February 2015 Newsletter

Clean Energy Day at the Capitol!   


Your voice of support for clean energy is needed on February 25th. Join clean energy businesses and community organizations in Topeka for Clean Energy Day at the Capitol. Whether you are a rural Kansan who supports the wind industry, a solar proponent who wants to tap in to this under utilized resource, a conservationist who wants to protect our natural resources, or one of thousands of Kansans who want to see energy efficiency programs available more broadly, your presence can have a valuable impact on legislation moving through the Kansas statehouse.


For the fourth year in a row, an RPS repeal bill has been introduced and will be worked by committees in early March. Already, the House Energy & Environment and Senate Utilities committees have had hearings on bills to delay the state's ability to submit a plan to reduce our carbon emissions, HB 2233, SB 151, and SB 170 (read our blog for more information). You can read the testimony we gave on behalf of our coalition partners, Kansas for Clean Energy, as well as Moti Rieber's testimony on the RASP Act. A bill to reduce or get rid of the property tax exemption for wind energy was introduced today in the Senate which would have a negative impact on the state's ability to attract commercial wind farms. There hasn't been any movement yet on HB 2036 and HB 2037 (designed to pave the way for public buildings to utilize more renewable energy) since they were assigned to House Energy & Environment last month.


Legislators tell us hearing from their constituents helps them make important decisions in Topeka. Don't miss a great opportunity to share your thoughts on renewable energy, natural resources, energy efficiency and our climate on Wednesday, February 25th. There will be policy updates, clean energy presentations, a free lunch and a chance to see your legislators in action during committee hearings and in meetings. Be part of the solution and join fellow Kansans for Clean Energy Day. Visit our website for more information including the agenda, RSVP links, and Booth space reservations.   


Clean Energy Day agenda and details below!


WEP Update

Condensing Milk, Conserving Water and Energy

McCarty Dairy

McCarty Family Farms save water and energy while producing high quality milk in western KansasThe McCarty Family dairies in western Kansas produce nearly 640,000 pounds of raw milk daily. Prioritizing energy efficiency and water conservation, the McCarty's developed a unique system which reclaims and reuses roughly 50,000-60,000 gallons of freshwater daily - that's about 20 million gallons, or 61 acre-feet every year.  


Not only does reclaiming the water 

McCarty Family Farms Efficiency, Economics, and Sustainability

decrease their dependence on groundwater, it also reduces reduces their freight by an astonishing 75%.   Lowering the number of trucks taking the 670-mile trip to Texas results in substantial diesel savings-while also reducing theMcCarty Family Farm's fossil fuel reliance and greenhouse gas emissions.


Ken McCarty explains, "we think long and hard about [questions like] 'Will this 

McCarty Dairy: Shifting agricultural practices for improved soil health

be here twenty years from now, for our kids or our grandkids, or the communities in general? How can we preserve what we've put together for the long term?' It's pretty tough to do anything without water."

Read all about the McCarty Dairy on! 

Watch the videos on the CEP VIMEO CHANNEL!


Leading the way in Dryland

Michael Herrmann is a dryland, no-till farmer in Northern Edwards County. Looking for a better way to control run-off and preserve soil moisture, Herrmann developed a combined dryland, no-till approach which sets him apart from other dryland farmers in the area. By converting to no-till, he not only achieved his goals of saving water and reducing runoff, but he also noticed other benefits, including saving time, energy, and fuel.  In 2013, for example, he used 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel in all of his machinery compared to an estimated minimum use of 30,000 gallons with conventional tillage. Herrmann also relies on renewable energy to pump water and power fencing for his livestock.  


Michael Herrmann has integrated dryland farming and no-till in order to affordably achieve an impressive number of environmental benefits, including saving water, reducing soil runoff, and saving tremendous amounts of energy. 
Check out the full story in March!

Meet our New Interns!
We have fantastic interns helping CEP this spring semester! Continue reading to learn more about them! Click here to learn how you can become an intern.

Anita Austin
State Legislative Intern
Emporia, KS 
What is one word that describes you? Determined
Tell us something interesting about yourself: I love to work out and will be in a fitness competition this summer.
Why are you interested in saving water and energy? These things are tied to the future of our planet, making them a huge deal for all of us!

Gina Beebe
Water + Energy Progress Intern
Hometown: Manhattan, KS 
What is one word that describes you? Mindful 
Tell us something interesting about yourself: I remember my dreams every night. 
Why are you interested in saving water and energy? I've always been fascinated by the world around me and strive to live a life and help create a culture that is more integrated with the natural systems. I care deeply about the Earth and its people and I hope to create a situation where future generations can thrive. That is why I am interested in sustainability and the quality of the world's resources. 

Quentin Chediak
State legislative Intern
Hometown: Topeka, KS 
What is one word that describes you?
Tell us something interesting about yourself:
I have no middle name. 
Why are you interested in saving water and energy? I am worried about the future of the planet.

Caleb Hall
State Legislative Intern
Hometown: Shawnee, KS 
What is one word that describes you? Forthcoming 
Tell us something interesting about yourself: I have run five marathons 
Why are you interested in saving water and energy? Because I wish to help build a sustainable future. 
Brock Ternes 
Water + Energy Progress Intern
Hometown: Emporia, KS 
What is one word that describes you? Enthusiastic
Tell us something interesting about yourself: I'm an environmental sociologist, but when I'm not working on academics, I'm usually running or listening to live music. Most of my vacations pivot around music festivals or concerts.
Why are you interested in saving water and energy? My dissertation examines water conservation practices and well ownership in Kansas. Well owners are an understudied subpopulation who rely directly on groundwater sources, and are responsible for managing their water supplies. I'm interested in domestic water use routines and domestic water conservation, and seek to understand how reliance on wells (or groundwater) influences the propensity to conserve water.

Upcoming Events
CEdayClean Energy Day at the Capitol!
February 25th, 9am, Kansas State Capitol, Topeka KS

Investments in a clean energy economy create and keep good jobs in communities across Kansas, save money for families and businesses in the long run, and improve our health and environment. Let's show our state leaders we support a clean energy plan!  


8:00a.m. - Climate Vigil (281-N)

9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Clean Energy Business and Community Booths (1st Floor Rotunda of the Capitol)

9:00 a.m. - House Energy & Environment Committee hearing on HB 2233 (582-N)

Immediately following hearing - Advocate Briefing and Energy Policy Update (Visitors Center Auditorium)

12:00 p.m. - Press Conference (1st Floor Rotunda of the Capitol)

Immediately following press conference - Box Lunch

12 p.m. - 4 p.m. - Meetings with Legislators


RSVP Online: 

Booth Space Registration: 

Directions & Parking:

2015 Water + Energy Progress Awards!
Wednesday, March 11, Topeka, 3:00-4:30Awards Ceremony, 5:00-6:30 Reception 

Eleven innovative Kansas farmers and ranchers will be recognized for innovations in water conservation and energy efficiency. The Water + EnergyProgress Steering Committee will be recognized. Governor Brownback will address water and energy in agriculture and congratulate the Award winners.


Wednesday, March 11th, 3:00-4:30 pm Awards Ceremony

Topeka Capitol, Visitor's Center Classroom, SW 8th and SW Van Buren, Topeka


5:00-6:30 pm Reception, The Celtic Fox

118 SW 8th Ave, Topeka


Please RSVP by Friday, March 6th.  RSVP by email to, by phone 785.424.4115, or via the web 

KRC's Women in Farming Workshop 

March 14, 9am to 3:30pm, Lawrence, KS 

Kansas Rural Center is hosting the first in a series of four "women only"  Women in Farming Risk Management Education workshops. All four of the workshops in KRC's "Women in Farming" series will highlight the opportunities and the challenges women face as they implement new enterprises on existing farms, begin farming or take over family operations, or just try to adopt new practices and enterprises with their families.


The first workshop will focus on specialty crop production with a particular emphasis on the unique opportunities and challenges for women farmers.  The morning portion of the workshop will be held at the Dreher Building, Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper Street, Lawrence, Kansas, 66046.  An afternoon farm tour will be held at women-owned Red Tractor Farm, south of Lawrence.  Cost to attend the workshop is $15, which covers a catered lunch, snacks and materials. To register, please visit:



In The Blog
Clean Energy Future for Kansas? 
Two bills, introduced in the Kansas Legislature in response to America's Clean Power Plan have the potential to add a layer of unnecessary government interference into what should be a utility driven process.

Climate policy: A fight worth fighting
CEP Intern, Anita Austin, hits the nail on the head with this blog on climate policy.  
Published February 3, 2015                                               >>Read Blog 

Seeing is believing. 
Water + Energy Progress identifies and celebrates Kansas farmers and ranchers who are using innovative methods to save water and energy. Watch these videos to learn more.
Energy Updates
About Climate + Energy Project
Practical solutions for a clean energy future.


The Climate + Energy Project (CEP) is a non-partisan 501c(3) organization working to reduce emissions through greater energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. Located in America's Heartland, CEP collaborates with diverse partners across the nation to find practical solutions for a clean energy future that provides jobs, prosperity and energy security.

For more information please contact Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director of the Climate + Energy Project, by calling (785) 424-0444 or emailing
In This Issue
Clean Energy Day
WEP Update
Upcoming Events: Clean Energy Day & WEP Awards!
Upcoming Events: Clean Energy Day & WEP Awards!
In The Blog
Energy Updates
Our Projects

Kansans for Clean Energy