Renewable things are happening in the heartland. Ohio passed a renewable portfolio standard in the spring, and Michigan did the same a few weeks ago. Renewable activists in Missouri recently qualified a renewable energy standard — Proposition C — for the ballot, and this week the Kansas City Star endorsed the effort.

The measure calls for a relatively modest 15 percent renewable standard by 2021, but the lessons from Colorado’s Amendment 37 are worth keeping in mind. In 2004, after three or four failures in the legislature, Colorado held the country’s first statewide referendum on renewable energy. Despite unanimous utility opposition and a well-funded “no” campaign, the measure prevailed. Since then, the state legislature has doubled the requirement, and some of the measure’s strongest utility opponents have pulled a 360 and have become relatively aggressive in their approach toward renewables.

To its credit, Kansas City Power and Light, one of the state’s largest utilities, supports Prop. C.

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