KU Institute Director Testified against Renewable Energy Standards after Koch-Funded Research on Standards

By Shorman, Jonathan | The Topeka Capital-Journal, September 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

KU Institute Director Testified against Renewable Energy Standards after Koch-Funded Research on Standards


Shorman, Jonathan, The Topeka Capital-Journal


A University of Kansas lecturer testified at a Senate hearing in 2014 against Kansas' renewable energy standards after a KU institute he leads received thousands of dollars from a Koch Industries-funded foundation to conduct research on the standards, emails show.

Art Hall, a KU lecturer and director of the university's Center for Applied Economics, wrote in a Nov. 25, 2013, email that the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation had agreed to spend $40,000 in 2013 on the center's payroll.

Hall said in an interview that donors -- whether it is a Koch-funded foundation or anyone else -- ask him to answer questions, but that he reports only on what he can prove with evidence.

The 2013 email was released last week as part of a settlement between Hall and a KU student who had sought his emails under the Kansas Open Records Act.

By the date Hall sent the email, the center had spent $35,865.40 of the Koch grant.

"A substantial portion of that sum financed," Hall wrote, "background research on Renewable Portfolio Standard" and "work on a survey related to the local 'business environment' in Lawrence."

According to an IRS disclosure report filed by the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, Koch Industries -- which is involved in petroleum production -- is the organization's sole contributor. Hall's email was sent to Laura Hands, Koch Industries' community affairs director.

The renewable energy standards, also known as the renewable portfolio standards, required Kansas electric companies to produce 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature were successful in making the standards voluntary this year after failed attempts at repeal in previous years.

Those attempts included a 2014 legislative push to get rid of the standards. Hall testified in favor of repeal at a Senate hearing in March 2014, after his center had produced Koch-funded research on the standards.

Hall said in an email to a reporter that the testimony was the only published work that came from his investigation into the standards.

In a follow-up phone interview, Hall said he enjoys trying to engage people who have a question they want answered, and crafting original research in a way that is compelling to the average Kansas legislator but also to academics who want to get up to speed quickly on a topic.

Hall said he enters his research with personal assumptions, such as a belief in the free market, but that he modifies his assumptions as he learns.

He said he has always been drawn to the public policy arena, as opposed to strictly academic settings. But, he said he still has an academic responsibility to make sure his opinions are supported by evidence.

"They're two distinct marketplaces. The public policy arena is not nearly as formal and peer-reviewed, but at the same time if you're going to be effective and compelling, you can't be blowing smoke, you've got to have evidence," Hall said.

A copy of the March 2014 testimony supplied by Hall notes that the viewpoints expressed by him were his alone, and not that of the University of Kansas or Kansas Board of Regents, which governs the state's public universities. Hall said any professor testifying would have to make a similar disclaimer. The disclaimer also says the viewpoints were based on his research and independent judgment.

The key points in Hall's testimony were uniformly negative toward the renewable energy standards. According to Hall, the standards were never needed unless the purpose of the mandate was explicitly to force consumers to buy electricity from a particular energy source.

In addition, he argued the wind industry in Kansas had become economically healthy and that maintaining special privileges for an economically healthy industry was a form of crony capitalism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

KU Institute Director Testified against Renewable Energy Standards after Koch-Funded Research on Standards
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.