To her credit, Kristen Welker made climate change one of the six topics in last night's debate. As usual, Trump sprouted a bunch of nonsense, and Biden got an opportunity to make a few positive comments about clean energy.
Although clean energy is thought to be a topic near and dear to the Democrats, Republicans are not immune to its obvious benefits, and a tiny town in red state Kansas proves the wisdom of clean energy, since 100% of the power in town comes from windmills.
A wind-swept farming community in southwestern Kansas, Greensburg rebuilt “green” after an EF5 tornado — the most violent — barreled through at more than 200 miles per hour and nearly wiped it off the map in 2007.
A decade later, Greensburg draws 100 percent of its electricity from a wind farm, making it one of a handful of cities in the United States to be powered solely by renewable energy. It now has an energy-efficient school, a medical center, city hall, library and commons, museum and other buildings that save more than $200,000 a year in fuel and electricity costs, according to one federal estimate. The city saves thousands of gallons of water with low-flow toilets and drought-resistance landscaping and, in the evening, its streets glow from LED lighting.
It’s exactly the kind of community Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden envisions when he talks about the need to conserve energy and transition away from fossil fuels towards wind, solar and other sources that do not emit the greenhouse gases driving climate change. President Trump has dismissed global warming and disparaged wind turbines as well as LED lighting and other forms of energy conservation.
Greensburg is no liberal bastion. It sits in Kiowa County, where Trump handily beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, carrying 83 percent of the vote.
By the end of 2007, Greensburg became the first city in the country to require all municipal buildings over 4,000 square feet to be certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization. That means the buildings meet certain standards for saving energy, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are linked to global warming.
The top five states according to percentage of generation by wind in 2019 were:
- Iowa (41.7%)
- Kansas (36.4%)
- Oklahoma (31.7%)
- North Dakota (25.8%)
- South Dakota (24.4%)
Historically, Kansas is one of our windiest states, but windmill farms can also work in states that AREN'T as windy. California, for example, is one of the LEAST windy states, but is has three of the largest windmill farms in the country:
Fittingly, Washington D.C is the windiest location in the country, since it houses the largest number of windbags.