Kansas says no to wind

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Tricia Peterson, Washburn Review

Kansas is my home state and I can’t say that I am proud of that, especially after some of the decisions being made here. I took a class last semester that opened my eyes to things I never even knew was going on. I started paying attention to different types of news than before, and now I especially have interest in sustainable, renewable energy. 

Kansas has the second highest potential for wind energy in the United States. Hence the word “potential” because we are definitely not up to that potential. According to the US Deptartment of Energy, Kansas has the ability to get to 952 GW of wind power capacity yet has only about 1.2 GW installed. This number is appalling to me mostly because this is sustainable, renewable energy – isn’t that something worth pursuing? I feel like it is, and furthermore, I feel like all the right people aren’t interested because of money and they want to keep it in the same place, invested in fossil fuels. 

This week I came across an article about this very issue. In the 2009, a law was passed that stated that coal-powered plants would need to get 10 percent of their energery from renewable sources by 2011, 15 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020. This law, although I feel like the percentages could have been higher, is an awesome one, but now the state of Kansas is considering throwing it out the window. The reason stated is that the coal companies aren’t making the progress that is required, so they want to extend the requirement by two to four years, if not getting rid of it completely. 

I think we should be spending more money on renewable, sustainable energy and forget about fossil fuels. I know this sounds naive of me, but I realize it will take time, and probably more than my lifetime. We need to start somewhere.