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Kansas Senate Votes To Repeal Renewable Energy Standards

Joesph Novak

The Kansas Senate has voted 25-15 to repeal the state's Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which require 20 percent of Kansas power generation to be from renewable sources by 2020.

The requirements were passed in 2009 and have been credited with helping promote wind power development. The vote came after more than an hour of debate.

Opponents of the standards say they pick winners and losers, and wind power growth has outpaced the renewable requirements. They argue that the standards have led to rate increases with more in the future.

"It's time for these companies that are making a lot of money to stand on their own two feet and compete with the rest of the energy sector," says Sen. Rob Olson, an Olathe Republican. 

But proponents of the standards say the cost increase has been very small and surveys show Kansans support the standards.

Sen. Tom Hawk, a Manhattan Democrat, says repealing the requirement would send a negative signal to the wind turbine manufacturers and wind power producers that are providing economic development in Kansas.

"We got them to Kansas. We made the right decision initially. I don't think we want to risk sending that signal," says Hawk.

The vote in the Senate sends the bill to the House for consideration.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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