To the editor:
After learning about the proposed expansion for Sunflower Electric's coal-fired plant in Holcomb, near Garden City, I felt it was important to point out just what this expansion could mean for Kansans. According to the Kansas Sierra Club:
¢ Only 8 percent of the energy generated from this plant will stay in Kansas. The rest will be shipped to Colorado. So while Kansas gets the pollution, Colorado gets the power.
¢ Each year 13 million tons of carbon dioxide, a potent "greenhouse gas," will be produced.
¢ These plants also are major producers of smog-producing nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide, which produces "acid rain," all of which will affect eastern Kansas due to the wind patterns.
¢ Mercury emissions in Kansas are expected to increase by up to 60 percent.
¢ Eight billion gallons of water will be used each year to cool the towers.
¢ Kansas landowners will miss out on the opportunity to generate income from leasing their property to wind plants.
We have better options than dirty, coal-fired power plant technology that will offer new jobs and economic opportunities. And that free, clean and constantly renewable technology is wind. Yet despite having the third-largest wind resources of any state, Kansas has developed only a small wind industry compared with neighboring states. Why?
Fortunately, there is still about a week to make our concerns known to people and agencies that can slow or even stop the construction of these massive, environmentally damaging plants. More information is available at www.kansas.sierraclub.org.