Kansas' Winds of Life

Increasing wind generation of electricity is the most significant legislation before Congress this year for bringing jobs and revitalization to rural Kansas.
Earlier this summer Senator Sam Brownback did the right thing by voting in support of a Renewable Electricity Standard.  It would require that a modest 11% of the nation's electricity come from wind and other renewable sources.
 
Senator Brownback stood firm against efforts to weaken that modest standard.  His support will be needed to preserve those victories and strengthen the standard further when the bill comes to the Senate floor.
 
Kansas is at or near the top of the list for potential wind energy production.  And Western Kansas is the best of the best when it comes to wind energy production. Dodge City is the nation's windiest city, according to the National Climatic Data Center. No area has a bigger stake in the Congressional debate over increasing renewable electricity generation.
 
Wind energy means increased economic opportunity in rural areas.  A US Department of Energy Study envisions ramping up wind generation to 20% of the nation's electricity and creating 3,100 permanent jobs in rural Kansas.  Seven times that many jobs would be created during wind turbine construction.  Farmers and ranchers with turbines on their land would receive rental payments of $21 million annually ($5,000 per turbine each year) and potentially more, if allowed to share in ownership of wind turbines.
 
Rural America - especially the Western Kansas wind belt - wins big with an ambitious standard for renewable wind energy production.

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