When the great Kansan, Dwight D. Eisenhower set forth upon creating the interstate highway system he didn’t squabble over party lines and say ‘if we just leave it to private business, it will build itself.’ He set forth a plan that was crafted and funded by the government. It was carried out largely by private companies, and the mass employment sparked an economic era of prosperity, massive middle-class growth and is almost the exemplary for the time when an honest day’s work could not only feed your family but provide enough to live on beyond simply the next check.
We must take that spirit of political willpower and the concording optimism that is the core of the belief that we the people can actively work to make our world a better place — not just for us, but also for those that come next – harness that willpower & perseverance and get to the work of building the future Kansas. We can not pass on to future generations a state that is reliant upon antiquated technology only because Koch Industries doesn’t want to invest in clean energy and use the power they wield in this state to make it better. We must instead work to elect officials who are not on the Koch payroll and demand that the current officials take a stand against their corporate overlords — as paradoxical as that sounds.
To demonstrate that Greens understand this is not a war on the private sector, we recognize and acknowledge that it is only with the private sector that this can be done. It is Solar City & Tesla that have much of the technology; it is Walgreens & Wal-Mart that have already partnered with renewable energy companies (Solar City specifically) to place solar panels on their facilities in other states reducing CO2 output by millions of tons every year. It is with companies that already have a strong industry in Kansas that we must work with to make these installations viable on a large scale. While no one solar array or wind turbine will solve all our power problems, we can not move forward in the 21st century relying on the same coal first harnessed in the 1800s.
It is also with these plans in mind, and specifically projects such as Solar City’s outreach to family farms that Western Kansas could finally fight back against the power of Agro-Business. We could provide Kansas family farmers with the tools to harvest the sun instead of wheat or soy. We could save thousands of families the pain of government subsidy reliance and instead provide them with the resources to again claim the independence that is the source of their historical pride. It would however probably require said family farms to decide to stop providing blind support to the Republican policies that have turned their small town Kansas Main Streets into Ghost Streets.
Through the state’s recent budget crisis, the only substantial revenue generator has been the state’s wind industry which reached its 2020 production goal four years early, created over 12,000 jobs and brought in $8 billion to the state. So, what did Kansas lawmakers do to the one sector of the state that was thriving, making jobs and generating revenue you might ask? They repealed the clean energy mandate and instead of investing heavily in and moving forward with a program that was working for Kansans, they have instead made a concerted effort to kill what is the only successful thing the state has done under the Brownback Administration, House & Senate.
Kansans need elected representatives that will not stand in the way of successful progress and that will not leave future generations relying on century-old fuels. Kansas needs elected officials that have the ability to see the future and work towards realizing it. The Kansas Green Party is not afraid to stand up to Koch Industries and their outdated business interests. We will not shrink from upgrading and modernizing our infrastructure just because Koch Inc. wants oil pipelines instead of solar & wind power. We will not let ideology interrupt when there are massive projects that have proof that they could help restore the economic balance to the working class of this state.
In summation, the Kansas Green Party will not shrink from the necessary simply because it won’t be easy or favorable to corporations that only care about their profits and not about Kansans.