Kansas committee votes against renewable standards

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Senate committee has voted to repeal the state’s renewable energy standards, which require major utilities to have some energy capacity from a renewable resource.

The measure would repeal the 2009 Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS, which required major utility companies to have the capacity to generate 10 percent of their energy through a renewable source by 2011. It also called for the companies to generate 15 percent of their energy through a renewable source by 2016 and 20 percent by 2020, The Lawrence Journal-World reported (http://bit.ly/1dwsfL7 ).

The Senate Utilities Committee approved the measure repealing the standards Thursday.

State Sen. Rob Olson, R-Olathe, blamed the standards for increased electric costs and said the renewable energy standards gave wind energy an advantage.

It would have been like mandating “20 percent of the people to keep a Blackberry,” he said.

Renewable energy advocates, including officials from wind energy developments in Kansas, said repealing the standards would hurt Kansas’ ability to recruit industries that say an RPS helps provide a reliable and equitably priced energy source. Wind energy advocates also said the RPS helped spur development of wind-related industries that have produced jobs and capital investment across Kansas.

“I’d hate for us to lose our spot on that map,” of states with renewable energy goals, said state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence. Francisco voted against the repeal.

The committee also moved to place the Senate bill in an already approved House bill, which means if the Senate approves the repeal, the House could approve the bill without having a public hearing on the measure.


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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