Renewable energy – There is yet some courage in the Kansas House of Representatives, and it was on full display Wednesday when its members refused to go along with the Kansas Senate’s repeal of a renewable energy standard that has been in place since 2009. That’s the sort of courage Kansans expect from their lawmakers, who are sent to Topeka to work for their districts – not to become faithful, dutiful and unquestioning servants of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity.
There seems to be little doubt that the renewable portfolio standards helped kick-start the wind-energy business in Kansas, one of about 30 states with RPS laws. Some state legislators apparently see the RPS as an impediment to free enterprise in the state, but the standards have helped support a growing industry that takes advantage of a clean, renewable and abundant natural resource in Kansas: the wind. Legislators shouldn’t risk jeopardizing those advances.
Public schools are among targets of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a “bill mill” supported by the billionaire Koch brothers and other special interests. ALEC promotes concepts of free-market enterprise and limited government, which are worthy of discussion in legislative pursuits. The problem is lawmakers who mindlessly sign off on ALEC’s one-size-fits-all approach without weighing constituent input or interests. And that’s what we’re getting from ultraconservative GOP lawmakers handpicked by Gov. Sam Brownback’s camp to forward an extremist agenda coveted by the Koch brothers and tea party faithful.