Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has been garnering loads of attention lately, from her confrontation with coal to speculation over her becoming Barack Obama’s running mate for Vice President.
Climate Progress has been closely tracking the coal debacle [thanks to our own intrepid Kansan, Kari]. This week Gov. Sebelius sat down with Grist to talk about her state’s energy crossroads, and our entire nation’s should she one day stand by Obama’s side on the campaign.
As is easily observed by the coal plant bills’ tenure in the Kansas legislature, Sebelius is not working with a progressive set of politicians whose sights are set toward the future. Attempts to use the legislature to make political advances for renewable energy would fall dead in seconds. One of the highlights of Grist’s interview with Sebelius is her describing how she’s gotten her state to work toward renewable electricity goals, with no official policy in place:
I brought together all of our utility companies almost a year ago and asked for a voluntary RPS to be put in place: 10 percent wind by 2010 and 20 percent wind by 2020, and at least a 10 percent reduction in overall energy uses, and to my somewhat surprise, they all agreed, and we signed a kind of memorandum of understanding. In fact in Kansas we will be ahead of the goal of 10 percent wind by the end of this year. We have already exceeded that goal and we’re two years ahead of the timetable we agreed to. And the companies are taking it very seriously. Even the company that I did battle with on the coal plants has kept their commitment on wind because, quite frankly, they see it as an economic incentive that folks are eager for.
It’s strategies like what is described above that make you understand how people are looking at her as a politician matched for Obama, whose style he claims is to craft innovative policy by reaching across the aisle and teaming with unlikely bedfellows.
Sebelius elegantly demonstrates what our nation’s leaders should look like, and for that reason, the Grist interview is worth the quick read.
– Kari M.