The following is a joint release from The Wind Coalition, the Kansas Chamber, and the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity.
TOPEKA, Kansas. – An agreement regarding pending legislation dealing with the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) was announced today by state lawmakers, industry leaders, public policy advocates, and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
The agreement comes after wind energy leaders announced they will meet the Kansas Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) target of 20% by 2020 a full 4 years early, stating that the industry has created 12,000 good-paying jobs and has attracted $8 billion in state investment.
The compromise will transition the current renewable energy mandate into a voluntary goal of 20% by 2020 and continue the state’s commitment to promote renewable energy as an important component of the state’s energy mix. The agreement also clarifies two tax policy provisions that will provide wind energy investors certainty about continuing to build projects in the state.
“The wind energy industry has been an economic and job growth engine for Kansas. We are pleased that an agreement was reached that will provide investment and policy stability so Kansas can continue be an industry leader. We are always willing to come to the table with anyone who is willing to recognize wind energy’s economic benefits,” said Kimberly Svaty representing The Wind Coalition.
Speaking on behalf of The Kansas Chamber, CEO Mike O’Neal stated: “The mark of a good compromise is agreement reached by parties with strongly held views that succeeds in satisfying the principal goals and objectives of all concerned. The Kansas Chamber supports a mix of energy sources, including wind, where demand is driven by the free market and not by mandates. We congratulate our wind energy partners for their success in Kansas and look forward to their continued success as energy producers in the state.”
“This is a good compromise that promotes the free market'” said Jeff Glendening, Kansas State Director of Americans for Prosperity. “We support an energy policy that allows the free market to decide which energy Kansans consume. Wind has a role in the mix. An electric market free of mandates is most efficient,” he added.
Kansas set a target of 20% renewable energy by 2020 in 2009. It has worked successfully to expand the state’s choices for low-cost, reliable electricity while producing added benefits that include over 2 billion gallons a year in fresh water savings and the revitalization of local economies.
Parties to the compromise note that, with the terms of today’s agreement, continuing to promote wind power for the energy grid will make the energy market more competitive and will benefit Kansas consumers.