Oppose solar energy tax
Rooftop solar panels are a simple way to generate electricity. A do-it-yourself installation of one panel is under $500 and is guaranteed for 25 years.
Westar Energy declares these systems as a “significant advancement in technology.” Westar could incorporate this technology into their system to benefit everyone, but instead they have petitioned the Kansas Corporatoin Commission to add $30 a month in demand fees on even the smallest rooftop solar installation. The result would be to kill the rooftop solar movement.
It would be best for Westar to manage rooftop solar, but if they insist on penalizing this innovation, we have the right (or duty) to put a few panels on our roof without permission, guilt or fear of retribution. Mark Cooper, chairman of the Consumer Federation of America, cited the 1968 FCC decision against AT&T. The Carterfone decision allowed the public to plug into the phone lines, ushering in an innovation explosion and gave us the internet modem.
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Rooftop solar is safe, provides peak power, and is an efficient use of land. Westar’s plan, however, is backward and a clear abuse of monopoly power. Please learn more and write the KCC before July 16.
Robert Rosenberg, Manhattan
Keep Farm Bill King-free
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, got the disastrous King Amendment onto the U.S. House Farm Bill, which passed the House on June 21 by two votes. Fortunately, this bill was not included in the Senate version of the Farm Bill, but it still could make its way in the final Farm Bill package.
The King Amendment blocks states from setting basic standards on the production and manufacture of agricultural products that are sold within their borders. The language is broadly written and could undo thousands of state laws protecting food and consumer safety, labor protections, environment protection, and more. This negates the 10th Amendment, which gives states the power to pass their own laws and places this power in the hands of the federal government.
As Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts has a unique ability to make sure that the King Amendment does not make its way into the final Farm Bill. Urge Roberts to protect Kansas residents and ensure the amendment is not in the final package.
Shanti Leiker, Wichita
Gun control and restrictions
The Eagle’s June 10 edition featured a headline; “3 die in Chicago shootings during 3 hour span.” The story said the dead were part of a total of 11 people shot in this short time frame.
Illinois is one of the most restrictive states on gun ownership, including an assault weapon ban, and requires a state permit to own firearms.
The recent rash of school shootings has served as a catalyst for a new overwhelming national chorus pressing for further erosion of Second Amendment rights in an anxious attempt “to do something.”
Perhaps as a nation it is time to invoke the famous Dr. Phil rhetorical inquiry: Chicago, how’s that gun control working out for you?
I can already hear the crashing avalanche of letters reprimanding me with the worn-out excuse used by Chicago politicians that guns used in crimes there come from less-restrictive states.
To those who can’t wait to chastise me for not buying into this cherished Chicago excuse, realize there are over 200 million guns in circulation waiting for anyone willing to commit suicide after a rampage to steal.”
John Williamson, Wichita
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