Archive for Monday, January 29, 2007

Governor’s order takes energy-saving steps

Executive directive aims to improve government’s efficiency, recycling efforts

January 29, 2007


— By requiring everything from using smaller cars to embedding energy conservation into new college buildings, an executive directive by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will change the way state government operates, officials say.

"There is no more effective or environmentally appropriate way to address energy shortages, increasing costs, air pollution and climate change than using less energy," Sebelius said.

Sebelius said energy efficiency and conservation would be among her top priorities during her second term in office.

Officials last week briefed lawmakers on steps that will be taken under the executive directive.

Joe Harkins, Sebelius' energy adviser, said studies showed that nearly 30 percent of all energy could be saved through conservation.

"It's high time that Kansas state government takes the lead," Harkins said. "A huge amount of energy could be conserved, greenhouse gases could be reduced and money can be saved."

When the state makes a purchase, it will be done with an eye toward saving energy, whether it's buying or renting fuel-efficient cars or energy-saving appliances.

All computers not in use for a period of four or more hours will be shut off, and the state will require energy audits on all leased state buildings.

The directive will expand recycling in state government and a program that enables public agencies - including state agencies, cities, counties and schools - to secure tax-exempt financing for energy-saving projects.

Sometimes the low bid on a contract is not the best bid when considering long-term energy expenses, said Susan Duffy, executive director of the Kansas Corporation Commission.

Making the cut

Here are a few ways the state plans to cut energy use in government:¢ Energy efficiency will be considered for all purchased items, such as fuel-efficient cars or energy-saving appliances.¢ All computers not in use for a period of four or more hours will be shut off.¢ Energy audits will be required on all leased state buildings.

"We're going to have to change our thinking on a lot of this," Duffy said.

Another part of the effort requires the state to evaluate whether it should join the Chicago Climate Exchange, which is a legally binding system of greenhouse gas emission reduction and trading.

Under the state directive, questions about fuel efficiency will be added to the written test for a driver's license. Officials said they would put those questions together after the legislative session ends in April or May.

Members of the House Energy and Utilities Committee said one way to increase fuel efficiency was to tell state employees to slow down when driving a state vehicle.

"I have cars pass me on the road with state tags going far above the speed limit," said Chairman Carl Holmes, R-Liberal.

Officials said the Kansas Department of Administration would survey state employees, including legislators, for energy-saving recommendations.


KS 10 years, 10 months ago

Wasn't this woman Governor for four years? This really seems like a no brainer. Why did she wait?

DaREEKKU 10 years, 10 months ago

It may seem like a no brainer, but she came to power into a state that had a HUGE deficit (this wasn't exactly the first thing that needed to be taken care of). I applaud the energy savings directive.

KS 10 years, 10 months ago

Explain the deficit please. I thought she balanced the budget, no?

Yes, it is a no brainer.

lawrencian 10 years, 10 months ago

Yes, she balanced the budget -- I think that was dareekku's point: balancing the budget was the priority, and good plans like this had to wait until after that happened.

dacs23 10 years, 10 months ago

Wow, buy a smaller car when one needs replaced and drive slower. Slow down governor don't overwork yourself.

Good thing you don't object to the coal plants that would really put you over the top.

This is just fluff so that she can say she did something in any future election without actually doing anything. Please. Political spin doctoring and nothing more.

Don't waste my time.

dacs23 10 years, 10 months ago

Sebelius said energy efficiency and conservation would be among her top priorities during her second term in office.

What she didn't say is that she is fine with increased pollution in the source in which energy is generated because it would lose her political support in western Kansas to object to it and thus demonstrating that she is more focused on her career then the overall welfare of the state. But she can not anger the environmentalist and lose their support either so she says we will try to drive slower and attack the issue through conservation. Spin, Spin, Spin. B.S., B.S., B.S.

pelliott 10 years, 10 months ago

yes, she is a woman, everything should of been done immediately. I mean everything, it should already be done. My gosh, what a thoughtful critique. It is a no brainer, every act she takes will just show that she hadn't done it yet.

dacs23 10 years, 10 months ago

I like how she states that Kansas should be a leader in new energy.

That is until a controversy comes up and then she backs down and starts the political double talk. Not only is she not a leader in this area, she is falling behind since as we speak the Federal Governament is looking at restricting coal plants. Glad I didn't vote for her.

dacs23 10 years, 10 months ago

Who said anything about her being a woman. NO NO she is as shallow as any political man out there.

kmat 10 years, 10 months ago

dacs23 just sounds a little upset because his repug didn't defeat her in Nov. You sound like a kid having a tantrum.

She has been doing a great job. Get over your issues and stop whining. Take some action instead of complaining.

"The difference between what we do and what wer are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems." Gandhi

bd 10 years, 10 months ago

She is not going far enough! She needs to ban all new fossil fuel plants and force the wind power/alternative energy issue with the power companys!

pelliott 10 years, 10 months ago

Posted by KS (anonymous) on January 29, 2007 at 6:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wasn't this woman Governor for four years? This really seems like a no brainer. Why did she wait?

I am praying that this entire country starts taking energy a lot more serious, we need a lot more than just slower cars, but it would be great if 55 came back as a national speed limit. Bush wouldn't have the guts or brains to even suggest it. Maybe taking the food off the table of the working class and serving it as amuses to the rich isn't the only solution for this country.

budwhysir 10 years, 10 months ago

Wind power farms are the wave of the future. Along with solar power of course

preebo 10 years, 10 months ago

What does it tell you when our Governor speaks of promises of Energy independence through alternative sources, and environmental responsibility tempered with economic stewardship and is heralded by the national media, but our legislature falls short by killing the coal burning moritorium?

What does this tell you, Kansas? It tells me that progress is the engine by which we all move, and those of you who think in a short-term frame of reference then you will not make the long-term. By then the world will have passed you by. Sebelius is that progress and she has the vision, while Reps from Wester Kansas are lost in the shuffle.

KS 10 years, 10 months ago

The point is that when you say she had to balance the budget, that is required by law, regardless if the Govenor is a Democrat or Republican. She did that for each of her four years in her first term. Why did she have to wait until the first year of her second term to implement this plan? You can't say that it was because she was balancing the budget. That doesn't take a full year or term to do. I approve of her energy actions, I just don't understand why it took so long when it really appears to be a no brainer!

BTW, preebo, the reps in western Kansas represent a lot of money. Huge land owners. Don't be fooled by the country image.

Nate Poell 10 years, 10 months ago

KS, Bill Graves could have done this in 1995. Why didn't he? I'm sure you disdain him, as well. Yes?

Seriously, I wish Governor Sebelius would've implemented this earlier. But, obviously, she prioritized her agenda and proceeded accordingly.

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