Archive for Saturday, November 17, 2007

Developers of power plants file appeal

November 17, 2007


— Developers of the rejected $3.6 billion coal-fired power plants in western Kansas filed legal appeals Friday in what is expected to be a massive court battle.

"We are confident that the courts will overturn this arbitrary and capricious decision," said Mark Calcara, vice president and general counsel for Sunflower Electric Power Corp.

Last month, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby rejected two 700-megawatt plants near Holcomb, citing concerns with carbon dioxide emissions and global warming.

Hays-based Sunflower, co-owner of one of the plants, and Colorado-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission, owner of the other plant, filed lawsuits against KDHE in Finney County and the Kansas Court of Appeals. The companies want Bremby to reverse his decision and grant permits for the plants.

The companies claim Bremby's decision was unlawful because neither the state nor the federal government regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Sunflower says it complied with all regulations that are in place.

"Tri-State believes the denial order is flawed, and we fully expect the courts will reverse the decision," said Lee Boughey, Tri-State's public relations manager. "Our case is strong and firmly rooted in Kansas law."

But in his order denying the permits for the plants, Bremby said he had wide discretion under state law to protect the health of Kansans and the environment. Combined, the plants were projected to emit 11 million tons of CO2 annually.

The companies, however, said in the lawsuit: "The Denial Order does not articulate any basis for the Secretary's finding that carbon dioxide emissions from the proposed Power Plants would pose a 'substantial endangerment to the health of persons or to the environment' of Kansas."

KDHE spokesman Joe Blubaugh said the agency couldn't comment on the lawsuits.


LogicMan 9 years, 10 months ago

Although it will likely drag out, the presiding Judge, if extremely wise and bold, should give quick summary judgment in favor of Sunflower. This, unfortunately, was largely an unsupported political decision by Bremby. The rule of law must prevail, even if you disagree with the current law(s). Otherwise chaos will grow and eventually reign.

As a carrot, Sunflower, once they win, should build the transmission lines immediately so that the new wind farms can be installed ASAP.

toefungus 9 years, 10 months ago

The state will lose this lawsuit, the same way Lawrence was on the verge of losing the WalMart case. You cannot change rules after the fact or take stands contrary to the law.

Janet Lowther 9 years, 10 months ago

Regardless of what decision they made, KDHE knew they were going to be sued. I figure Ron Bremby decided he'd rather be sued by Sunflower than the greens. All things considered, Sunflower is in a much better financial position to sue the state than the greens are.

snowWI 9 years, 10 months ago

This will definitely be a long legal battle. I do not see both sides giving up ground at all on this issue.

ASBESTOS 9 years, 10 months ago

This will be a short battle. Bremby' decision was "arbitrary and capricious" for the exact fact that one poster stated here, namely ALL power plants have to re apply for permits. SO how can they deny the Sunflower Corp. and let all the rest go? That is an "unequal application of the law".

There are MUCH better ways to fight for environmental regulation and enforcement, and KDHE showed what an utterly political agency it is. ALL bluster and no brains. ANYBODY that has worked around has seen KDHE do this with ALL of their enforcement actions, that is why they are overturned almost 80% of the time.

Remember Booger, is on the legal team there, and Bob Eye is another spineless lawyer and a loser at that.

georgeofwesternkansas 9 years, 10 months ago

Have you seen the latest? The Lt. Gov. at Rotary in Topeka, stated that Kansas does not need these jobs. He says that the job market in Kansas is great, avation and farming are doing better than ever. I found this in the wichita eagle under the state section, check it out.

georgeofwesternkansas 9 years, 10 months ago

Does anyone remember a Kansas Gov. killing an econimic devlopment project with tis kind of employment potential, knowing that any traffic court judge would throw her case out?? Why would Kansans stand for this? Have you all been drinking her Koolaid?

Ken Lassman 9 years, 10 months ago

VALENCIA, Spain, Nov. 16 - In its final and most powerful report, a United Nations panel of scientists meeting here describes the mounting risks of climate change in language that is both more specific and forceful than its previous assessments, according to scientists here. ...The United Nations IPCC for the first time specifically points out important risks if governments fail to respond: melting ice sheets that could lead to a rapid rise in sea levels and the extinction of large numbers of species brought about by even moderate amounts of warming, on the order of 1 to 3 degrees. :Even though the synthesis report is more alarming than its predecessors, some researchers believe that it still understates the trajectory of global warming and its impact. The I.P.C.C.'s scientific process, which takes five years of study and writing from start to finish, cannot take into account the very latest data on climate change or economic trends, which show larger than predicted development and energy use in China. "The world is already at or above the worst case scenarios in terms of emissions," said Gernot Klepper, of the Kiel Institute for World Economy in Kiel, Germany. "In terms of emissions, we are moving past the most pessimistic estimates of the I.P.C.C., and by some estimates we are above that red line." Likewise, a recent International Energy Agency report looking at the unexpectedly rapid emissions growth in China and India estimated that if current policies were not changed the world would warm six degrees by 2030, a disastrous increase far higher than the panel's estimates of one to four degrees by the end of the century... But it for the first time includes less likely but more alarming possibilities, like the relatively rapid melting of polar ice. Previous reports focused more on changes the scientists felt were "highly likely." :.One such area is the future melting of ice sheets in Greenland and western Antarctica. In earlier reports, the panel's scientists acknowledged that their computer models were poor at such predictions, and did not reflect the rapid melting that scientists have recently observed. If these areas melt entirely, seas would rise 40 feet, scientists said. While scientists are certain that the sheets will melt over millennia, producing sea-level rises, there is now evidence to suggest that it could happen much faster than this, perhaps over centuries. ... "If they say that it's possible that melting could occur in centuries leading to meters of change, that's a headline:A relatively modest degree of warming - one to three degrees - spells a lot of trouble and I think that was not clear in the previous report," Dr. Oppenheimer said. He said part of the reason for the lack of clarity was that governments had "messed around" with the language and structure of the report during the approval process:. Copy of full IPCC report available:

oldgoof 9 years, 10 months ago

Since everyone is so sure-fired about their side being successful in the lawsuit, the goof is considering going into a new business and do some bookie business and let the bravado speak through their wallets. ASBESTOS, logrithmetic, toefungus...this includes you.

Oracle_of_Rhode 9 years, 10 months ago

For the sake of our children, I pray these monstrous plants are rejected and alternatives for energy and employment -- like wind and solar power -- are put in place instead.

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