Kansas Focus: Helping Greensberg achieve its dream
I do carbon offsets through Native Energy, among other places. They are one of the best carbon offset sites around and they help invest in American wind, solar and methane generation projects all over America, providing some of the cleanest, greenest energy for America while also creating American jobs. They focus on green energy projects in Indian reservations and family farms. But they also have a collaboration going with Greensberg, Kansas.
On May 4, 2007, Greensberg was leveled by a category 5 tornado. The town was leveled. In the wake of this disaster, the city council decided to rebuild Greensberg as the greenest town in America. From the Greensberg website:
This Long-Term Community Recovery Plan expresses the Greensburg/Kiowa County community’s vision for recovery in the aftermath of the May 4, 2007 tornado. The Greensburg/Kiowa County Long-Term Community Recovery Plan is the result of an intensive 12-week process involving multiple meetings and discussions between long-term recovery planning team, local, state, and federal officials, business owners, civic groups, and citizens. Hundreds of your neighbors turned out for the community meetings to share their ideas on how to rebuild Greensburg and Kiowa County. Community participation provided an invaluable source of input and feedback that was used to refine and prioritize the projects contained in this plan. A community spirit and resolve to build back better, safer, and in a more sustainable manner will serve you well as you move forward with implementation of the plan. At the heart of the plan is a simple guiding principle – keep the things that have made Greensburg and Kiowa County a good place to live, work, and own a business, and then suggest ways to build upon strengths of the community in order to make it even more prosperous, appealing, livable, and sustainable. Unlike a traditional planning document that presents general guidance to a community, the Long-Term Community Recovery Plan is an action-oriented menu of key projects intended to be used for making critical funding and resource allocation decisions.
Here is a video from Current TV, Al Gore's excellent cable TV network, about the rebuilding:
Native Energy is helping Greensberg build 10 new wind turbines producing 1.25 MW each for a total 12.5 MW new wind energy. That is where my carbon offsets have been going. Here is a description of the collaboration from Native Energy:
On May 4, 2007 an EF-5 tornado leveled Greensburg, Kansas, destroying 95% of the town and leaving a path of devastation 2 miles wide. Eleven of the town’s 1,400 residents died in the disaster. In their communal search for meaning in the days that followed this catastrophe the people of Greensburg individually and collectively agreed to rebuild their town.
They committed to make Greensburg the greenest town in America....
NativeEnergy is extremely proud to play a necessary role in helping build the Greensburg Wind Farm. As the exclusive REC/offset marketer for this historic project we are excited to offer everyone the opportunity to join this American renewal project by purchasing the carbon offsets this project will generate.
This new wind energy project is being developed with critical upfront financing from NativeEnergy, whose funding is made possible by the collective, community support of our clients, partners and individual supporters.
Sustainable Development Benefits: The Greensburg Wind Farm will create significant economic and environmental benefits for the City as the community continues to rebuild. The wind farm will generate enough energy to power 4,000 homes – more than enough for every home, business, and municipal facility in Greensburg. The City will retain the rights to the green benefits from about 1/3 of the wind farm, making the town “wind powered.” NativeEnergy will purchase the remaining REC output, converting the RECs to carbon offsets for its customers. The energy generated by the wind farm will displace fossil-based energy and reduce hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon pollution that otherwise would enter our atmosphere.
This wind farm will be located on farmland just southwest of the City – several farm families will receive direct economic benefits from hosting the turbines.
The City had seen its school enrollment cut in half in recent decades, but now residents see new and compelling reasons for young people to stay and build their lives and raise their families in this community. New, green businesses are already relocating or starting up there. Greensburg is already the first U.S. city to light all streets with LED lights, the first to have a LEED certified town hall, and has a new Business Incubator Building, which hopes to achieve LEED Platinum status. Twelve new eco homes are in development, and the rebuilding of the Greensburg community is an inspiring example of the new green economy.
The Greensburg Wind Farm achieved commercial operations on Friday, March 5 and has now made Greensberg an energy exporter into the local grid...reducing carbon emissions for the region.
This is how America will rebuild. Collaborations among environmentalists and local communities creating a new, American, green energy grid. I am proud to be a part of this.
If you want to help Native Energy continue projects like this, please visit their website: http://www.nativeenergy.com/
And let me add, in the interest of supporting green energy in Kansas and further helping the local green economy near Greensberg, people with diesel engines can get biodiesel near Greensberg. Biodiesel is clean, AMERICAN fuel that could be fueling many of our trains, trucks and diesel cars, as well as being used for heating fuel. All that while supporting American farmers, not Saudi oil shieks. Any diesel engine can use up to B20 fuel (20% biodiesel) and newer diesel engines can use up to B100 (100% biodiesel). Here are some fuel stations near Greensberg:
Golden Valley Inc, 104 S Main St, Rozel, KS 67574, 620-527-4216, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CASH ONLY; 8AM-5PM M-F
Hampel Oil, 921 N Main St, Pratt, KS 67124, 316-529-1162, Offers B20 (good for any diesel engine), PACIFIC PRIDE CARDLOCK SYSTEM
Golden Valley Inc: 302 Locust St Burdett KS 67523, 620-525-6226 Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CASH ONLY; 8AM-5PM M-F
ADM Collingwood: 28605 12 Rd Montezuma KS 67867, 620-846-2218, Offers B2 (good for any diesel engine), CASH ONLY 7:30AM-5:00PM M-F
Bird Oil Company, Inc: 3824 Railroad Ave Great Bend KS 67530, 620-793-5932, Offers B10 (good for any diesel engine),CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS
Bird Express #203: 1000 Main Street Great Bend KS 67530, 620-792-7579, Offers B10 (good for any diesel engine), CREDIT CARDS 24 HRS