Statehouse Live: Kansas renewable energy touted at conference

? 10:50 a.m.

Advocates of wind energy today said Kansas was on the right track to realize its potential as one of the nation’s leaders.

“We’ve had a lot of success,” said Gov. Mark Parkinson in opening up the 10th annual Kansas Wind and Renewable Energy Conference.

But Parkinson added, “We’ve just scratched the surface.”

Kansas has recently exceeded 1,000 megawatts in wind energy production, announced several major transmission line projects, and Siemens AG has broken ground on a turbine production plant in Hutchinson.

Approximately 700 people were attending the two-day conference, which is hosted by the Kansas Corporation Commission and Kansas Department of Commerce.

9:15 a.m.

A new poll shows U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, increasing his lead over U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, in the race for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sam Brownback, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor in 2010.

The SurveyUSA poll shows Moran over Tiahrt, 43 percent to 27 percent. The race was tighter in an August poll with Moran getting 38 percent and Tiahrt 32 percent.

Both candidates hold significant leads in their respective congressional districts. Moran represents the 1st district anchored in western Kansas, and Tiahrt, the Wichita-based 4th district. The big battle will be in northeast Kansas were Moran is ahead 39 percent to 16 percent, with 45 percent are undecided.

The poll had a plus or minus margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.

Another SurveyUSA poll, taken at the end of September, shows Brownback received a 48 percent approval rating with 42 percent disapproving and 10 percent unsure. U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was at 54 percent approval and 37 percent disapproval with 9 percent not sure. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percent.

The polls were done for KCTV-Kansas City and KWCH-Wichita.