Kansas City Star’s dishonest portrayal of renewable energy mandate


Commentary from Kansas Policy Institute.

Kansas City Star’s dishonest portrayal of renewable energy mandate

By Dave Trabert

A recent Kansas City Star editorial criticizing opponents of Kansas’ renewal energy mandate for being disingenuous was itself a fine example of disingenuity.

Kansas law mandates that utility companies purchase specific levels of renewable energy, which means that Kansans are forced to purchase wind energy and pay higher energy prices. The degree to

Wind farm near Spearville, Kansas.
Wind farm near Spearville, Kansas.
which it is more expensive is a matter of dispute, but even the Star admits that wind is more expensive than fossil fuel alternatives. The Star describes this mandate as “consumer-friendly.”

They falsely say “these laws encourage electric facilities to supplement their use of fossil fuels with renewables.” The law does not “encourage;” it requires.

The Star touts economic gains to the wind industry but ignores the reality that those gains come at the expense of everyone else in the form of higher taxes, higher electricity prices and other unseen economic consequences.

They conclude by saying people “deserve a choice”, but mandates are the opposite of choice. Real choice would not only allow citizens to individually decide whether to purchase renewable energy, but to choose their energy supplier as well. Maybe it’s time to look at breaking up the utility monopoly in Kansas as other states have done.


2 responses to “Kansas City Star’s dishonest portrayal of renewable energy mandate”

  1. “Ted”

    As I have responded other places at other times,, I have a very close relative that works for Westar. He is very involved in knowing the cost of kilowatt production (to the 1/10 of a cent). He has told me on several occasions that it costs 4–yes 4 times as much to produce a kilowatt of electricity w/ wind as it does w/ coal.. A coal plant is designed and built to last years and years longer than a wind generator could ever think of lasting, MUCH,MUCH higher maintenace on a wind tower,,, And one of the main things people don’t realize is that wind farms have to have natural gas backup plants (at least here in Kansas) for when the wind dies down…When the wind quits, you can’t just call the coal plant and say “Hey, throw in another scoopfull of coal!” Wind farms are a momument to a lost and idiotic nation…..

  2. Mark Richardson

    When it comes to costs, it should be clear utilities, regulatory commissions, and financial advisory firms are more creditable than think tanks with funder driven agendas. The repercussions for Westar CEO Mark Ruelle would be significant if he were proven to be misleading investors, ratepayers, and the Kansas Corporation Commission (below). Perhaps Dave Trabert would like to make such an accusation.

    “This project (recent 20 year purchase of more wind) is great for our customers,” Mark Ruelle, chief executive officer, said. “For the first time, we’ve been able to add renewable energy at a cost comparable to our other energy resources. In addition, the project will bring about $90 million to the Kansas economy during construction and provide millions more in ongoing economic benefits.” http://www.westarenergy.com/corp_com/corpcomm.nsf/unid/5D6FF8298C55BDF486257C1B00744384/$file/110613%20renewable%20rfp%20result%20final.pdf

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