Letter: Kudos to Brownback for ending attack on wind energy

Source: By MARK RICHARDSON, Topeka Capital-Journal • Posted: Monday, August 3, 2015

Kudos to Gov. Sam Brownback for brokering a deal ending the attack on the wind energy industry by Americans For Prosperity, Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Koch Industries, and their lobbyists.

Brownback, a Governor’s Wind Coalition founding member, touts Kansas as the “Saudi Arabia of Wind” and supports policies like a national Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Production Tax Credit, while noting other energy sources receive similar incentives.

After the Legislature rejected these organizations’ fabricated wind cost data for years, the lobbyists behind-the-scenes supported Kansas Policy Institute’s 4.33 percent excise tax on wind energy not paid by other sources of electricity generation.

Thus, the governor had enough when his friends abandoned their free-market principles with the wind-only excise tax that would have undermined his pro-growth strategy by tanking the state’s wind industry.

Brownback wisely convinced wind industry leaders the RPS was a moot point because utilities had exceeded their requirements five years early because wind energy is now low-cost.

So when the Kansas Chamber, Koch Industries and AFP boast about closing the barn door on the RPS, remember they gained nothing but did lose credibility by attempting to undermine a new Kansas industry.