TOPEKA Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today said she expects that Sunflower Electric Power Corp.'s proposed coal-burning plants will be built.
"It's very difficult within the borders of Kansas to control greenhouse gases and global warming," Sebelius said in an interview with the Lawrence Journal-World.
"I am eager to be a partner in that effort across the country, but what we know is that the Holcomb plant is likely to be built one way or the other. It's a question of does it get built in Kansas or Oklahoma," she said.
Sunflower Electric has proposed three 700-megawatt plants next to its current 360-megawatt facility in the west Kansas town of Holcomb.
The project is under review by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Environmentalists say the plants will be a major source of gases that cause destructive climate change. Supporters of the project say it will burn coal more cleanly than older plants, and will boost the west Kansas economy.
A number of environmental groups have asked Sebelius to reject the Sunflower proposal and declare a moratorium on the construction of coal-fired plants in Kansas.
Sebelius said there needs to be national standards on greenhouse gas emissions. She said Sunflower's proposal has prompted state leaders to focus on energy issues.
"I'm hopeful that what we will do at the end of the day is really use this as an opportunity to accelerate some of the renewable energy of which we have an incredible abundance in this state," she said.