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Kansas Impasse Shows Green Energy Opposition Has Lost Steam

Kansas state Sen. Mike Thompson, left, R-Shawnee, confers with state Sen. Kellie Warren, R-Leawood, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, during a committee meeting at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Thompson denies the link between human activity and climate change and has a key role in energy policy as the Senate Utilities Committee chairman. (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Kansas state Sen. Mike Thompson, left, R-Shawnee, confers with state Sen. Kellie Warren, R-Leawood, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, during a committee meeting at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Thompson denies the link between human activity and climate change and has a key role in energy policy as the Senate Utilities Committee chairman. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Topeka, Kan. (AP) -- Efforts to propel Kansas' renewable energy future are at a standstill, mired in legislative stalemate. At its center is a former TV weather personality who is using his chairmanship of a key committee to promote questionable claims about green energy and to spotlight complaints from opponents of wind and solar energy projects.

Republican state Sen. Mike Thompson's pushback against renewable energy is pitting him not only against environmentalists, whose bills can't get a vote in his committee, but also against big utilities and GOP colleagues, who say his measures to restrict new wind turbines and solar farms go too far.