Sunflower Horizons

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback promotes three E’s of energy policy at KU Energy Conference

Governor Sam Brownback greets attendees at the KU Energy Conference Thursday, April 14, 2011. From left are Susan Duffy, Kanas Corporation Commission, Brownback, State Rep. Tom Sloan and Jeremy Viscomi, with the KU Tertiary Oil Recovery Project. Brownback spoke at the conference about the state's energy policy.

Governor Sam Brownback greets attendees at the KU Energy Conference Thursday, April 14, 2011. From left are Susan Duffy, Kanas Corporation Commission, Brownback, State Rep. Tom Sloan and Jeremy Viscomi, with the KU Tertiary Oil Recovery Project. Brownback spoke at the conference about the state's energy policy.

April 14, 2011


Governor Sam Brownback discusses Kansas energy policy

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback discusses the state's energy policy at the KU Energy Conference Thursday, April 14, 2011.

Gov. Sam Brownback is introduced before the start of the KU Energy Conference at the Oread Hotel Thursday, April 14, 2011. The conference was sponsored by the KU Energy Club.

Gov. Sam Brownback is introduced before the start of the KU Energy Conference at the Oread Hotel Thursday, April 14, 2011. The conference was sponsored by the KU Energy Club.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback compared the state's energy policy to riding an elephant.

"We need as clean as environment as possible that costs as low as it can with as abundant amount of energy as possible," Brownback said. "It's kind of like riding an elephant. It goes back and forth on you all the time."

On Thursday morning, Brownback addressed a crowd of Kansas University students, energy researchers and industry experts at The Oread Hotel as part of the KU Energy Conference.

Brownback stressed the need to balance the three E's of energy, environment and economy.

He urged the state to find ways to harvest and store wind, explore how to capture methane for energy and explore growing crops that can be transformed into biofuels.

These renewable solutions, Brownback said, must come from a market-driven process, not one created through tax and regulations.

"The best way to move the public and nation forward is to create a market for it," Brownback said.

Kansas has potential to become a giant in producing wind energy, but Brownback said the industry needs to find ways to better harvest wind, store it and get it to market.

"I am just struck with how we have this great wind, but how do we get it to market," Brownback said.

He also liked to see wind farms that can be used to make the fertilizer anhydrous ammonia.

Brownback urged KU students to pursue careers in the energy industry and to look at their own consumption of energy, something he did one year for Lent. Brownback recommended J. Matthew Sleeth's book "Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action."

"You got to do it in a fashion people will accept," Brownback said on crafting energy conservation policies. "People want to be green. They want to conserve energy."


Les Blevins 6 years, 9 months ago

Republicans Brownback and Sloan are being totally disingenuous with the public they are supposed to be serving. I say that because they talk as if they have the goals they speak of in this article but won't budge an inch to get us there. I once had a meeting at KU with Jeremy Viscomi and a top level representative of KUs Mechanical Engineering department, in which I showed them the drawings and patent on the alternative energy technology I've developed to address those same 3E issues and both Viscomi and the KU engineering guy both said they liked what I showed them and said they wanted to come out to my place and see it for themselves,, but after I left Learned Hall they must have had some more discussion and figured out the technology I showed them would indeed be the kind of technology that would put Kansas in the race for clean energy as they then did a complete turnaround, and refused to even take an in person closer look at what I've developed. And Republican Tom Sloan is the same way. He talks about energy issues but won't do anything to advance Kansas in the clean energy race. And when Republican Sam Brownback was installed as governor I had my attorney write him a letter stating what my novel new energy technology could do to bring about the solutions Kansas needs and the solutions he indicated he wanted to work for but he won't even answer my letter. I'll gladly send a copy of this letter to anyone who asks to see it and I'll explain what my 3E technology is about if they write to me at with "BROWNBACK LETTER" in the subject line.

Thomas Kurata 6 years, 9 months ago

Hi Les,

It is very encouraging to see folks like yourself trying to come up with good technical solutions to our nation's energy availability challenges. I presume you attended the conference last Thursday in which Gov. Brownback spoke briefly about energy, economics and environment. I am a registered professional chemical engineer in Kansas and California with nearly 30 years of experience in fossil energy and engineering software designed to calculate the material and energy balances and thermodynamics of fossil energy conversion processes and novel conversion processes. Much work remains to be done in the US to develop a comprehensive energy policy that considers all options, conventional and unconventional. As a nation we are woefully, and dangerously, lagging behind countries including China, India, Brazil and countless others concerning energy. If you were present at the conference and listened to the keynote speaker John Hofmeister, he stated very clearly--and depressingly--that we have gone through 19 congresses and 7 presidents that have yet to come up with a coherent plan. In short, quoting Hofmeister, "we have a government that is dysfunctional, broken and unfixable when it comes to energy policy." I couldn't agree more. In my view, the key challenge all entrepreneurial, forward thinking and creative engineers and scientists face when promoting an invention is marketing and capturing the necessary mind-share of opinion leaders and decision-makers, which I believe you are dealing with based on your comments. I would urge you not to give up and keep talking to as many people as possible. Don't let the naysayers and those who throw stones at your ideas to cause you to waver. Recall that Edward Deming, the father of statistical quality control, was laughed at by GM, Chrysler and Ford. Deming took his messages to Japan's auto industry during the 1950s, and the Japanese fervently embraced his ideas about quality and reliability using statistical models to reduce defects and variations from their manufacturing processes. And we all know which country ended up developing and delivering to the marketplace a vehicle that was more reliable, safer, fuel efficient and attractively priced. While you may not have to go overseas for your invention and patent to be accepted, I would urge you to think about those possiblities. I welcome the opportunity to look at your invention and provide feedback and suggestions. In the current environment we find ourselves in, any answer, even a hard-earned answer that is way off, is better than no answer at all. And remember what Albert Einstein once remarked, "All great spirits have encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." Be the miracle you wish to see in others.

Best wishes and keep up the good fight, Tom Kurata

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

dude, why don't you just buy an ad & let us all in on your world-changing idea? Or write it on a sandwich board and stake out a corner on Mass & shout at passers-by? BTW, I'm told keeping the tin foil hat on for too long will make your scalp all itchy and stuff. Nobody wants to see that.

huskerpower 6 years, 9 months ago

Why are you blaming the republicans? If this miraculous idea is so damn amazing, why don't you push it to a democrat? Would that make it get it moving forward?

I realize you are trying to give part of the success back to the state and kudos for that, but if your idea is that great, get it out there, make a profit, and donate some proceeds back to the state (local schools would be a good start).

It sounds like YOU are the only one that thinks this is amazing idea and your political soapbox seems like the perfect place to lay the excuses. I don't see how you are doing anything to help energy issues by complaining about it instead of getting your idea out there. Don't attack other people simply because they aren't impressed by your idea.

huskerpower 6 years, 9 months ago

By the way, a patent search with your name reveals nothing... surprise surprise...

Munsoned 6 years, 9 months ago

  1. Shark Tank on ABC
  2. Pitch Men on Discovery Channel

ENGWOOD 6 years, 9 months ago

So Les looks like if you have had this patent for this fantastic product since 1993, then you need to hire a better Marketing group! What did old Aunt Kathy do, Run you out of her office.?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Brownback is all smoke and no fire. A very slick talker. After 20 years in the beltway and we still do not have the alternative energy sources on line.

No tax dollars says Brownback.... what nonsense.

What are those dollars going to the oil,nuke,GE and coal power industries? Mr Brownback those are tax dollars aka corporate subsidies.

Brownback has no intentions of pushing new sources of energy. This speech was for Lawrence,Kansas. Don't expect anything.

He has Planned Parenthood on the brain. And tax cuts that do nothing except drain our cookie jars. And creating his version of Fundamentalist Christian government.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

These 3 e goals are not mutually achievable, much as his promises to protect education and social service funding, lower taxes, and balance the budget were.

Cost, amount of energy produced, and environmental harm all work in different directions - for example, it costs more money to scrub coal emissions so as to make them less destructive of the environment.

It's nice that he "looked at" his energy consumption one year at Lent - it would be better if he (and all of us) reduced energy consumption every year all of the time.

Simple changes can lower one's "need" for energy, thus perhaps allowing us to find ways to protect the environment that don't cost us too much, and reducing the need for new supplies of energy (ie. new coal plants).

notanota 6 years, 9 months ago

It seems like Brownback pulled out some green colored pom-poms and said, "Rah, rah, go energy!" and then basically made it clear that the state wasn't actually doing anything to help this process along.

Kyle Chandler 6 years, 9 months ago

I heard some hot air was released at the Oread Hotel recently!

kelku688 6 years, 9 months ago

I agree. Seems to me he only made this speech to make the people of Lawrence, KS happy. Fortunately it seems that many people here realize this. If we really want to start using more clean energy this is going to have to go above the state level because Brownback will never be the one to enforce it.

lmb 6 years, 9 months ago

I can't figure out who's grammar is worse: Brownback's or the LJW's?

Example 1: "We need as clean as environment as possible that costs as low as it can with as abundant amount of energy as possible" I assume the 2nd 'as' is a typo and should be 'an'. But 'costs as low'? Come on!

Example 2: "He also liked to see wind farms.." I 'liked to' see things in the past, however, I 'would like' to see things in the future.

lmb 6 years, 9 months ago

Obviously, I should have said the 2nd AND 6th 'as' ought to be 'an'. Otherwise, that's a lot of 'ases'.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

energy = oil

environment = irrelevant

economy = short term

lmb 6 years, 9 months ago

You're wrong about the first. With Brownback, energy=wind. But the environment is still irrelevant. Left side of mouth: "Protect the Flint Hills. No wind energy there." Righ side of mouth: "We've got to be the leader in wind energy, so put it whereever you have to."

Zachary Stoltenberg 6 years, 9 months ago

I've had the three E-s for the last 8 years!

mbulicz 6 years, 9 months ago

I don't know which makes him look like the bigger tool, the article or the picture with the thumbs up. He looks like the official spokesperson for date rape.

iammoe 6 years, 2 months ago

KCC passed the Net Metering rules back in july of 2010 I think. So I installed a primemover of 20Kw. It not only heats the house, but used 2/3rds less Nlg. And I have to much electricity so the meter turns backwards. When I get to much elect. saved up I switch over to the duct resistive heating elements and use it back at retail rates. I sure wish that Ks., would pass Retail Wheeling so I could sell my excess to California at 17cts to 21cts per Kwh! The little engine is a 4cyl. converted deisel to Natural Gas and is very very sturdy. It has a autosychronizer to synch. with the grid. The generator head is a marine spec. winding, kinda went overboard on that!!! I used a Cain Ind. heat recovery muffler and it works good!

I can't help but think if everyone converted to this new type of system the energy crunch would be over! As far as heating your home I mean.

Westar wants to take the excess Kwh's at true up "December" but I use it all back and leave them with nothing...Then after December I Switch it back to automatic and it turns the meter backwards again and stores enough Kwh's to run my Summer Ac unit all season free. Oh...It heats all the hot water also as I installed a hydronic water heater. You can download an application off of the Westar website. Kinda tricky to fill out! Might want to get a pro's help. You'll have to build it yourself but it's not that hard. As far as I know there is no unit available on the market you can purchase off the shelf. If you need more info. check out,

Epa's website and search for "Combined Heat and Power" Doe's website, search "Combined Heat and Power"

Good luck! And you can do it!!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.