By Garrett Love, Kansas Senator, District 38
Kansas has a long history of caring for our land and natural resources. As farmers all over our state know, the better you care for the land, the better the crops you grow. We are committed to ongoing efforts to protect our resources for future generations.
Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) out of Washington, DC doesn’t understand the Kansas way of life.
On June 2, the EPA released its carbon dioxide emission standards for power plants. The standards dictate to Kansas the standards that we must meet, regardless of the economic harm that will be caused.
This power grab must be stopped – the sole authority for determining “achievable” energy and environmental policy for our state should belong to those who know our needs the best: Kansans.
To address the EPA’s power play, the Kansas legislature passed, and I voted for, House Bill (HB) 2636 earlier this year. This bipartisan-passed bill would set separate standards that are both environmentally responsible and based in reality of Kansas’ energy and economic needs.
In its current state, EPA’s carbon proposal for Kansas is both prohibitively expensive and unworkable.
The emission standards proposed by EPA will force many of our existing power plant units to retire, eliminating a significant portion of our coal-fueled power generation.
This will harm Kansas, as 61 percent of our electricity comes from coal.
Although we will continue to work hard to maintain a broad energy portfolio, including renewable and alternative energy resources, our use of domestic fuel like coal helps us keep electricity affordable and reliable.
Our State depends on the agricultural and manufacturing industries, and so do many of our livelihoods. For these industries, more expensive energy will be extremely harmful. Higher energy costs will require our farmers and businesses to adjust their operations, likely causing price increases for consumers, and costing us quality, high-paying jobs.
Even the EPA predicts that electricity prices will go up and jobs will be lost if their regulations are implemented.
With fewer jobs for Kansans, and higher prices for necessities like food and electricity, EPA’s carbon proposal is a non-starter.
This is exactly why the legislature passed and Governor Brownback signed HB 2636, to allow our state to implement sensible, achievable energy policy that is created by Kansans, for Kansans.
But this isn’t our only method for opposing the EPA’s overreaching carbon regulations. It is important that each of us who are affected – Kansas families, farmers, and business owners – tell the EPA that we will not be subjected to mandates out of Washington that harm our Kansas way of life.
Senator Garrett Love chairs the Senate Ag Committee and represents the 38th Kansas State Senate district.