Another newspaper in their own backyard is lambasting the Kochs and Governor Brownback for their attacks on renewable energy. Last week, the Koch brothers’ hometown publication, the Wichita Eagle, issued an editorial roasting the Kochs and Brownback for their assault on wind energy. This week it’s the Butler County Gazette exposing how deeply involved the Kochs actually are in special-interest lobbying.
Last week, Governor Brownback announced a “compromise” on the state’s renewable energy standards, changing a mandate into a voluntary goal. The agreement also decreased the lifetime property tax exemption for renewable projects to a 10-year exemption. Americans for Prosperity has been attacking the standards since January 2014, calling for an end to the mandate. Now the Gazette editorial board is saying the wind industry was “bullied into the deal” — revealing that the “compromise” was brokered behind closed doors, with Americans for Prosperity seated at the table.
Before this Koch-Brownback attack, Kansas was ranked second in the nation in wind energy potential. According to the The Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab, if Kansas were to develop 7,158 MW of new wind by 2030 the economic benefit would amount to $7.8 billion, resulting in more than 26,000 new jobs.
Naturally, the Kochs and their elected officials are opposed to any regulation that damages their fossil fuel fortune. And after boosting Governor Brownback’s campaign, the Koch brothers are making sure he returns the favor by pushing policies that protect their bottom line.