Archive for Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sebelius: Courts deciding coal plant’s fate

October 2, 2007


Gov. Sebelius steers clear of controversial coal plant project

Sunflower Electric Power Corporation proposes building twin 700 megawatt plants near Holcomb, Kansas. Enlarge video

Gov. Sebelius on the KDHE permit process

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius talks about the permit process before the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for a controversial coal-fired project in western Kansas, and last week's attorney general opinion that gave her administration wide latitude in deciding the issue.

— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Monday denied telling the state environmental agency how to rule on permits for a coal-fired power project that she has criticized.

And she said the fate of the project in western Kansas ultimately will be decided by the courts.

"There is going to be litigation whichever way this decision goes, that's very clear," Sebelius said.

Asked whether she had told Rod Bremby, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, what to do on the issue, Sebelius replied, "I have not."

Sunflower Electric Power Corp. has proposed twin 700-megawatt coal-burning plants near Holcomb.

Supporters say the project will help the economy, while environmentalists say the plants' emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants will contribute to climate change and health problems.

Sebelius, a Democrat, has publicly stated she opposes the project, which has raised the ire of some Republican legislators from western Kansas.

GOP legislative leaders have said they will appoint a committee this week to investigate why KDHE, which has been working on a decision since late last year, has taken so long to act on the permits.

Sebelius said she was "baffled" by the lawmakers' intentions, although she said they were within their rights to appoint a panel.

She said KDHE was following its legal responsibility in considering the permits. KDHE has said it will announce a decision this month.

"What's important is that we pay attention to the law as well as gather as much information as possible. That is exactly what is going on," Sebelius said.

Both Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, and House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, support the project.

"This is a 'win-win' for our state," Neufeld said. "Not only will this project be designed, constructed and operated in a manner consistent with all applicable federal, state and local regulatory requirements, but it also will allow Sunflower to continue to provide low-cost electricity to thousands of Kansans," he said.

But the Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club disagreed, saying the project "would be one of the nation's largest new sources of carbon dioxide heat-trapping gases."

Global climate change will intensify drought in western Kansas and accelerate the drawdown of the Ogallala Aquifer, the club said.


Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 5 months ago

Yet another betrayal of the citizens of Kansas by Governor Roundheels. No wonder there's a prostitution problem in Topeka with her being the role model.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 5 months ago

Note that in the JW article yesterday Jerry Moran's position is virtually identical with Roundheel's betrayal. Moran was called a moron in the comments below that piece, what does it make Sebelius?

snowWI 10 years, 5 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight, Obviously you do not understand that wind energy provides more jobs in far more counties than coal plants. You do not understand that coal plants produce millions of tons of man-made CO2. DO NOT BUILD THE PLANTS

snowWI 10 years, 5 months ago

inscient, Obviously you fail to realize that there is naturally occuring CO2 in the atmosphere and man-made sources of CO2. A coal plant would be a man-made source of CO2. The coal plants in Holcomb would be the largest new source of man-made CO2 in the entire US. The exponential rise in CO2 levels does not fit the natural fluctuation of carbon dioxide levels.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm stunned that people are sitting back while Sebelius screws us. She's wrong on this issue, she sold out KU Hospital to her Missouri benefactors, she's worse on issues of race than Bill Graves and, indeed, her position on the KU Hospital deal jeopardizes medical for the poor in Wyandotte County. Add to that the fact that the real Democrats in her administration are all taking back seats to the Republicrats and Bill Graves holdovers and the sell out is complete. The Republicans control both Kansas political parties.

This isn't even new. When she ran the Insurance Division her boy Kennedy was more Insurance than the companies themselves, talk about anti-consumer. Corporate bimbo.

We all gave a knowing nod when Tom Franks wrote What's the Matter With Kansas, but Sebelius is doing the same thing with the Democratic Party. What's the difference?

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 10 years, 5 months ago

"Both Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, and House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, support the project." Thank you Kathleen for unifying Kansas under the banner of corporate pollution.

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