Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

City Commission opposes western Kansas power plant

November 22, 2006


The Lawrence City Commission doesn't like a large coal-fired power plant complex proposed for western Kansas, and commissioners don't care whether their opinion ruffles the feathers of other state leaders.

City commissioners on a 3-2 vote Tuesday night agreed to submit a formal comment letter to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment opposing the issuance of permits for a new power plant complex near Holcomb that would produce about 2,100 jobs for western Kansas.

"To not get involved in this issue would make all of our other efforts we talk about as a city in regards to clean air programs rather meaningless," said City Commissioner Mike Rundle, who proposed the idea of a letter and was joined by Commissioners Boog Highberger and David Schauner in supporting it.

The letter - which is being submitted as part of a KDHE public comment period that runs through Nov. 30 - also asks the governor to place a moratorium on additional coal-fired power plants until a feasibility study is conducted regarding the potential of renewable energy sources.

Mayor Mike Amyx and Commissioner Sue Hack voted against sending the letter, although Amyx said he would do his mayoral duty and sign it. Both Amyx and Hack said they had concerns that the letter may create significant ill will toward Lawrence from western Kansas legislators and leaders.

"I think there can be unintended consequences about what happens to requests from the university at the statewide level, about what happens to requests from Lawrence at the statewide level," Hack said. "We have plenty to do and a full plate of our own issues. I think that is where we need to concentrate our efforts."

Rundle said he thought the letter was worth sending regardless of any political ramifications it might have.

"That is just part of the noisy, messy political system we live in," Rundle said.

The letter largely criticizes the plant proposal on environmental grounds. It expresses concerns about the amount of carbon dioxide - a gas considered a prime cause of global warming - that would be released by the plant. It also expresses concerns about mercury emissions, which the letter said would be blown toward eastern Kansas.

Representatives from Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp., which is proposing to build the approximately $5 billion project, did not have a representative at Tuesday's meeting. But the company's president and CEO, L. Earl Watkins Jr., sent a letter responding to many of the city's concerns.

Watkins said it was unfair of people to oppose the plant based on its carbon dioxide emissions because they are not regulated by federal or state law. He also said mercury emissions would be 79 percent less than what is allowed under the federal Clean Air Act.

"If Lawrence supports the economic development of western Kansas, surely it is not appropriate for your community to work against those who live hundreds of miles from you in 34 Western Kansas counties, whose democratically elected representatives on our rural electric cooperative boards have unanimously approved the decision to build this project," he wrote.

Two members of the public spoke to commissioners Tuesday night, and both urged the city to send the letter.

"You have a chance to let KDHE know that the coal rush has to come to a screeching halt in Kansas," said Lawrence resident Carey Maynard-Moody.

The city's letter will be considered by KDHE regulators, just like the more than 100 other people, governments and organizations that have commented on the plant.

For the complete text of the letter that city commissioners agreed to send to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment regarding the Holcomb power plant complex, Click here.


Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

Thank you for that 3-2 vote considering that republicans gutted the Clean Air Act. Not only that more coal fired is a huge step backwards.


EPA Plans to Exempt Half of Air Pollution Sources from Key Clean Air Rules

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced today that he will file a federal lawsuit against the Bush Administration for endangering air quality by gutting a critical component of the federal Clean Air Act.

Changes in the Clean Air Act announced today by the Bush Administration would exempt thousands of industrial air pollution sources, including some coal-fired power plants, from the New Source Review provision of the Clean Air Act. New Source Review requires that industrial plants add modern air pollution controls when they are upgraded or modified and substantially increase air pollution.

Spitzer said that this major weakening of the Clean Air Act will further degrade air quality in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, areas of the country already struggling with dirty air caused in significant part by industrial pollution carried into the region by prevailing winds. New York and the northeastern states are particularly concerned about sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, which cause acid rain, smog and an increase in respiratory disease.

"The Bush Administration is attacking the Clean Air Act, which has been a cornerstone of our national commitment to environmental cleanup for two generations," said Attorney General Spitzer. "The Bush Administration is again putting the financial interests of the oil, gas and coal companies above the public's right to breathe clean air. It is incumbent on the states to take action to ensure that the public health and environment are protected."

The New Source Review lawsuit will allege that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is exceeding its authority by enacting rules that weaken the Clean Air Act. When Congress adopted the Clean Air Act in 1970, its intention was to improve the environment and protect public health by lowering levels of air pollution. The Bush Administration's new rules and regulations would have the opposite effect of allowing higher levels of air pollution.

In 1999, eight states, including New York, joined the federal government in suing numerous coal-burning power plants for violations of the existing New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act. Attorney General Spitzer has also sued coal burning power plants in New York State for similar violations. it is a huge step backwards.

hipper_than_hip 11 years, 3 months ago

Open letter to Commissioners Rundle, Highberger, and Schauner:

Thanks for taking care of all the problems in Lawrence. You've cleaned up all the messes here, and since you've got nothing left to do here, I'm glad to see that you're putting your time to good use by protesting the war in Iraq and powerplants in Western KS. Thanks to you, the city is in tip-top shape, with plenty of retail space, lots of high paying jobs, clean neighborhoods, nice sidewalks, and smooth streets that carry the traffic with no delays.

Since we have no problems here in town, because if we did, you wouldn't be wasting your time on issues like the war, can I suggest some new issues for you write letters about? How about over fishing of the oceans, banning trans-fat in restaurants, or the killing of whales?

Yours truly, Hipper

Sigmund 11 years, 3 months ago

As this will change absolutely nothing, thanks for absolutely nothing. I am comforted by the fact that as long as the PLC Kommissioners are pushing their noses into everyone else's business, they are doing no damage here.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 3 months ago

"This commission has proven, time and again, that it absolutely cannot multi-task."

Does that mean that in last night's meeting, this was the only issue they considered?

bd 11 years, 3 months ago

what a waste of time! too many issues here that need adressed!

Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

They are addressing streets and sidewalks. It's mostly up to staff at this point and it will take time. This problem was created long before Boog,Rundle and Schauner. You might ask what did the many Amyx prior commissions do to prevent this situation.

We have plenty of retail which is obvious by sales tax collections which are not stagnant.

It is important to act locally when the repubs gut a clean air act.

So far as high paying jobs you may want to inquire as what was done by the chamber and city commissons PRIOR to Boog,Rundle and Schauner.

Clean air is good for our health and helps keep medical bills/insurance premiums from even worse increases.

optimist 11 years, 3 months ago

I'm sure something pithy is in order here but I just can't find the words. It's absurd, stupid and makes us look like a joke.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

These three plants will place Kansas as the most polluting in the country as far as industrial plant emissions are concerned.

kshiker 11 years, 3 months ago

Pathetic...that's the extent of my comments on this absurd issue. Maybe you idiots haven't noticed the giant Westar coal-fired plant directly outside Lawrence. Please find a real issue to discuss! I love it that you have screwed up your own hometown enough that now you want to impose your leftist values on the whole state; please find something else to do with your lives!

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 3 months ago

"This commission does not represent me. How embarassing!!"

This is what embarasses you? The fact that some elected officials do things you don't like? Hey, that's the curse of representative democracy.

"we are the laughing stock of the country."

That's too much. I'd wager that most of "the country" doesn't give much thought to a town of 80,000 or so in NE Kansas.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 3 months ago

"Maybe you idiots haven't noticed the giant Westar coal-fired plant directly outside Lawrence."

Actually, we "idiots" have noticed it, and we've also taken note of what it and others like it are doing to the environment.

So rather than building even bigger ones in W. Kansas to ship electricity to Colorado, a much better idea would be to develop wind generators and transmission lines in that area so that the electricity can be transmitted here, and the coal plant west of Lawrence can be shut down.

clarkentsman 11 years, 3 months ago

Merril, since I am not well versed in the power plant issue could you tell me how much carbon dioxide gas the plant complex will emit and how the amount relates to the "old standards"?

Also, will these plants allow the phasing out or even take excess demand of other older smaller less efficint plants that emit more pollutants (carbon dioxide, mercury etc.)?

Daggit 11 years, 3 months ago

i just can't hardly wait till next tuesday, to see if the city commissoners are going to take on the middle east crisis

bastet 11 years, 3 months ago


Why not put that generator farm right here if the electricity is going to Lawrence? Oh, wait. . . we don't want those big ugly wind farms here in beautiful, civilized Douglas county. Let's just stick 'em out there in that wasteland of Western Kansas. There's no one important there anyway!

---Seriously: the coal-fired plants disturb me a great deal, but the letter of protest from Lawrence's City Commission will just reinforce the split between the East and the West of the state. People in Eastern Kansas are all ready to jump up and complain about the effects of a power plant in Holcomb on their lives, saying that whatever affects part of the state affects all of us. Well, where is that sentiment when it comes to the distribution of state taxes and other issues that affect the whole state?

Let the Lawrence CITY commission go right ahead and send its letter. They have the right to public comment, but they darn well better realize that the people of Western Kansas are laughing at them for their presumption and nodding bitterly at the reinforcement of their beliefs about the hippee Easterners who all feel they know better than those poor, illiterate dirt farmers who have to be saved from themselves.

whistlestop75 11 years, 3 months ago

Frankly the mayor had the best comment of all...what effect will sending the letter have on Lawrence with political ramifications in the future? Consider funding for the University improvements...grant proposals...any number of things. The legislators of that district have worked hard to make this happen. They won't take kindly to the city commission's letter of opposition. When issues for Douglas county come under consideration, do you really think their vote won't matter in the Legislation?

Jackalope 11 years, 3 months ago

Here we go again. Lawrence, through it "leaders," condemning the rest of the state for being foolish and stupid. Never mind that the downtown streets are filthy and rife with panhandlers and prostitutes (both genders.) Never mind that drunks standout on the sidewalk smoking and mingling with shoppers because they cannot smoke in their gin joint of choice. Never mind that there is no parking and the traffic infrastructure is straight out of the 40's. Never mind that we sit down to supper every night with electrical lights power by a huge belching coal fired plant just a mile or so north of the city. Never mind that the river is not fit to swim in, nor any other water way or pond. Lets just overlook that and tell others how to live. Tell others their efforts are wasted because the product will not be coming our way. Tell others that they must rely upon wind power which realistically can only supply a fraction of the needed energy and takes up huge sections of land to do so. But, their land and livelihoods is not important. Tell others that they are only worthy of disdain while we spending thousands upon thousands to attract them to our city and educational institution. What's next? The self absorbed hypocrisy of it all is absolutely staggering. Sure, there should be a real concern about industrial emissions. But, when we make no effort what so ever to clean up our own mess it goes beyond hopeless and hapless stupidity to think that we can tell other to do what we are not willing to do ourselves. Hypocrisy at its meanest and highest level.

bondmen 11 years, 3 months ago

The medieval thinking of modern liberals and anarchists never ceases to astound me. Completely out of their political jurisdiction these whacko commissioners appeal to the lowest common denominator of locals who'd rather live in log cabins or teepees on the Kaw than heat their apartments with modern fuels.

Let them eat cake when the sheiks, Taliban or apocalyptic Iranians interrupt the energy flow and modern citizens are without transportation, lights or heat. Make yourselves known so we can ask you to show us all the way to an energy free nirvana!

And the Lawrence City Council best tend to its business within the city boundaries of Lawrence, Kansas - what a novel idea!

dacs23 11 years, 3 months ago

"Watkins said it was unfair of people to oppose the plant based on its carbon dioxide emissions because they are not regulated by federal or state law."

Since when is life fair

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 3 months ago

casino, casino, casino,

oh yeah that was a diffrent story.

Sigmund 11 years, 3 months ago

There are tons of agenda items I would like the PLC Kommissioners to concentrate on in the months leading up to their election. Here are my top ten: 10. A letter to former "Seinfeld" star Michael Richards asking him to fund minority scholarships at KU. 9. A letter to The Merc asking that they open a grocery store in the Tanger Outlet Mall to help their "brothers and sisters in North Lawrence." 8. A letter to OJ asking if he still has the Bronco and if he would mind letting the LPD practice slow speed chases. 7. A letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking if he will share his secret poison recipes (for academic purposes only of course). 6. A fund raising letter asking Mark Foley for list of his contributors. 5. A letter to all 300 million Americans asking if they could use less electricity. 4. A letter to Bill Gates asking if he can teach the DA's office to use a computer. 3. A letter to WalMart suggesting that if they would only stop selling organic food so much lower than The Merc, that "silly and expensive" lawsuit might come to a mutually satisfactory conclusion. 2. A letter to all city employees informing them that their paychecks will now be in "Boog" dollars. 1. A letter to Lawrence's homeless population asking them for their secrets of successful panhandling.

kshiker 11 years, 3 months ago

I for one will be purchasing my personal "wind generator" for my home this afternoon. I'm sure that it will be very cheaply-priced, convenient and will no doubt conform with existing zoning regulations in the city.....Then I will purchase a milk cow and graze it in my backyard, next to my organic vegetable garden.....I will bike 35 miles to work because there are no jobs in Lawrence and I shouldn't contribute to global warming with the emissions from my vehicle.....Then I will pay my large property tax bill so the city can afford to build bike lanes on every street......Then I will drive 20 minutes across town to shop at Wal-Mart since there is no shopping in my area because the city wants to protect the ability of the "charming" shops downtown to sell 40 different varieties of drug paraphernalia......Ah, what a nice little utopian society!

Jamesaust 11 years, 3 months ago

Schauner is already gone. Boog this month voted himself off the Commission. Perhaps Rundle be the sole survivor with the voters this spring.

Just how much incompetence will the citizens endure?

Jay_Z 11 years, 3 months ago

This is absolutely ridiculous. Lawrence needs to vote these idiot 3 stooges out of office ASAP!!!!

Jackalope 11 years, 3 months ago

I am not certain where all of the right-wing/left-wing stuff comes from. It appears to be a too comfortable refuge without any real meaning. You bet, the Friends of the Kaw need a whole army of volunteers. Get with it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 3 months ago

It'll be interesting to see if legislators from the western part of the state are as childish, petty and spiteful as the majority of posters on this forum, and choose to punish KU by denying them funding because of the actions of the city commission.

Jackalope 11 years, 3 months ago

Again with the left/right stuff...? One does not have to be either to want the city commission to expend its full time to solve city problems. There is more than enough to do then they could possibly have time to do it in. If one's yard is filled with trash and debris, how can one write letters of complaint against a neighbor for not mowing his front yard? Left or Right? I feel like I'm talking to Grasshopper, but I know that I am not. I just cannot understand why concerns expressed here are so readily classified as left or right. Unless it is just a personal mental device or crutch to help the writer understand the siltation. If that be the case, then perhaps it would be more conducive to the conversation to keep one's personal mental classification system to one's self. Otherwise, it tends to inject a dimension into the conversation based upon a mental process known only to the writer.

That said, conservation and alternative energy sources are matters that simply must be addressed by the world at large if we are to keep this place running. But, until that is done, coal plants are still going to be built. If the city is to have a impact on this matter in a positive way, other than just letters of complaint about the poor ignorant sots in western Kansas, have them seriously fund and encourage alternative energy programs for Lawrence and clean up their own mess. Otherwise, they are no better than any so called "Left" or "Right" politician who values grabbing headlines more than actually doing something positive to solve the problem. All show and no go.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 3 months ago

"other than just letters of complaint about the poor ignorant sots in western Kansas"

I haven't read the text of the letter yet, but I will guarantee you that it says nothing of the sort.

So why are you trying to inflame things, jackalope? This is really no better than the left/right arguments.

conservative 11 years, 3 months ago

"So why are you trying to inflame things, jackalope?"

Wow, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 3 months ago

"Wow, talk about the pot calling the kettle black."

Ok, talk about it.

conservative 11 years, 3 months ago


Reference the comments you've ever made concerning the Baker wetlands. You go out of your way to try and make it a racist and dividing issue.

Then reference your post from a few weeks ago where you admitted that you weren't on here for rational discussion but simply to create conflict and be obnoxious.

So why would you question when someone else uses your tactics?

Mkh 11 years, 3 months ago

THANK You City Commissioners Rundle, Boog, and Schauner for once again standing up to politcal pressures and having the guts to say what is right! I am honored to have this leadership represent my community.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 3 months ago

"Then reference your post from a few weeks ago where you admitted that you weren't on here for rational discussion but simply to create conflict and be obnoxious."

Reference it please, if you can (and you can't.)

And ramming the SLT through the wetlands requires considerable racial insensitivity, if not outright racism. Deal with it.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 3 months ago

no casino?? so sad oh well maybe tomorrow and bring back the 4th of july it is lost somewhere. Have a good thanksgiving all this stuff will still be here on friday.

conservative 11 years, 3 months ago

"Reference it please, if you can (and you can't.)"

Posted by Bozo on November 1 at 10:24 a.m.

"Do you really believe honest debate is possible on this forum? I view it as stricty for entertainment,"

Now I'll admit you didn't cop to the fact that you simply exist to create conflict and be obnoxious, but since it is easy to see from your posts I figure you wouldn't mind admitting to it as well.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 3 months ago

How embarrassing for you-- you had to completely change what I said in order to make whatever point it is you are trying to make.

But not to worry-- this forum is full of folks who like to just make sh*t up, so you have plenty of company.

Jay_Z 11 years, 3 months ago

I believe it's the Lawrence CITY Commission, not the Lawrence State Commission. Boog and Rundle are a joke.

snowWI 11 years, 3 months ago

Thank you Boog Highberger, Mike Rundle, and David Schauner for opposing these new coal power plants. This letter will be an important step into developing renewable wind power for most of Western Kansas. These proposed plants would drastically slow down the need for wind energy development in many rural counties in Western Kansas. Write Governor Sebelius and demand that Kansas expand its transmission line infrastructure in the state of Kansas, so we keep more of the electricity generated HERE. We do not need to be exporting electricity to other states just because there regulations are more strict.

snowWI 11 years, 3 months ago

Sunflower is so concerned about building new transmission lines in other states so they can export there "cheap" coal power elsewhere. This tri-state electric cooperative system is a complete joke. States should be allowed to decide there own energy future, and should not be controlled by a "tri-state cooperative"

A total of 8% of the electricity that would be generated from the proposed plants would stay in Kansas, while residents of other states would benefit from the dirty power. Southwest Kansas already has some high voltage transmission lines that they could use to build large scale wind farms. Wind energy must power Kansas in the 21st century.

logarithmic- That is an excellent article about the TXU situation. I have also heard about many mayors and elected officials taking a stand against all the new coal plants proposed for Texas. If you have ever been to the Texas Gulf Coast, you know how horrible the air pollution is in the region.

ASBESTOS 11 years, 3 months ago

"Texas is already the number one CO2 polluter in the United States, which is the number one CO2 polluter in the world."

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! CO2 is not a "Pollutant". THE US is NOT the number one producer of CO2, that is CHINA! Anything else is simply not true. China is burning 5 times the coal the US is burning, AND they use less cleaner combustion processes. YOU NEED TO TELL THE TRUTH!


"EDF says that's equivalent to the annual emissions of 10 million Cadillacs and more than the annual emissions of the entire country of Denmark."

Denmark is VERY SMALL compared to Texas. TEXAS has more production of CO2 with 27 million population than California, whom has 34.5 million population, however California CONSUMES MUCH more electricity. WHY do they not produce as much CO2??? THEY DO NOT PRODUCE POWER. THEY IMPORT IT FROM ELSEWHERE.

You need to compare apples to apples.


"According to the Environmental Defense Fund.."

Pretty much like getting an opinion about how intelligent African Americans by asking a neo-nazi or a KKK member. NOT very objective....atall. EDF is associated with those that burn down developments. THAT puts a LOT of CO2 into the air.


"A number of local citizen groups have sprung up in opposition, and at least twenty mayors and county executives, including the mayors of Dallas and Houston, have raised concerns."

The concerns that these mayors have raised is the amount of energy there is and keeping the cost down to promote growth. The politicos care less than the Capitolists do about CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions.


"The most immediate victims of TXU's dirty coal expansion will be children and the elderly, some of whom will die."

VICTIMS??? By building a Power plant people will be "VICTIMIZED"??? Propaganda and grandstanding.



Nukes is the way to go!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 3 months ago

That's the longest argument by assertion I've ever seen on this forum, Asbestos. And that's saying something.

ASBESTOS 11 years, 3 months ago

"That's the longest argument by assertion I've ever seen on this forum, Asbestos."

I guess you missed Logicsounds post.

It is NOT by assertion, it was fact!

California DOES NOT PRODUCE enough power for it's citizens. The State imports it. Therefore they do not have the CO2 emissions because they are not producing electricity.

The California situation is similar to the World vs. the US in Kyoto. California touts that it's greenhouse emissions are reduced, but again, that energy HAS to be produced somewhere, and that somewhere is anywhere but California. Usually Texas. Texas EXPORTS enregy. They would then produce more CO2 as a state.

Same with the US. The rest of the nations don't compete with our economy, therefore they do not produce the same level of CO2, but they want that lifestyle.

Simple, very simple, but politically alignment does not let you see what the hell is going on. The "Carbon Footprint" is also BS. It is a very poor extrapolation of loosely aligned "facts" (propaganda) with the assumption that the US produces the lion's share of the world CO2.

It is CHINA and INDIA. There is almost 2 Billion there folks! The US is 300,000,000!

Do some simple math. The myth of the "western lifestyle" using more energy is just that an old hippie crystal gripping bit of nonsense.

whistlestop75 11 years, 3 months ago

I am wondering when Westar announces where it's new coal plant will be located in southeast Kansas if the Lawrence city commission will send a letter. I guess they can plan to upset those Representatives and Senators as well. Oh well...Douglas county doesn't need support of Senators and Representatives from any part of the state on any issues. They can take care of their own and judge others at the same time.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

Acid Rain--A Contemporary World Problem

Acid rain is one of the most dangerous and widespread forms of pollution. Sometimes called "the unseen plague," acid rain can go undetected in an area for years. Technically, acid rain is rain that has a larger amount of acid in it than what is normal. The acidity of rain in parts of Europe and North America has dramatically increased over the past few decades. It is now common in many places for rain to be ten to seventy times more acid than unpolluted rain. Many living and non-living systems become harmed and damaged as a result of acid rain. This website gives an informational, in-depth look at acid rain--it's causes and effects; and solutions to the acid rain problem. Causes of Acid Rain Acid rain is caused by smoke and gases that are given off by factories and cars that run on fossil fuels. When these fuels are burned to produce energy, the sulfur that is present in the fuel combines with oxygen and becomes sulfur dioxide; some of the nitrogen in the air becomes nitrogen oxide. These pollutants go into the atmosphere, and become acid.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

What is acid rain, is it still a problem? Chemicals like nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide are produced from burning fossil fuels, especially coal. These substances have a chemical reaction with tiny droplets of rain in clouds to form sulphuric and nitric acids. The rain that falls from such clouds tends to have pH about 4 (it should be between 5 and 6).

Acid rain can wear away the waxing coating on tree leaves and needles, preventing them from photosynthesising properly. The low pH can encourage the release of aluminium and other heavy metals into the soil, poisoning the tree. Acid rain also accelerates soil erosion and mineral depletion in soils.

Aquatic animals and plants are badly affected by acid rain; these species simply haven't evolved to cope with the low pH. If one species dies off, other species, (that may not have been affected directly by the low pH) that feed on it may well die, too.

Buildings also have accelerated wear and erosion due to the low pH of acid rain.

The worst acid rain problem globally has tended to be observed in Europe, but the problem is likely to significantly increase in China in the future, where power-generation from coal-burning is increasingly important.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

Another Reason There is No Such Thing As "Clean" Coal

After coal is burned to create electricity, utilities have to do something with the remaining ash. "Something" could be leaving the ash in great heaps at power plants or trucking it to mines to "dispose" of it.

The disposal of power plant waste, which contains everything present in coal including toxic heavy metals like arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium is not regulated by the federal government.

That's bad news, according to Jeff Stant with the Clean Air Task Force. Dump Wherever

The unregulated dumping of ash means that power plants pass on their troubles to us. They avoid the costs of building landfills for their wastes that have liners, extensive monitoring, corrective action requirements, financial assurance and other standard safeguards.

The result is water supplies contaminated with heavy metals, toxic salts and radioactivity that have ruined drinking water wells and private property, killed livestock, damaged crops, wiped out fish, reptiles, amphibians and other life and probably harmed people.

The National Research Council, which is a part of the National Academy of Sciences, is launching a study of the effects of dumping power plant waste into coal mines. Environmental groups will be watching and working to make certain that this study is legitimate.

And yet another

Emissions of sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain, rose 4 percent in 2003. Coal-fired power plants were the main source of the 10.6 million tons of sulfur dioxide. That total compared with 10.2 million tons in 2002.

ASBESTOS 11 years, 3 months ago

Merrill this is true:

"The unregulated dumping of ash means that power plants pass on their troubles to us. They avoid the costs of building landfills for their wastes that have liners, extensive monitoring, corrective action requirements, financial assurance and other standard safeguards."

THis "unseen emission" should be regulated as well.

The Ph of rainwater should be around 7, near neutral, a little bit lower maybe with the natural occuring Nitrogen in the air goes into solution. But not 5 or 6. 4 is REALLY REALLY low for plain water. I have seen acid rain results that were down as far as 4.9 but not lower than that.

This is another case of the US has at least moved to using the lower sulphur coals. The rest of the world and mainly CHINA and INDIA do not.

As I said before, Nuke plants do not produce all this Sox and NOX and CO2. YOu want to reduce your emissions you have 2 real choices, go off grid and quit using and depending on electricity.. or go with Nuke Power.

Those are the current best feasible engineering controls for air emissions.

Sigmund 11 years, 3 months ago

ASBESTOS, it is really no use trying to have any kind of discussion with merrill, he simply cuts and pastes stuff he finds on the web. I don't think he has had an original thought since the latter part of 2002.

The Japanese and French have been safely using nuclear for decades. The fact that the Soviet Union, during the collapse of its communistic economy, could not safely operate a nuclear plant is not a good reason why we shouldn't use nuclear here. But it many ways this discussion has gotten off point.

I accept there are many honest and differing opinions on building a coal powered electric plant in Kansas, but it simply is not the place of the PLC Kommissioners to send a letter on BEHALF of all the citizens of Lawrence opposing this project. It accomplishes nothing and makes all of Lawrence look like nothing but a bunch of busy body nannies sticking their nose into everyone else's business and once again telling the rest of the state how they should behave and believe. I wonder how Lawrence would react if the Holton City Commission wrote to tell us what they thought of Lawrence's marijuana ordinance.

If the PLC Kommissioners want to write letters on their own behalf, I have no problem with that. If merrill wants to cut out news stories and make pretty collages, no problem. But rightly or wrongly the vast majority of Lawrencians and I have no problem with the plant as long as it complies with all Federal, State and Local laws and regulations and resent the PLC Kommissioners action implying otherwise.

Kristine Bailey 11 years, 3 months ago

Do we OR do we not burn Coal in the Lawrence KPL electric plant?

I am always so late to this hoopla

Sigmund 11 years, 3 months ago

The Westar power plant just to the North of Lawrence uses coal to generate electricity. For some reason I believe it can use various other hydrocarbons, but I can't confirm that and it is listed as a coal fired, at least by CURB.

whistlestop75 11 years, 3 months ago

Thank You Sigmund! Finally a poster that gets back to what this forum was supposed to be. If those that oppose coal fire plants want to travel to western Kansas and carry a sign to take a stand of opposition on pollution would like to do so...then go. Those in favor send them kudo's...but for elected officials to take a stand on an issue that does not fall in their official reign of responsibility is irresponsible. That is stepping on the toes of other elected officials...including the towns involved city councils, the counties involved county commissions, Senators and Representatives. They have all had to go through the process of town hall meetings for approval. The KCC is the final step. What kind of power do these elected officials of the City of Lawrence think they have? They each represent an area of Lawrence...did they poll you to see if that is the statement you would make?

Daggit 11 years, 3 months ago

the one thing i havn't seen yet posted , is the fear that they might even create jobs which is one thing lawrence hasn't been able to do

garrenfamily 11 years, 3 months ago

That is exactly it Daggit! Have any of you ever been to SW Kansas???? 2100 jobs - that is unheard of in the Garden City/Holcomb area. I don't see Lawrence trying to gain any employer of that magnitude. Also, have you all seen the windmills in SW Kansas - that area is becoming a power source for a lot of the country - that means we are bringing more money to the, money, etc.....I never knew this was such a bad thing.

snowWI 11 years, 3 months ago

Marion, Other states already have the Renewable Portfolio Standard in Place. These new coal plants would be in operation for 50-75 years and would substantially reduce the demand to build more large scale wind farms in Western Kansas. This is because the coal plants would already be adding a large number of MW to the electricity grid. The coal plants would only put Kansas at a long-term economic disadvantage compared to other states that are using renewable sources of energy to generate a larger percent of their electricity. It is time for you to make a trip to Iowa or Minnesota and see all of the wind farms in operation every day of the year. These turbines are in a class 4-5 wind area with reliable winds that blow consistantly. The typical height of these turbines can reach around 240ft tall.

Bruce Liddel 11 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps the all-knowing members of the Lawrence City Commission would like to solve all the problems in the middle-East as well? and perhaps even comment on ways to improve interior decorating at Buckingham Palace? Since they are so all-knowing, why don't they have a perfect solution to the energy problem?

Since they (3 of them anyway) can't govern the city of Lawrence efficiently, they seek to divert attention away from their messes.

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