2015 Legislative Session
35 Senate Bills and 52 House Bills were introduced during the first week of the 2015 legislative session.
Not surprising, the
state's budget crisis (more than $700 million shortfall in the next two
years) will dominate the 90-day legislative session. On Friday, Governor
Brownback's two-year budget was revealed, calling for tax increases on
cigarettes ($2.29 a pack), tobacco (15%), and liquor (12%). The budget
proposes substantial fund transfers as well changes to the school
finance formula over the next two years.
Representative Tom Sloan introduced the first renewable energy bills of 2015 - HB 2036 and HB 2037 designed to pave the way for public buildings to utilize more renewable energy while also making it easier for large corporations to have greater choice in their options to procure renewable energy more cost effectively.
Repealing the renewable
portfolio standard (RPS) remains at the top of the priority list for
some legislators and organizations despite minimal price impacts for
consumers. The RPS continues to be a wildly popular policy with Kansans,
more than two-thirds of likely voters saying they support the law to get 15% renewable generation by 2016 and 20%
after 2020. The tax exemption for renewable energy will also be examined
The RPS is an important
and cost effective tool to meet our state emission reduction targets to
reduce carbon pollution at existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan, which could also be under attack this year.
From CEP board member, Kimberly Svaty, Gencur Svaty Public Affairs:
Also on the table for
consideration this session, is retail wheeling also known as "customer
choice" or "electric deregulation". While most Kansas electric customers
are unaware, in early March, the Southwest Power Pool, which regulates
the transmission system for an expanding 9-state region, began the Day 2
market. For the first time in the history of industry in Kansas,
electric utilities do not officially operate their power plants, but
rather buy electricity on the SPP market. This is a fundamental shift in
electric utility operations. Couple that with the potential impact of
the Clean Power Plan and other recent EPA mandates on traditional
electric generation units, and the Kansas electric user has seen a
complete change in how their power is generated and transmitted. Retail
wheeling would only further compound the changes and while a
cost-savings is assumed in a deregulated market, it is not guaranteed.
Look no further than the broadband or cable TV market - highly
competitive, not deregulated, but constant price increases for
essentially the same service.
Water issues continue to
be a priority and implementation of the Governor's 50-year Water Plan
is a topic we'll be following closely. The states budget deficit will
make movement toward implementation difficult.
To keep up to date on water and energy issues this session, watch our Facebook, Twitter and email blasts from Climate + Energy Project, Wind Works for Kansas and Kansans for Clean Energy.
|From the Executive Director
we end a year with thank you and then share our plans for the upcoming
year. We're mixing it up a bit and saying thank you to our individual
and corporate sponsors (you know who you are) for stepping up and
helping us to fill a budget shortfall at the end of 2014. We sincerely
appreciate your support.
Check out our 2015
Legislative Preview (above) for our insight into this year's Kansas
legislative session. While, it's started out quiet, we don't expect it
to stay that way for long.
There have been many
changes to the House Energy & Environment and Utilities &
Telecommunication Committees as well as a change in leadership to Senate
Utilities. Our CEP Interns will help us track water and energy
legislation in these important committees along with Senate and House
Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Please watch for our
Legislative Alerts throughout the session to keep informed on upcoming
water and energy legislation. Happy New Year!
Changing to a Conservation Mindset: John Bradley
John Bradley's ranch in Douglas County prioritizes water
quality, time management, and animal health. A veterinarian by trade,
the system revolves around one day off per week with one person's labor.
Beginning with a focus on water quality, Bradley installed feeding pads
and watering sites that preserved the streams and ponds on the 300
acres of cool season grass in northeast Kansas.
for winter grazing, utilizing solar chargers for fencing, and
frost-proof watering tanks reduce the amount of energy required to run
the cattle operation. Bradley says,
I can lower my inputs, lower my
energy costs, lower my capital expenditures for hay, lower my health
costs and still maintain a healthy herd because we're
designing it for where we live and what resources we have. I think
water will be the rate limiting resource for us. For us, water storage
in the form of ponds and giving clean
water access below the pond in a water tank, is our solution. I think
climate change is real. We can quibble about why we have climate change,
but I think we are living that right now. I think water is going to be extremely important.
>>Read all about John Bradley's innovative practices on the Water + Energy Progress Website!
Condensing Milk, Conserving Water and Energy: McCarty Dairy
Look forward to
something altogether different for next month's Water + Energy Progress
feature! The McCarty family runs a large scale dairy operation over
three locations in western Kansas. The family prioritizes
sustainability in their operations, reusing water, reducing water
consumption and making efficiency upgrades to lighting and equipment.
The McCarty Dairy at Rexford, KS, produces approximately 640,000 lbs of
raw milk a day. Using an evaporative condensing milk processing
plant,, the McCarty's reclaim and reuse 40-45,000 gallons of fresh water
every day. The process also saves on energy. Reclaiming the water and
condensing the milk reduces the number of trucks on the road resulting
in a freight reduction of approximately 75%.
The McCarty's are currently the only on farm using a three stage
falling film evaporator in the country. However, Ken McCarty feels that
the process is "Absolutely replicable." He is personally convinced that
this technology is the future of the dairy industry. He explains,
will be pushed farther from population centers, as such, it will be
important to maintain the portability of that product. We need to
create ways to find efficiency and freight reduction is a phenomenal way
to create those efficiencies.Check it out in February!
"Unlocking the Potential on Your Farm" - No-till on the Plains is a 501c3 non-profit educational organization
whose mission is to provide education and networking on agricultural
production systems that model nature. The Winter Conference is an
excellent educational and networking opportunity. Keynote speakers
include Dr. Fred Provenza and Joshua Dukart. www.notill.org
From the Land of Kansas: Connect + Grow + Succeed, February 26 - 27, 2015, Hilton Garden Inn, Manhattan, KS
The 2015 From the Land of Kansas Annual
Conference will include the annual meeting for members and partners,
trade show and farmers market annual meeting. If you have questions,
please contact trademark director, Stacy Mayo, 785-207-3958. Registration page is available
, and includes more details about cost, hotel rooms, etc.
|In The Blog
Over it? Try again in 2015!
Do your eyes glaze over when you hear "Legislative Session"? Read this blog to get inspired and involved.
Another Year of Soil Health
How fitting that Water and Energy
Progress enters another year of aiding soil health just as the
international community begins a newfound focus on the same related
Heartland Voices: renewables, energy bills, and the future of clean energy!
Hart is one of CEP's most dedicated volunteers. His blog post for
Heartland Voices offers a fresh perspective on our work, energy bills,
and the future of clean energy. Enjoy!
year, your inbox is filled with requests from great organizations
looking for your support. We all have causes that are near to our hearts
and I know it can be difficult to choose which ones deserve to receive
your limited charitable dollars.
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
|Thank you for your support
We want to acknowledge
our individual and corporate sponsors that donate to CEP in 2014! We
appreciate all of your help continuing CEP's work through 2015!