'/> Uncommon Hours: Clean Energy Day II: Topeka, Kansas
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Clean Energy Day II: Topeka, Kansas



Clean energy activists gather at the
Capitol Building for Clean Energy Day II
(photo by Bob Sommer)

By Bob Sommer
Uncommon Hours

Topeka, Kan. “Blow, baby, blow!” That was Cathy Moore’s response to the Republican chorus, “Drill, baby, drill!” from last year’s national convention. Moore represented the Reno County Wind Energy Task Force at this year’s Clean Energy Day, March 19th.

The primary target for the gathering, which brought several hundred supporters of clean energy to the state capitol, was to prevent a bill from passing the legislature that would allow two new coal-fired plants to be built in western Kansas.

From a small stage on the front lawn of the Capitol Building, speakers assailed supporters of the bill and described the benefits of energy alternatives, primarily wind energy, which Kansas has in abundance. Representatives from groups as diverse as the United Auto Workers (Local 31), the United Steel Workers, faith groups, the American Lung Association, and a variety of conservation and environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, were here to support clean energy in Kansas.

Scott Allegruci of the Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy said, “This bill is really good energy policy, for Colorado and Texas utilities!” And he added, it’s “really good economic policy, for Wyoming coal!"

Don Teske, president of the Kansas Farmers Union, said, “The stewardship of our land belongs to us all. It’s our responsibility. It’s your responsibility!”

Richard Mabion, who represented Building a Sustained Earth Community, pointed out that Kansas is both an urban and a rural state, and that Wyandotte County, where he lives, already has three power plants. “We can’t stop global warming without greening our cities.”

Following the rally, clean energy supporters met with House and Senate legislators to urge support for Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’s veto of the bill that would approve new coal-fired plants in Kansas.

Here are some images from the event (all photos by Bob Sommer):






Susan Pavlakis puts her message up front.



Stephanie Cole of the Kanza Group of the Sierra Club and Margaret Thomas.

Scott Allegruci of the Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy.

Richard Mabion of Building a Sustained Earth Community.


Don Teske, president of the Kansas Farmers Union.


Tom Thompson and Richard Voss of the Sierra Club
meet with Representative Dolores Furtado of Kansas District 19.

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