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Minutes for HB2273 - Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications

Short Title

Establishing the wind generation permit and property protection act.

Minutes Content for Thu, Feb 21, 2019

Vice Chair Schreiber re-opened the hearing on HB2273 for opponent testimony.  The Fiscal Note was presented to the committee.

Kimberly Svaty (Attachment 1) discussed the mission of Advanced Power Alliance, wind farm siting history and how wind projects are sited.  Svaty indicated support for decision-making by county commissioners.  She also mentioned key components of how sites for wind farms are chosen and industry concerns of  the bill. 

Rob Stupar (Attachment 2) discussed background of Enel Green Power Group, mentioned concerns about the bill.  He indicated passage of the bill would not market Kansas to the wind industry or their plans to invest in wind energy in the state of Kansas.

Adrian Harrel (Attachment 3) stated the bill would rob Kansans of the opportunity to keep family farms running; discussed safety checks.

Spencer Jenkins (Attachment 4) discussed projects and investments in the state of Kansas.  He indicated none of the projects could be completed if the bill was enacted, felt the bill was over-reaching.  He also discussed setback process.  He also discussed the written testimony of Glenna Borho.

Dorothy Barnett (Attachment 5) discussed Reno County Energy Task Force and the history of preparing counties for wind development.  She further rebutted concerns of the proponents.  She explained conditional use process and discussed public hearings.

Debra Teufel (Attachment 6) indicate the Hutchinson Chamber represents over 750 business members across Reno County and supports wind energy as key component of economic development.  Passage of the bill could put jobs in Siemens facility in danger.  She felt the bill would bring wind industry in Kansas to a halt.  She also discussed the written testimony of Gary Meagher stating the bill takes away local control.

Alan Claus Anderson (Attachment 7) discussed Polsinelli Group and gave an overview of reasons why this is not a good bill.  He indicated the bill takes away local control and is an assault on property rights.  He further discussed how the bill violates the Kansas Zoning Enabling Act and diminishes free market capitalism.

Mike Kelly (Attachment 8) discussed Metro KC Climate Action Coalition mentioning climate change and solutions.  He further discussed the Climate Disruption Index study, noting unintended consequences.

Kristi Brown (Attachment 9) noted the wind industry is a growing industry in Kansas and has brought jobs to dying communities and has helped families stay where they want to be.

Alan Albers (Attachment 10) indicated that locals need to be making decisions and the bill would kill the opportunities for wind farms to be developed in Kansas.  He also discussed health issues addressed by the proponents.

Zack Pistoria (Attachment 11) stressed concerns about property rights.  He also recognized important safeguards, although feels that the bill goes too far with restrictions.

Written only opponent testimony was provided by:  Nichole Goodman, Invenergy (Attachment 12); Mark Goodwin, Apex Clean Energy (Attachment13); Shan Hanes, Heartland Tri-State Bank (Attachment 14); Kermit Froetschner, Farmer, Spearville, Kansas (Attachment 15); Dennis Rolfs, Private Citizen, Ellsworth County (Attachment 16); Clyde R Vasey Jr, Farmer, Winfield, Kansas (Attachment 17); Dr Dee McKee, Private Citizen, Pottawatomie County (Attachment 18); Glenna Borho, Private Citizen, Pratt County (Attachment 19); Joann Knight, Dodge City/Ford County Development Corporation (Attachment 20); Gary Meagher, Reno County Administrator (Attachment 21); Gene Albers, Retired Farmer, Kingman County (Attachment 22); Laura Maag-Lutz,  KCP&L/Westar Energy (Attachment 23); Kent Rowe, Faculty Green Group (Attachment 24); Darrel Hart, Farmer, McPherson County (Attachment 25); Whitney Damron, Liberty Utilities - Empire District (Attachment 26); Rorik F Peterson, EDP Renewables North America (Attachment 27); Joe Spease: WindSoHy, LLC (Attachment 28).  The "County Commissioner" designation was removed from three of the above named since there was no signed county resolution attached to their testimony to allow them to be able to represent the county commissioners.

Vice Chair Schreiber returned Chair to Chairman Seiwert.  Questions for opponents subsequently began.  Following questions, the opponent testimony was closed.

Chair Seiwert requested a statement to be on the record (Attachment 29) "I did not contact research or revisors for help on this bill; I am committed to integrity; My credibility was questioned and rumors went around that HB2273 was 'my bill' - this is a false statement; I had no input on this bill; this bill was not drafted or heard on my request."  Chairman Seiwert asked Nick Myers and Matt Sterling from the Office of Revisor of Statutes and Erica Haas from the Legislative Research Department if he had any involvement with the drafting, language or specifics of this bill.  They all three responded "no."

The chair closed the hearing on HB2273.