Wind energy tax credits help make wind power more affordable, and have boosted the industry in states like Kansas. But those credits are set to expire at the end of the year, and lawmakers from Kansas disagree on what should be done.
Wichita Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo said last week that the federal government supporting wind energy with tax credits is an intrusion into the economy. Pompeo says opposition is growing and he's arguing to let the credit expire.
The Kansas Corporation Commission is hosting a series of hearings regarding a massive power line that will cross Kansas and deliver electricity to Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.
The Grain Belt Express line will cross Russell and Osborne counties and send 600,000 volts of electricity from wind farms. The Kansas Corporation Commission already has found the project to be in the public interest. The hearings will focus on its location.
A new effort to roll back new green energy standards in Kansas utilities has stalled in the state Legislature.
The House Energy and Environment Committee tabled a bill today that would put off a requirement for utilities to generate at least 20 percent of its energy with renewable resources by the year 2020. The tabled bill would rolled back the standard to 15 percent, not 20.
Largest wind farm in Kansas now operational; Study finds racial disparities persist in state juvenile system; Senator Roberts no longer on ag panel; Lesser prairie chicken listed as threatened by federal agency.
States Largest Wind Farm Now Operational
The largest wind farm ever built in Kansas is now fully operational.
A wind energy tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year, but Gov. Sam Brownback is still holding out hope that lawmakers in Washington will extend the credit. He'd prefer to see it phased out more slowly over several years. Some critics of the credit have called it wasteful spending, but the governor says it's been the driving factor behind the wind industry in Kansas.
"I think they have a legitimate point of view, I just think it would be better off phasing it over four years," says Brownback.
Governor Sam Brownback is continuing his push for an extension of a wind energy tax credit. It helps make wind power cheaper, and it's set to expire at the end of the year.
The credit has driven the development of wind power. Brownback says the credit has a big impact on wind energy jobs in Kansas. He would like to see it phased out more slowly over the next three or four years.
"I don't disagree with those that believe this should be phased out. I think it should be, but I think just to go all of a sudden drop from 30 percent to zero in one year," says Brownback.