Out of Kansas — A National Clean Energy Agenda

Governor to speak in Denver on how America can follow Kansas' lead to clean future


Terry Winckler, Earthjustice, (510) 550-6716

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is coming to Denver on June 26 to help focus the conversation on a national clean energy agenda, based on her remarkable struggle to lead Kansas into a sustainable energy future.

Governor Sebelius, who will be joined by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., is keynote speaker at “Out of Kansas — A National Clean Energy Agenda,” a clean energy forum sponsored by Earthjustice, the nation’s leading non-profit environmental law firm.

Open at no charge to the public, the program is in downtown Denver at the Denver Athletic Club, 1325 Glenarm Place.  A continental breakfast begins at 7:45 a.m. Governor Sebelius will speak at 8:30 a.m., followed by a panel discussion featuring three prominent national clean energy authorities. For details and reservations, go to www.earthjustice.org.

Governor Sebelius became nationally known in the last nine months because of her epic battle to free Kansas from its dependency on coal-fired electrical power. Despite powerful legislative and political pressure, Governor Sebelius stopped expansion of a coal-fired power plant that would have emitted 11 million tons of greenhouse gases each year. Earthjustice provided legal and public support during that struggle.

Backed by 70 percent of her state’s citizens, Governor Sebelius has instituted an array of clean energy initiatives, with special emphasis on harnessing Kansas’ famous wind and on developing energy efficiency programs. She and Governor Ritter are leaders in a governors’ clean energy movement that has grown out of the federal government’s failure to address global warming.

“To reduce pollution and increase wind energy, we need clear federal rules about the cost of CO2,” said Governor Sebelius. “While states have made great strides, what America needs now is strong leadership at the federal level with a commitment to increasing development of our alternative energy resources.”

After Governor Sebelius’ presentation, Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen will moderate a panel forum, featuring these experts discussing sustainable energy, energy efficiency and other aspects of a national clean energy agenda. Panelists are:

  • Ronald L. Lehr, former chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, who now practices law and consults about energy and telecommunications regulation and business matters. He worked for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the Department of Energy program, “Wind Powering America.”

  • Randy Udall, director of the Community Office for Efficiency (CORE), a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy. Udall also serves on the board of directors of Solar Energy International and Colorado Renewable Energy Society.

  • Tom Plant, director of the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office. Before that, he served as executive director of the Center for ReSource Conservation, a non-profit that implements  programs on energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, green building and construction waste reduction. From 1998 to 2006, Plant represented District 13 in the Colorado House of Representatives. He also worked in the Climate Change department of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, DC.

Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen said his organization is pleased to bring Governor Sebelius to Denver so that she can share with the nation the successes her state has achieved in addressing climate change.

“Governor Sebelius’ courageous leadership in Kansas is a beacon of hope as we address the nation’s energy and climate change challenges.  We are thrilled to have her, along with Governor Ritter and our distinguished panelists, join us in Denver,” Van Noppen said. 

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About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.