Archive for Thursday, February 28, 2008

Balanced energy policy needed

February 28, 2008

This year, the Legislature has begun a discussion of our long-term energy future and debated the impact various proposals will have on our environment, the health of Kansans and the future costs of electric power.

Thus far I've been disappointed with the legislation passed by both the House and the Senate.

I strongly oppose the measures as they currently stand that would prohibit the Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment from doing his job - protecting the health of Kansas citizens and the environment. Prohibiting our state agencies from filling voids resulting from federal inaction unnecessarily places our citizens at risk.

Undoubtedly, we face an unprecedented challenge in finding clean, affordable, and secure sources of energy to meet our growing demand. I'm eager to have a thoughtful discussion about long-term energy policy that isn't tailored to a single company, but rather, sets a series of guidelines and goals through which all parties can compete.

I also remain committed to providing the needed base-load power for Western Kansas in a manner that balances our need for additional power with sensitivity to the environmental impact. And I hope to reach a responsible compromise with Sunflower Electric that is reasonable in terms of scope and size.

Though there hasn't been much movement since I last offered a compromise, I'm hopeful discussions will resume. I stand ready to negotiate and look forward to making progress towards securing a sustainable, more prosperous future for Kansas.

I believe that by addressing the energy challenges we face, Kansas will be a leader in energy policy while protecting our environment and growing the economy. I hope the House and Senate are able to work together on this important issue to find a well balanced approach.

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