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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Bill would place moratorium on coal-fired plants

Sunflower Electric has stated that the plants would be much cleaner than existing coal-burning facilities

January 22, 2007

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— A state legislator has filed a measure to place a two-year moratorium on the building of coal-fired electric plants in Kansas.

Rep. Vaughn Flora, D-Topeka, said he is concerned about the environmental impact of three proposed 700-megawatt plants in western Kansas.

"Many constituents and people throughout the state have contacted me with questions about these plants," Flora said.

Under the proposal by Sunflower Electric Power Corp. the three plants would be built beside an existing 360-megawatt plant near Holcomb.

Two of the three plants will be used to produce power for sale in Colorado. The plants would also require water from the Ogallala Aquifer.

Flora said he is concerned "that we are using Kansas water for Colorado electricity and that prevailing winds could blow emissions northeast to Topeka."

During the proposed moratorium, Flora said he wants the Legislative Division of Post Audit to conduct a study on the health effects of emissions from coal-fired plants and the proposed depletion of groundwater.

Sunflower Electric has stated that the plants would be much cleaner than existing coal-burning facilities.

"The design of these new plants will feature the latest environmental technologies, which will make them among the cleanest in the nation," Earl Watkins, Sunflower president and chief executive officer, has stated.

Watkins has also noted that Sunflower's proposal to use 29,000 acre feet of water annually for all four plants, is a fraction of the 2.1 million acre feet currently pumped from the aquifer, mostly for agricultural irrigation.

Sunflower officials also say the project will boost the regional economy and provide needed electricity.

A decision on whether to allow construction of the plants is pending with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Eight states, the city of Lawrence, and numerous environmental groups have opposed the proposal, saying the carbon dioxide emissions from the plant will be a major contributor to climate change.

Comments

Sigmund 7 years, 11 months ago

Let's grow corn for Ethanol Based fuels, growing corn requires no water!

BigDog 7 years, 11 months ago

We better find a better source for ethanol than corn. What little corn is being used right now for ethanol is driving up the price of corn. The prices will quickly rise to make ethanol more costly than gasoline.

preebo 7 years, 11 months ago

We should start using Mustard Weed. They have produced a highly efficient biofuel in Europe out of a particular type of Mustard Weed. This particular Weed is native to certain parts of Western Europe, but it could transplant nicely here to the Mid-West.

tolawdjk 7 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, that's it. Let's import a noxious weed and raise it as a crop.

It's only an efficient biofuel in Europe because they have the existing infrastructure to use biofuel.

Emily Hadley 7 years, 11 months ago

How about federally subsidized solar paneling, instead of subsidized nuclear, corn, and coal energy?

davisnin 7 years, 11 months ago

Converting to solar shingles and compact fluorescents would knock our energy consumption back 20 years without changing lifestyle.
People need to understand those things are just like a savings bond and require a initial financial output but will lead to a long term gain. Localized recovered bio-diesel is another easy switch, and it's competitive without subsidy.

captain_poindexter 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't see anywhere in this story stating that the governor supports the construction of new coal-fire plants in kansas shrugging at the notion that it causes pollution.

why isn't that in the story? if it were anyone else, say a republican governor with a republican opposing something he or she supports the headline would read:

House Republicans split with Republican Governor on Coal Plants.

what a joke.

heysoos 7 years, 11 months ago

What about sugar beets? South Dakota grows them along with a lot of wheat. Presumably, the climate in KS would support the crop. It would certainly take the aforementioned burden off of the corn market, which has been a concern of mine with the development of corn ethanol.

Jackalope 7 years, 11 months ago

sigmund wrote: Let's grow corn for Ethanol Based fuels, growing corn requires no water!

Comment: I hope this was in jest and not a truly uniformed opinion as to how the vast majority of corn is really grown in the Great State of Kansas.

EileenM SmithMArch 7 years, 10 months ago

1.2 kWp Building-Integrated Photovoltaic [BI-PV] solar electricity is a great endeavor for South Junior High. We urge students and parents to file official support for two-year moratorium on new coal-fired plants in KS to reduce mercury emissions. I am concerned about LJW article characterizing 1.2 kWp solar for South Jr. High as electricity source to light 100 watt lightbulb for 24 hours. This misrepresents many benefits of solar electricity. Please visit website for Kansas Solar Electric Co~operatives [K-SEC] and download our Feb. 2007 Building-Integrated Photovoltaics [BI-PV] N.E.W.S.Letter. www.geocities.com/Solar_Electric_Coop... http://www.geocities.com/ks_sec_2006/K_SEC_NEWS_FEB07.pdf

1.2 kWp in Kansas we have 5 sun hours a day to generate 3 kWh saving 30 cents a day 250 days year = $75 from their electric bill.

Compare cost of 1.2 kWp peak system at SW Junior High for $18,000 with cost of 3 kWp solar array installed on Quinter Library in 2003 for $18,000. It provides 15 kWh a day 250 days a year. It is twice as large and cost the same -why? With assistance from Jim Plougher at Kansas Corporation Commission [KCC] Quinter Library was awarded $10,000 grant. They paid $9,000 or $3 watt -what commercial photovoltaic systems would cost were they not suppressed.

K-SEC renewable cooperatives will not sell solar systems but install them at $2 watt with no cost to consumers. K-SEC will install, monitor, maintain and manage wholesale building-integrated photovoltaic [BI-PV] solar electricity commerce.

1.2 kWp for $18,000 is extremely extorted rate of $15 watt peak installed. Mr. Cromwell informed me several years ago most of solar systems he installs are manufactured by BP Amoco. They have taken over 70% of photovoltaic manufacturing worldwide since 1984 when Amoco Oil took over Solarex Corporation. That year the 30,000 SF BI-PV rooftop was installed on the Intercultural Center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Every year it generates $57,000 of demand-site fuel-free non-polluting renewable solar electricity in our nation's capital. It is featured on the cover of my book "ElectriCity BEYOND THE CURVE OF DEREGULATION". Copies of 836-page CD PDF book are available locally at Raven Bookstore and Local Burger for $21. Read forward on website listed here. Proceeds support K-SEC 1,000 MWp BI-PV Solar in Kansas by 2016 Program. www.geocities.com/EthosOfCommerce

Hey, parents and students at South Jr. High could form a K-SEC renewable cooperative via KS House Bill 2018 and install another 1.2 kWp solar system or 100 SF to compare notes on how experience is different. K-SEC is planning to begin installations Fall 2008 ---but WE NEED EVERYONE'S HELP TO ACCOMPLISH THIS GOAL!

Please e-mail us rooftops with 100 to 50,000 SF unshaded south, southwest or flat facing surface. Send to: Solar_Cooperatives@yahoo.com
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See form on Feb 2007 K-SEC BI-PV N.E.W.S Letter

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