Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kansas Democratic Party's response to coal deal

Just received this from the KSDP. Thought I should share it.

As some of you know, for the past two years there has been an impasse in the Kansas Legislature over the building of coal plants in Holcomb, Kansas. Just five days after taking office, Governor Mark Parkinson has led the effort to end this standstill. Yesterday, the State of Kansas and Sunflower Energy (who originally proposed the plants) signed an agreement that does more than just settle a dispute. This agreement creates a comprehensive statewide energy policy that builds a platform for a renewable energy future in Kansas.

With his action, Governor Parkinson has shown the true spirit of the Kansas Democratic Party. By working to find common-sense solutions that benefit all Kansans, Governor Parkinson has reminded us why we welcomed him to our party two and a half years ago. Kansas Democrats always strive to bring people together, not tear them apart.

Governor Parkinson made a good point in his remarks to the press, when he said that both sides of this issue should feel good about the compromise reached.
Democrats who supported the effort to build coal plants out West will now have a smaller, cleaner and more efficient power plant to supply Kansans with power.

• Democrats who wanted to focus on renewable energy can be proud of the new wind farms, transmission lines, net metering and renewable portfolio standard that are a result of the Governor’s leadership.

• Without the strong leadership of Governor Parkinson, comprehensive energy legislation may never have happened in Kansas. Of course, with every compromise there is an expected amount of disappointment on both sides, but at the end of the day Kansas is better positioned for renewable energy than ever before, and that’s leadership we can be proud of.

This new comprehensive energy policy is a win – win solution for Kansas and one reason why we are pleased to call Governor Parkinson one of our own. While Governor Parkinson led the negotiations to reach this agreement, we can’t forget the work done over the last two years by former Governor Kathleen Sebelius and many Democrats in the Legislature. By insisting that Kansas develop a comprehensive energy strategy that would benefit the entire state, former Governor Sebelius and many Kansas Democrats helped lay the groundwork for the agreement announced this week.

By breaking this impasse, Governor Parkinson has put the winds back in our state's sails. Kansans can now focus their attention not on the politics of division, but on a shared green energy future that starts right here at home with Kansas wind. Renewable energy will not only provide more energy with less pollution, it is an industry that will recharge our economy. It truly is a win-win for us all.

Let's all congratulate Governor Mark Parkinson, and the rest of our state on yesterday's victory.


Larry Gates
Kansas Democratic Party

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