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With the defeat of the coal bill in last year’s Kansas legislature, and a heavy work load for your author, Kansas Warming has been on hiatus. But the issue lives on, and we must find time to discuss this issue. Your author intends to make as much time as possible for this important issue, now that several things have changed:
- A new administration in the federal government is more favorable to climate protection and incentives for alternative energy. Limitations on carbon emissions may be forthcoming soon, but there is a time gap in which Kansas can backslide into increasing carbon emissions for the next fifty years with one or more huge coal-fired power plants.
- A new set of bills are before the Kansas legislature to overturn the Governor’s veto.
- Kansas will have a new Governor soon who, like Governor Sebellius, has promised to veto legislation to allow coal fired coal plants. The vote margins to overturn the veto of such bills will be very narrow.
Votes have switched, but the veto is probably still sustainable. Notable is Representative Pat Colloton changing from her previous stand against coal fired power plants (mentioned last year in our blog), but there are others as well including new legislators. Those who think that the highest priorities should include protection of future generations — and also accept the world-wide consensus of virtually every national or international scientific organization that we must reduce carbon emissions — need to understand what causes legislators to switch on this issue. We need to move beyond just sustaining a veto towards a stand that actually moves Kansas forward with wind and other alternative energy resources that both promote economic activity, reduce the risks to future generations, and promote energy independence from foreign oil.