Update on Kansas Climate Commission

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on March 31, 2008

in Politics

Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch

As I reported 10 days ago, Kansas's Kathleen Sebelius is the most recent state executive to create a state global warming commission — called the Kansas Energy and Environmental Policy Advisory Group — and like most other states hired the Center for Climate Strategies to manage the thing. Unfortunately also like a few of the states (Iowa, Maryland, South Carolina), Kansas apparently has no contract with CCS to create its government-"sponsored" climate advisory policy. Instead CCS and the commission will have no accountability to taxpayers and instead will be beholden to those who fund it: global warming alarmists like the Energy Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Sandler Family Supporting Foundation. In fact, the presence of Sandler money shows Kansas to be the first state in which clearly political leftist money is paying for what is supposed to be an "objective" policy development process.

Just a little while ago I called a couple of attorneys with the state to verify a few things. Dennis Highberger, with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, told me that his agency has a contract with CCS to do its greenhouse gas emissions inventory, but no agreement to run the governor's commission. He referred me to Gov. Sebelius's office.

So then I called Sally Howard, her chief counsel, who informed me that the governor's office had no contract with CCS either. When I told her that KDHE said they had no contract and that it appears there is no contract with the state, she said she found that hard to believe. I told her that's the case with other states as well. What's the need for a contract when the state isn't paying anything, right?

Anyway, I did ask if the state budgeted anything for the commission — after all, at least a few bureaucrats are going to have to dedicate some time to this dog-and-pony show. She was unaware of any dedicated budget for the project, so if taxpayers want to know the amount of public employees' time devoted to the commission, they're out of luck.

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