Making Kansas the best place to do business has been the focus of Governor Brownback, the Kansas Legislature and typically the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. Imagine the surprise when the wind industry became the target of negative, intense lobbying by the Chamber and misleading ads by Americans for Prosperity (AFP).
Pro business typically means encouraging investment and jobs in all business sectors. Wind developers have invested roughly $8 billion in Kansas and created about 13,000 jobs over their short history. What state or state chamber would not want this activity?
AFP blames the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) initiated by former Governor Sebelius as the cause of fifteen electric rate increases. According to AFP’s misguided thinking the RPS is bad policy. Here’s the glitch: The RPS is not the cause. It’s largely federal EPA mandates and other regulations that allow electric companies’ costs to flow through to rate hikes for their customers.
The Kansas Senate chose to overlook this important point and voted to rescind the RPS policy. Fortunately, the Kansas House saved the day with a strong vote to support RPS as they recognized the value of this growing industry. The House, not the Kansas Chamber, was the true pro business advocate.
Karin Brownlee, Kansans for Wind Energy