Letter to the editor: Renewables are necessary

To the editor:

I feel fortunate to be living in a community that has made an explicit commitment to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The joint Douglas County/Lawrence Plan 2040 called for Douglas County to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and to be at “net zero” carbon by 2050.

The ongoing effort to develop a “climate adaptation and mitigation plan,” as described in the Journal-World last weekend, places a heavy emphasis on developing renewable energy, especially rooftop solar. The Journal-World noted that county staff working on the climate adaptation and mitigation plan described residents as “distressed” over the potential impacts of utility-scale renewable energy. I would be interested to learn the various sources of “public input” that led to this characterization. A vocal minority of Lawrence/ Douglas County residents that oppose a wind farm in southwest Douglas County or the West Gardner Solar Project very likely do not reflect the views of most Douglas County citizens. It would be useful to have evidence from a well-designed poll.

Reaching a 50% carbon reduction by 2030 will be difficult if not impossible without utility-scale renewables. Approving the conditional use permit for the proposed Kansas Sky Energy Project north of Lawrence would be a major step in the right direction. This project would provide 159 megawatts of clean energy, sequester carbon in the soil by utilizing perennial plants and enhance biodiversity by creating pollinator habitat. There will be a public hearing at Lawrence City Hall on Dec. 18.

Wayne A. White,



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