Kansas Common Sense
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Good News for Kansas Utilities and their Customers
On Tuesday, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia struck down the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). CSAPR was the rule developed to replace the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) which regulates utilities emissions crossing state lines. Had CSAPR been allowed to proceed, utility providers in Kansas would have been forced to choose between providing adequate power and facing criminal penalties, or cutting power and running afoul of reliability laws because states and utilities were only given 180 days to comply with the new emissions standard. The State of Kansas and Kansas Utilities joined more than a dozen states and several power companies last year in challenging the rule, which affects 28 Eastern states. Tuesday’s ruling by the court to vacate the CSAPR rule follows a last-minute stay of the regulation at the end of December 2011 before they were set to go into effect on January 1, 2012.
This week’s ruling cited the EPA’s failure to allow states to implement their own emissions reductions plans before issuing the mandate. Kansas utilities are making great progress toward improved air quality and reducing their emissions voluntarily, and they have agreed to reduce them further, but CSAPR ignored the utilities’ good faith efforts without giving sufficient time to comply. I am pleased that the court has recognized that states need more time to make the appropriate changes. The additional time will allow Kansas utilities to continue to work toward emissions reductions without burdening Kansas homes and businesses with unreliable, costlier electricity. Click here to learn more.
Attending Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association Convention
On Monday, I participated in the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association's (KIOGA) 75th annual meeting in Wichita. KIOGA was established in 1937 to promote and improve the economic conditions for the Kansas independent oil industry. At the convention, I participated in a panel discussion titled: “The Future of Energy Policy.” This provided me, and other members of the Kansas Congressional delegation, the opportunity to discuss policies taking shape in Congress that affect our state’s independent oil and gas producers. Click here to see a photo.
Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association
On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) in Manhattan. During the event, I spoke about the fiscal state of our country and the importance of making certain Kansas agriculture and agribusiness continue to be successful. The health of Kansas’ economy depends on the success of agriculture.Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming, including Doug Wright of Moundridge, Joe Allen of Hutchinson, Scott Andrew of Riley, and Scott Anderson of Hutchinson. Click here to see a photo.
Speaking at the 2012 Tiblow Days Mayor's Dinner
It was an honor to follow in the footsteps of Kansas leaders like Senator Bob Dole and deliver the keynote address on Thursday night at the 2012 Tiblow Days Mayor's Dinner. The event celebrates the history of Bonner Springs and the community that continues to exemplify it's rich heritage today. It is a heritage exemplified by individuals who teach their children by example to be moral, responsible citizens – by people who work hard to provide for their families and build a better future for their children, communities, state and nation. Congratulations to Carol Geary, who recieved the 2012 Marion Vaughn Community Service Award at the dinner. Thanks to Bonner Springs Mayor Clausie Smith for the invitation to attend and to City Clerk Rita Hoag for coordinating the event. Click here for a photo.
Biz Bang Celebrates Youth Entrepreneurship and Education
On Friday, I attended the Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas Biz Bang in Wichita, an annual fundraiser for the Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas (YEK) program. For the last 20 years, YEK has been teaching business and entrepreneurial skills to Kansas high school students. Participants in the program write a business plan, participate in classroom competitions, and receive support from mentors in the local business community. YEK, and programs like it, equip young people with the skills needed to start a business and teach them that they are capable of creating a job for themselves and others. Thanks to Charles and Elizabeth Koch for hosting the event and to those who attended for their support of entrepreneurial education.
Fort Hays State University Foundation Board of Trustees Annual Meeting
On Saturday, I attended the Fort Hays State University (FHSU) Foundation Board of Trustees annual meeting in Hays. During the meeting, I had the opportunity to learn about the Foundation’s many successes over the past year, including the Cornerstone Campaign. The Cornerstone Campaign was launched nearly 6 years ago as one of the most ambitious fundraising efforts in FHSU’s history. Earlier this summer the Foundation ended their Campaign nearly 6 months early having raised nearly $69 million, an amount well over their $60 million goal. Private support for higher education is an important investment in the future and helps strengthen our universities.
I enjoyed bring back on campus and helping to celebrate the continued success of the FHSU Foundation and University. Thanks to Foundation President and CEO Tim Chapman and his staff for their work in preparing for the board’s annual meeting. Thanks also to President Edward H. Hammond for his continued leadership at FHSU.
Museum of the Kansas National Guard Secures Eisenhower-era C-135E Stratotanker
I’m proud the Museum of the Kansas National Guard requested that a retired, Eisenhower-era C-135E Stratotanker be brought to its final resting place in Topeka. The original plan for this Air Force tanker was to be shipped to a grave yard in Arizona but due to the hard work and good effort of the Kansas National Guard, this amazing air mobility asset will be showcased for public display in the Museum of the Kansas National Guard. The C-135E went into service in 1957 and continued its aerial refueling mission for over 50 fifty years. The Air Force tanker fleet will soon be replaced by the new KC-46, which will hopefully be sent to McConnell Air Force Base as part of the first round of tanker replacement across the country. The Museum of the Kansas National Guard holds many displays and I’m glad to hear the diligence of our Kansas Guard brought the C-135E to Topeka and added this amazing airframe to the group.
Kansan Receives 2012 Volunteer Corps Service Award
Mindy King, a Kansas resident, received the 2012 Volunteer Corps Service Award from the National Military Family Association (NMFA). This special award is given to one NMFA volunteer each year who “displays leadership in fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of their appointed position and effectively promoting the interests of the Association.” I am proud of Mindy and the work she has done.
Mindy exemplifies what is special about Kansans: their selflessness, generosity, and dedication to service. Mindy valiantly served our country in uniform before she was medically retired from the armed services. Now, as a faithful volunteer for the National Military Family Association, she is devoting her time and talents to the organization’s mission. She is making a difference in the lives of our troops and her fellow veterans, all while managing the demands of motherhood and being a military spouse. I am truly honored to represent a state filled with such remarkable citizens. Congratulations, Mindy! Click here to see the official announcement from the NMFA.
Now Accepting 2012 Service Academy Applications
As summer ends and a new school year begins, I want to remind students of the opportunity to apply to a United States Service Academy. Appointing Kansans to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, is one of my favorite duties as a Member of Congress.
To find out the requirements and apply, please download an application from my website or contact my Olathe office. All application materials are due to my Olathe office by October 1, 2012. After applications have been reviewed, applicants will be notified of interviews with my Service Academy Selection Board, which will take place on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.
In the Office
Many Kansans stopped by to take a tour of the US Capitol this week including:
It is an honor to serve you in Washington, D.C. Please let me know how I can be of assistance. To send me an email, click here. You can also click here to contact me through one of my Kansas offices or my Washington, D.C., office.
Very truly yours,
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