being worked in Conference Committee, 2014 will go to the Governor and is expected to be vetoed. Please contact your State Rep. and Senator. Thank them if they voted no and encourage them to follow through by voting to sustain the Governors veto. If the voted yes, contact them to tell them how disappointed you are and ask that they reconsider and vote to sustain a veto. All contacts, especially from constituents are important.
Here is another way you can continue the fight:
CLEAN ENERGY DAY March 19th
"Please join us for Clean Energy Day II. Last year, hundreds participated to advocate for a clean energy future. This year, we'll do it again and need your help! Come rally with us on March 19th. Please share this information with others. See here for more information: www.kansascleanenergy.com "
Other Activities Last Week
Also on Thursday, the House Utilities Committee had a hearing on House Resolution No. 6011. This HR requested the KCC to convene a group of stakeholders to study energy storage as a cost-effective way to stabilize renewable energy generation, transmission congestion costs, increase system reliability and energy storage issues. This HR had support from Rep. Tom Sloan and Sierra Club member Ray Dean. Ray Dean was able to answer many committee questions about compressed air technology and using batteries to store energy especially from wind power. It was a great opportunity for some like Ray to educate the Committee.
Stimulus and Energy Efficiency
There is a lot of talk about what will happen with money coming to Kansas from the Economic Recovery Act usually called the Stimulus Bill. The House Utilities Committee heard a report by KCC Commissioner Joe Harkins on Monday and the Senate Utilities got their version on Wednesday and Thursday about what was expected and hoped for concerning energy efficiency and conservation money coming to Kansas as a result of the Act.
The KCC staff assisted by Commissioner Harkins also had a meeting on Friday with representatives from utilities (investor owned, coops and municipal utilities) around Kansas to discuss how they might be involved in programs to execute a stimulus generated energy efficiency program. KCPL was not represented though they were invited.
It was made clear that any plans for spending money on a program using stimulus money must be written in pencil. Though the state must prepare itself, the final rules for receiving and spending stimulus money have not been finalized.
It is estimated that over $90 million will be coming to Kansas for a variety of efficiency programs over the next two years. Reports and meetings emphasized $38 million expected to go to the State Energy Program. Current planning is to use this money for low to moderate-income residential and small commercial energy efficiency efforts.
KCC hopes to set up a program of revolving loans for energy efficiency projects with low interest loans. Half the interest to be paid by the program to keep interest rates low. There were many questions about how this might work and what the pit falls might be. It is hoped that local banks and utilities will help to implement these programs.
With utility involvement, savings from energy efficiency measures will pay for the loans. Energy Audits that recommend measures to take will help to assure that only approved efficiency measures qualify. One problem noted was that there is a shortage of energy auditors. KSU currently has a high quality program for training. They hope to double the number they can train. It is possible that stimulus money could be used for training.
A similar meeting is being planned that will include banks who might be part of this program. Utility representatives requested also being part of these talks since some want to combine their efforts with banks.
This program is being referred to as the KanSave program and is expected to get off the ground by June 1, 2009.
The KCC held a Solar Energy Roundtable Monday. About 100 people including the House Utilities Committee, which stayed until the House went into session, attended this. This Round Table discussed many issues concerning large and small-scale solar energy development. Speakers addressed a variety of issues including solar potential, installations issues, using single meters for net metering, future cost (which should be coming down the next couple years due partly to a silicon cost decrease) and low hanging fruit issues.
Another Round table is being planned in a couple months on Smart Meters and Smart Grid, to be announced.
Next week shows evidence of a legislature nearing the end. Although the session does not end until April 4, most emphasis is on the budget and tying up any loose ends. Possible legislation needed to allow Federal Stimulus money to flow into Kansas is also being investigated and considered.
On Wednesday March 11 there will be a hearings on SB 299 and SB 284. 299 concerns the regulation of underground hydrocarbon storage wells. 284 authorizing the establishment of a third party administrator program and establishing a third party fund. This third party entity’s “…purpose will be to achieve reductions in energy use through increasing the level of cost effective energy efficiency, conservation and education available to Kansans.” It will be interesting to see if this passes and how it will work with current proposals to use money from the Federal Stimulus Package.
Those of you who have contacted their Kansas Representatives and Senators have been very helpful. A lot of effort will still be needed to push Kansas toward a clean renewable energy future. I hope you will keep up the good work especially when the veto override is attempted.
Some days, I want to yell, “Substitute this!”
Sierra Club Kansas Chapter