To the editor:
We received good and bad news in the Oct. 19 Journal-World article “Wind energy on the rise but could slow soon.” Readers learned that “Kansas is poised to more than double its wind energy production in the next 18 months, but the status of federal energy policy could slow development by 2013.”
The eight projects slated for the next year and a half represent an investment of $2.7 billion. Future development of wind in Kansas depends upon a clear signal from Washington that the tax credits for wind production will continue, but who knows what our leaders will decide to do?
A better solution, and one less subject to the whims of Washington, is a carbon fee and dividend that works like this: A fee is applied to carbon as it comes out of the earth in the form of coal, oil or gas. This fee is passed on to consumers, but the total fee collected is returned equally to all U.S. taxpayers. A tariff is added at the border for those countries not participating in a similar program. Each year the fee increases, making products and energy sources low in carbon (such as wind) more and more attractive to consumers. Fee and dividend ends up providing an effective, market-based solution to climate change.
Kansas has the second largest wind capacity in the nation. Hopefully we’ll put this resource to good use, rather than letting the winds blowing out of Washington squash this great development opportunity we have in our own backyard.