Imagining an equitable and just transition to a clean energy future for Kansans
Join Dorothy Barnett
and Rachel Myslivy for a
Thursday Lunch DiscussionThrust into the national spotlight, Kansas utilized a coal plant compromise to advance a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that required state-regulated utility companies to invest in renewable energy. In one decade, Kansas renewable energy growth created more than $10 billion dollars in capital investment, creating jobs and economic revitalization in rural communities. At the same time federal environmental regulations required utilities to clean up aging coal plants, leading to less pollution. While these efforts ultimately led to Kansas becoming a leader in wind power development, there has been a price to pay.
Today, Kansas has the highest electricity rates in our region. And while under resourced communities living near old coal plants breathe cleaner air, households living at or below the poverty line with average electricity use pay as much as 7% of their annual income for electricity. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) about one in five households reported reducing or forgoing basic necessities like food and medicine to pay for an energy bill. We recognize the need for a new approach. How can we continue to expand clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while centering efforts on equity and justice?
Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the Kansas based non-profit, Climate + Energy Project (CEP) will share how CEP helped Kansas become a renewable energy leader despite losing a year's long RPS battle and discuss how they are engaging new stakeholders in a conversation about climate change,health, and a just transition.