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美国红色保守阵营的绿色环保领袖

Shelley Dubois 2011年08月03日

本文介绍的几位环保主义者或许并未四处宣扬他们的环保理念,但是,在传统的保守派各州,他们却为环保事业的务实发展铺平了道路。

在中心地带发展生物燃料

位置:堪萨斯州考尔比

    堪萨斯州算不上生态主义的热土。但是,在当地,居民也并非像他们支持能源自主那样反对利用石油。

    肯尼思•弗拉姆曾担任前州长凯瑟琳•西贝利厄斯领导的堪萨斯州委员会(Kansas Energy Council)的会长,现在负责25x'25联盟堪萨斯分部。25x'25联盟的宗旨是,到2025年,实现美国25%的能源来源于可再生能源的目标。

    弗拉姆表示,堪萨斯能通过利用肥沃的土地,种植可转化为生物燃料的农作物,扩大可再生能源的来源。他说,如果政府制定正确的计划,农民就可以种植除玉米之外的其他作物,如柳枝稷或白扬,用于生产一种名为纤维素乙醇的可再生燃料。

    他说,新技术对于堪萨斯生物燃料产业发展的成败举足轻重。现在,弗拉姆就职于堪萨斯技术企业公司(Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation)董事会。这是一家州立机构,利用本州的彩票资金对有潜力的企业进行投资。

    Eden技术公司是KTEC支持的一个项目,该公司开发出了从玉米的不可食用部分提炼乙醇的技术。弗拉姆说,“它生动地说明了我们要实现的目标,”即从本州的主要农作物废料中提炼出有用的燃料。

    弗拉姆表示,堪萨斯幅员辽阔,非常适合开发风能。许多农民都拥有面积达数百英亩的开阔土地,有足够的空间安装风车,而不会像其他人口密度大的州一样,引发“不要在我家后院”安装风车之类的问题。

    弗拉姆说:“我们希望堪萨斯人能够支持我们,别让政府干涉我们的事情。”而当地人也确实这么做了。他的妻子1996年是美国共产党参议员。但是,如果生物燃料真的能在中西部地区实现迅速发展,堪萨斯的环保项目必将大有作为。

Growing biofuels in the heartland

Location: Colby, Kan.

    Kansas is hardly a hotbed of eco-activism. But it does have a contingent of denizens who aren't so much anti-oil as they are pro-energy-independence.

    Take Kenneth Frahm, who had served as chair of the Kansas Energy Council under former governor Kathleen Sebelius and currently runs the Kansas division of 25x'25, a group that aims to have 25% of America's energy come from renewable resources by 2025.

    Kansas can add to the renewable energy mix, Frahm believes, by using its ample farmland to grow crops that can be converted into biofuels. With the right government incentives, he says, it could become financially viable for farmers to grow not just corn but switchgrass or poplar, which are used to make a kind of renewable fuel called cellulosic ethanol.

    New technology will be key to the success of the biofuel industry in Kansas, says Frahm, who is on the board of the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation, a state agency that invests in promising businesses using money from the state lottery.

    EdenTechnologies, one of Frahm's favorite KTEC investments, developed the technology to make ethanol out of the inedible parts of corn. "It's just a wonderful example of what we're trying to achieve," he says, turning waste products from one of the state's major crops into something useful.

    Kansas' spaciousness also makes the state a good fit for wind power, Frahm says, as many farmers have hundreds of acres worth of open land. That leaves plenty of room to erect windmills without stirring up the "not in my backyard" issues that come up in more cramped states.

    "You expect the people of Kansas to want government out of our business," says Frahm, whose wife served as a Republican U.S. senator in 1996, and they do. But if biofuels ever take off in the Midwest, Frahm believes Kansas' green movement will have plenty of open space to grow.

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