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Governor calls for national energy standards

Gov. Mark Parkinson said today that it will take “almost a Marshall Plan” to develop green energy in America.

Parkinson called for national standards to require renewable energy use and subsidies and regulatory changes favoring environmentally friendly energy sources, especially wind power.

He said in the last five years, Kansas has gone from essentially no wind power to the No. 7 producer in the country, with more than 1,000 megawatts of wind capacity now on line.

But taking wind power nationwide will require improvements to the transmission system and other actions by the federal government, he said.

Parkinson made his remarks to the annual meeting of The Energy Council, a group of elected officials and energy company executives from energy-producing states, Canada and Venezuela.

Some representatives from other states were cool to the idea of federal intervention.

Alaska state Rep. Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, said the federal government can’t supply solutions that would help all states.

Alaska, for example, has its highest power demand during winter months when the nights are long and winds are generally calm, he said.

“A universal fix is not the answer,” he said. “It’s got to be a local fix.”