Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sustainable Action Network and Greater Plains Alliance for Clean Energy (Weekend 20 - 22/Feb/09)

ACTION CALL: A Clean Vote for Clean Kansas Energy
This weekend, as Kansas Legislators return to their districts for a short break in session, pro-coal advocates will be working in force to pressure critical House members to support bills that play politics with our energy policy and force the construction of 2 coal plants in Kansas. 

FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE HERE! Read below, and let your Representative know you want a clean vote for clean energy!  Don't assume they know the details or are a safe vote.

We earned a small victory this week, when House leadership did not move to pass "energy" bill HB 2014. It is suspected leadership wants to pass the bills with a large enough majority to override any veto from the Governor. Because they did not take action, it's expected they are still pressuring new representatives and those who supported a clean vote for clean energy last year, in hopes they can get the votes they need this weekend. 

WE MUST ACT THIS WEEKEND!  FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE HERE! And tell them you want a clean vote for clean energy!

We need you to contact your representative directly, by phone at their home and tell them to stop playing politics with our energy policy and vote NO on HB 2014. 

These are the reasons:

HB 2014 is being called "energy policy", but in fact - like last year - it does not offer Kansas real energy policy. For example,

1. The Renewable Portfolio Standard
- Does not measure renewable energy production by the same standard most other states do.  It sets soft goals and we can achieve much greater energy and economic development with stricter goals. Stricter goals means more jobs, and a greater demand to develop clean, Kansas wind and solar energy.
- Allows Kansas utilities to count energy efficiency standards towards meeting the renewable energy goals. This is unnecessary and further reducesutility incentive to maximize our renewable energy production. We can do much better, and we deserve better. 
- Probably less strict than the VOLUNTARY one utilities are a part of now in Kansas. 

2. Energy Efficiency 
- Only establishes energy efficiency standards for new State buildings - not commercial buildings or homes and does not set ambitious goals.
- No required efficiency standards - only encourages standards for energy efficiency goals. 
- Would set the course for efficiency standards in KS, and would fail to accomplish anything meaningful

3. Net Metering
- The bill establishes net metering in name only. 
- If you invest in small scale renewables to produce energy and return excess power to the utility - you would only be allowed to produce enough to cover the costs of your monthly bill. After that - THE UTILITIES GET ALL YOUR EXCESS ENERGY FOR FREE. They don't have to pay you a dime for excess energy produced. This is a provision intended to appease the co-ops, even though both Westar and KCPL agreed to a "true" net metering bill this session, that would have allowed people to earn money from producing energy.

4. Federal Stimulus Package
- This bill does nothing to put Kansas in position to earn competitive money for energy from the Economic Stimulus Program.
- The federal government has made billions of dollars available in competitive grants to states. States will be measured by their comprehensive energy policy.   Kansas has no energy policy.
- As is, these bills contain NONE of the policy necessary to meet federal funding requirements. 
- In short, playing politics with our energy policy forces the construction of coal plants in KS, and leaves millions of dollars on the table that we aren't even eligible for. We deserve better!

5. Sacrificing real energy policy for coal plant politics
- Just like last year - all of this weak policy is constructed in order to pass a law that forces the KDHE to permit Sunflower Electric's Coal plants. They get their plants, we get no meaningful policy, carbon liability, weakened health and environment agency, and now renewable energy jobs.

Please, use this link: FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE HERE! , contact your legislator at home this weekend and tell them to VOTE no on HB 2014! We made it clear last year, and we'll make it clear again: We want a clean vote on clean energy! Leave politics out of it!

Thank you to everyone for your work - this weekend is absolutely critical. The other side has bottomless pockets and lobbying pressure - once again this year, we have the voices of thousands of Kansans who want real policy for our state. 

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