- Kansas Governor Sam Brownback first told reporters he favored a gradual, four-year phase-out of his state’s 20% renewables by 2020 mandate and then, later that day, his office issued a statement indicating the Republican Governor meant he favored a phase-out of the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy, not the renewables mandate.
- The Kansas Senate voted to repeal the state’s renewables mandate earlier this year but it was kept in place by the Kansas House.
- Repeal of the mandate was pushed by the Koch Industries-backed Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce but was opposed by the state’s growing wind energy industry. Brownback has been a strong supporter of Kansas wind and the thousands of jobs and billions in investment it is has brought the state.
The federal PTC has been under fire nationally since a three year extension expired in 2012 and, though it was renewed in 2013 and has been shown to drive development when in place, it has not been renewed this year and its long term fate remains in doubt.
A Kansas House leader says a compromise on the renewables mandate is possible but not in sight and is threatened by the Chamber of Commerce targeting House members in this fall’s election who voted against repeal.
The Chamber and AFP argue the mandate increases electricity rates despite the fact that most rate increases have been caused by EPA standard-driven coal plant retrofits, according to the Kansas Corporation Commission.