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Archive for Thursday, October 18, 2007

KDHE rejects coal plants in Western Kansas

Decision seen as likely to spark a lawsuit

October 18, 2007

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— The state today denied permits for two 700-megawatt coal-burning electric plants in western Kansas in a stunning decision that thrust Kansas in the middle of the national debate on global warming.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby issued the rejection, saying, "I believe it would be irresponsible to ignore emerging information about the contribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to climate change and the potential harm to our environment and health if we do nothing."

The decision on air quality permits sought by Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp. prompted immediate reactions from both sides.

Sunflower Electric's President and Chief Executive Officer Earl Watkins said the company expected to pursue "legal and legislative remedies to this denial."

Watkins described Bremby's action as "capricious" because it overruled the KDHE technical staff's recommendation and was based on concerns about carbon dioxide, which is not regulated under Kansas or federal law.

"All Kansans should be alarmed by this action since the impact of this denial will be felt across many industries in Kansas, not just power plants," he said.

But Gov. Kathleen Sebelius called Bremby's order "the right decision for the well-being of the people of Kansas."

She said rejection of the coal plants will allow the state to focus on renewable energy.

The Kansas Republican Party and western Kansas legislators, however, blasted the decision and blamed Sebelius, a Democrat.

"By forcing Secretary Bremby to deny the permit she (Sebelius) has not only caved to liberal special interest groups; but she has once again shown her lack of commitment to promoting Kansas economic interests," said Kris Kobach, chairman of the state GOP.

Senate President Steve Morris of Hugoton, a Republican but often allied with Sebelius, also criticized the governor and called Bremby's decision "politically motivated."

"I am disappointed in the governor's lack of support and

leadership for western Kansas on this major development project," Morris said.

Both Morris and House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, vowed that a recently appointed special legislative committee will investigate KDHE's handling of air quality permit applications.

But environmentalists praised the developments.

Craig Volland of the Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club said, "Kansas, and particularly west Kansas, is now perfectly positioned to develop its abundant clean energy resources, help solve global warming, and create thousands of new family-supporting jobs."

Bremby's ruling came in one of the most controversial issues to hit state government in recent years.

Sunflower Electric and its partners proposed building the two plants near Sunflower's existing 360-megawatt coal-fired plant outside of Holcomb.

Supporters of the project said construction of the $3.6 billion plants would help the western Kansas economy and provide a sound energy source using the most efficient and clean technology in coal burning.

Opponents, many of them in Lawrence, said the project's annual emissions of 11 million tons of carbon dioxide and other pollutants would harm the environment and Kansans' health for generations. The Lawrence City Commission and attorneys general of eight states opposed the project.

The opponents also said the project would stifle the growth of wind energy, but Sunflower officials said it would actually promote wind energy because of new transmission lines associated with the project.

Under the proposal, 85 percent of the energy produced at the plants would be sold to customers in Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma.

The sides went back and forth over the project for more than a year -- a year in which the effects of global climate change caused by greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide became more accepted as fact.

Comments

lounger 7 years, 3 months ago

Yes! Chalk one up for KDHE for once! Smart move people!!!!

Frank Smith 7 years, 3 months ago

We live in very rural Kansas, 15 miles from the nearest store, in a large 117-year-old farmhouse. We have very limited means, but have slowly upgraded it to be more energy efficient, with flourescent bulbs, state of the art central air and heating, water heater and double paned glass. We don't use the heating or A/C much, preferring to say comfortable by dressing appropriately.

We compost all our organic refuse in large gardens where we raise much of our vegetarian food. We take our trash to the dump less than once a year and half that is for recycling. In six years, thanks mainly to guests bringing in aluminum cans, we have a few feed sacks worth which we need to donate to the local hospital. We tried to put in a windmill, but our electric co-op has a contract that prohibits it to buy wind-generated power from consumers. I'm glad we haven't put in solar panels yet because we were hit by the tail end of a tornado yesterday that did a great deal of damage.

Bremby did the right thing, though I'm not sure he had all that much staff support. The Holcomb plant would have used a huge amount of water taken for the costs of pumping only from a rapidly declining aquifer. It would have spewed mercury, incredibly toxic in miniscule amounts, over a vast downwind area's water supplies and farms.

Sunflower Electric at Holcomb blew this one by letting its valid permits expire. It mistakenly thought spreading around campaign contributions to hacks such as Melvin Neufeld would fix things. We should thank them for their flakiness. Republicans think they can make hay by misrepresenting this decision.

It may speak to their intelligence that most of the LJW posters complaining about this decision are the ones with the worst spelling and grammar, most marginal writing skills. Yet they're 100% sure of their analysis of a very complex situation. They "know what they know."

Martin_D_15 7 years, 3 months ago

bremby is just kissing the governor's butt!

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

So long smelly plant. Hello strained capacity.

kshiker 7 years, 3 months ago

Say hello to several years of litigation! Also say goodbye to any chances for Sebelius to win a Senate seat in 2010 or for Parkinson to win the Governor's race in 2010!

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 3 months ago

The radical environmentalist lobby prevailed, temporarily. Litigation should correct this misstep.

spammer89 7 years, 3 months ago

For all you that oppose the plant why don't you go give all the struggling fammilies in western kansas some money to help them. Being from western kansas I know the job market sucks, you either have farming or f***ing Walmart. Not alot of opportunity, for a young person to make a living in that part of the state. So i figure if we could do something to increase job opportunities that would be a good thing, I know coal is bad but so is poverty.

preebo 7 years, 3 months ago

"The radical environmentalist lobby prevailed, temporarily. Litigation should correct this misstep."

Or legislation and a veto - and then an override.

...then litigation.

By then Sunflower will have moved on. Good Riddance.

kef104 7 years, 3 months ago

This was an excellent and needed decision. It is important to look long term and not short term when considering the development of sources of income and polution. There is a reason no other state in the area will put these plants in. Additionally, Germany, who leads the world in exports of all types and leads Europe in coal production, in the last few months announced they would cease all coal mining. They are implementing a phase out/down over the next several years. If you are interested in reading about the decision, go to http://www.dw-world.de/ and seach for the article. Remember, most gamblers go broke despite the promise of immediate money and some winnings. Western Kansas is soooo dry that it is driving many out of farming. My wife's family has 1500 acres just south of Goodland and the last thing they need is more polution and less water. There is nothing radical about this decision, except that most expected the promise of money to over ride all other considerations or costs.

tolawdjk 7 years, 3 months ago

Got to say, I'm quite surprised. Didn't see that coming in a million years. Kudos for KDHE for showing where they stand on this.

csgblaw 7 years, 3 months ago

Glad to hear that Sebelius, Bremby, et. al., care more about the emotional well-being of a few radicals in Lawrence than the economic livilihood of more than 1.5 million central and western kansas citizens...

csgblaw 7 years, 3 months ago

Didn't KDHE staff last week recommend that Bremby approve the permit? Is it not just Bremby acting arbitrarily and capriciously in regards to the law on this decision?

sourpuss 7 years, 3 months ago

Aren't we smart enough to think of a way to provide a livelihood to those in western Kansas without polluting the planet? Why does the ability to make jobs necessarily mean destroying our home? Let's build wind and solar farms, let's do something REALLY radical and say that everyone in Kansas gets healthcare! Businesses would flock here if that would mean dropping their health insurance overhead dramatically. Don't be so narrow-visioned, Kansas. You can do better than throwing up some dirty coal plants.

kef104 7 years, 3 months ago

Here is the direct link to a German news source, in English, about Germany abandoning coal production: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2730382,00.html

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

The economic growth will be more wide spread rather than concentrated to a small area.

Why keep generating radioactive waste that costs billions upon billions to store plus needs to be hauled from everywhere? http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/nuclear_safety/

According to the Wall Street Journal one of the reasons Nuke Plants have not been built is because they were declared a risky investment due to radioactive waste,too expensive to construct and constant cost overruns.

If energy is to be subsidized why not something safer and cleaner while at the same time creating a new industry that cannot be outsourced? Hydro power with new technology,solar power and wind power.

Renewable energy basics No single solution can meet our society's future energy needs. The answer lies instead in a family of diverse energy technologies that share a common thread: they do not deplete our natural resources or destroy our environment.

Renewable energy technologies tap into natural cycles and systems, turning the ever-present energy around us into usable forms. The movement of wind and water, the heat and light of the sun, heat in the ground, the carbohydrates in plants-all are natural energy sources that can supply our needs in a sustainable way. Because they are homegrown, renewables can also increase our energy security and create local jobs.

http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/home

http://www.allbusiness.com/finance/4497338-1.html

http://www.ecologic.de/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1337

=====

Germany shines a beam on the future of energy Nation gambles on amped-up push for renewable power Robert Collier, Chronicle Staff Writer Monday, December 20, 2004

(12-20) 04:00 PDT Muhlhausen, Germany -- A solar-power project built by a Berkeley company may point Germany toward a pollution-free future. Set in the heart of Bavarian farmland, the 30-acre facility went online earlier this month, becoming the biggest solar energy plant in the world. For the government of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, the Muhlhausen solar farm represents a gamble that Germany, the world's third biggest economy, can replace its principal energy sources -- coal, natural gas, oil and nuclear power -- with clean, safe and renewable alternatives. "There's a huge amount of opportunity here in Germany because the government has created a system that encourages large installations," http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/12/20/MNGRAAEL4B1.DTL ====== http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/technology/hydro/

Martin_D_15 7 years, 3 months ago

Bremby's decision is entirely political. He will do anything to satisfy Sebelius. Bremby's decision was based on what Sebelius said.

Sebelius is banking on a democrat to win the Presidency in 2008. It doesn't matter who the democrat is, as long it is a democrat. Then she thinks that she will be appointed to some high level position in the new democrat's cabinet because she made the enviro-whackos and leftists happy by showing that she is strong as an environmentalist while governor of Kansas.

But what will happen is that it will go to court and it will be a long battle. Bremby and Sebelius will be long gone, out of Kansas. And the taxpayers of Kansas will be footing the bill because Sunflower will win this battle. Western Kansas is sick and tired of the radical leftists and their extremist agenda.

Sunflower will win.

hipper_than_hip 7 years, 3 months ago

Germany hasn't given up coal-fired generation, they've just given up mining it in Germany because it's cheaper to import it than mine it.

Wind power? 6,300 MW of wind has the same load carrying capacity as 550 MW of thermal generation (i.e. 8.7% due to unreliability of wind generation when power demand is highest). The biggest wind turbines are around 2 MW, so it would take about 16,000 wind turbines to equal the two 700 MW of coal generation at Holcomb.

Source: Energy Department report on coal-fired power plants: http://www.netl.doe.gov/coal/refshelf/ncp.pdf

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

16,000 wind turbines could be spread across western Kansas thus provide royalties to farmers as do oil wells. This also spreads jobs and economic growth across western Kansas.

Meanwhile: BUSH'S SILLY SUMMIT Thursday, October 18, 2007 Posted by Jim Hightower

"It's important to set a tone and to lead," explained George W when he ran for president. "That's exactly what [I] do".

Well: actually, George, you have not led. In fact, you've been inert almost comatose on maybe the biggest issue of our time: Global Warming.

The seriousness of climate change, however, has reached such profound proportions that even Bush can no longer stick his head in the slush and pretend it's not happening, nor can he deny that his beloved fossil fuels are the primary culprit. So, to make a show of at least being awake, George's handlers recently set him up as host of his very own, two-day, international summit on global warming.

Held in the cozy confines of the state department building in Washington, the 17 nations responsible for four-fifths of the world's climate-altering emissions were brought together for the purpose of: well: of what? To hear Bush speak, of course. George the Leader boldly declared that nations should set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and that an international fund should be set up to develop new technologies for achieving those goals. Bravo!

But, then, he abruptly left, cutting his speech short and offering in the way of specifics, much less tangible commitments to action. Indeed, "The Leader" continues to oppose any mandatory goals for cutting fossil fuel emissions, insisting on a "voluntary" approach which includes volunteering to do nothing. As for the tech fund, he set no amounts and offered no contribution: or leadership. Apparently, the Tooth Fairy is to deliver the needed technology.

The delegates to Bush's Global Warming Fest were underwhelmed, mostly puzzled by why they'd wasted their time. As a British official noted: "We could have another 20 years of talking about talking. We need to start deciding about doing."

But that would require a leader.

"Still Out in the Cold," The New York Times, September 29, 2007

"A Meeting About Global Warming, Bush Does Not Specify Goals," The New York Times, September 29, 2007

"George W. Bush Answers Questions in Duluth, Georgia," www.cnn.com, March 1, 2000

filmguru 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm pleased to see the KDHE make a decision that will benefit the lives of Kansans. Eleven million tons of carbon dioxide and other pollutants is a poor trade for 15 percent of the plants' output. Why should we gunk up Kansas air so that Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas can get more power?

Maybe if our state could be environmentally progressive, people would forget that Kansas education is devolving.

hornethawk 7 years, 3 months ago

I live in Holcomb. It does not smell because of Sunflower. It's Tyson. This is a big blow to our economy. I hope everyone is living well in eastern Kansas, because it is not the fact here.

zzgoeb 7 years, 3 months ago

This decision IS NOT about politics, it's about clean air. The jobs it would create were minimal for the average person. Any real Kansan knows which way the wind blows, literally. If the other states need the power, let 'em eat the dust! It took guts for the Secretary to do this. As for the catty comments on these boards about the govenor, give it up! If you voted for the current administration in the White House, how could you be upset over what you be upset to by alleged group-think!

The sqauwkers in the legislature obviously golf and dine with the suits pushing the plants. Their comments are simply good ole boy boilerplate. Wouldn't it be great to here "We support the Secretary, and will put party politics aside to support what is the best for Kansas." Oh, I must have ingested to much soot...sorry!

Baille 7 years, 3 months ago

""By forcing Secretary Bremby to deny the permit she (Sebelius) has not only caved to liberal special interest groups; but she has once again shown her lack of commitment to promoting Kansas economic interests," said Kris Kobach, chairman of the state GOP."

Empty sloganeering. Such a waste of an excellent and impressive education. C'mon, Kris. Some something substantive.

snowWI 7 years, 3 months ago

"But what will happen is that it will go to court and it will be a long battle. Bremby and Sebelius will be long gone, out of Kansas. And the taxpayers of Kansas will be footing the bill because Sunflower will win this battle. Western Kansas is sick and tired of the radical leftists and their extremist agenda.

Sunflower will win."

I doubt that will ever happen. Bremby made the official decision to oppose the permits to construct the plants. I really do not see a long court battle considering the decision has been made. The time has come to develop large scale wind farms in Kansas. This benefits MORE people in many rural counties in western Kansas instead of one county. The younger people will move to where the jobs are. I have lived in western Kansas before and the younger people almost always move away after they go to college. Most western Kansas counties have fewer people now compared with 1900. The reason is that the area was oversettled as a result of the Homestead Act in the 1860s. Gradually the technology improved and the farm size increased resulting in fewer jobs over time.

I applaud Bremby for this decision.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

There's no perfect answer. Ok, everyone get the flourscent bulbs and change out all bulbs in your house, garage door opener bulb too......that'll resolve the need for more capacity for a while.

hornethawk 7 years, 3 months ago

snow,

Snow what happens in Aug when the wind does not blow so much? Are you and your family willing to go without air conditioning, refrigerator, TV, and everything else?

snowWI 7 years, 3 months ago

"Sunflower Electric's President and Chief Executive Officer Earl Watkins said the company expected to pursue "legal and legislative remedies to this denial."

Unbelievable! Watkins just wants to pursue legal and legislative actions to protect the ability of other states to pay cheap rates for electricity! Let the other states decide how they are going to provide for their own electricity needs.

snowWI 7 years, 3 months ago

"Snow what happens in Aug when the wind does not blow so much? Are you and your family willing to go without air conditioning, refrigerator, TV, and everything else?"

Have you ever heard of energy efficiency? If we all became more energy efficient it would lessen the strain on the electric grid. I do my own part to be as energy efficient as possible.

topekan7 7 years, 3 months ago

A key factor in the case was a recent opinion issued by Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison indicating KDHE had authority to consider emissions of carbon dioxide - a currently unregulated pollutant - when weighing air-quality permit applications if the pollutant endangered the public health or environment.

Why did the LJWorld leave out this key factor? I found this in an article on cjonline.com.

So the Governor got Morrison to issue this flimsy opinion and pressured Bremby to deny the application...all to win the love of liberal looneys everywhere.

This decision is ridiculous. They might as well issue a ruling denying all Kansans the right to exhale!

Another shameful day in backwards Kansas. Twenty years from now...when global warming is viewed as a joke...Kansans will be filled with regret.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

hornethawk (Anonymous) says:

Snow what happens in Aug when the wind does not blow so much? Are you and your family willing to go without air conditioning, refrigerator, TV, and everything else?


horne. by the time we get through paying for wind power through June and July, no one will have any money left to turn anything on.

teacher4ku 7 years, 3 months ago

If this plant was proposed in eastern Kansas, the permits would have been approved. I get sick and tired of people in eastern Kansas complaining about their tax dollars going to support western Kansas. We try to improve the tax base out here, and Topeka and the eastern Kansas snobs cut the legs out from under us. The "experts" say we should build more nuclear power plants because they are "clean" sources of energy. Well, maybe that should be our next attempt out here, and we can dispose of the waste in Lawrence!

BigDog 7 years, 3 months ago

The "experts" say we should build more nuclear power plants because they are "clean" sources of energy. Well, maybe that should be our next attempt out here, and we can dispose of the waste in Lawrence!

Hey thats not nice ...... there is already enough waste in Lawrence.

snowWI 7 years, 3 months ago

"horne. by the time we get through paying for wind power through June and July, no one will have any money left to turn anything on."

Wrong. Most of this electricity would have been going to other states.(around 85% or a little more). Kansas already has plenty of coal plants that are generating electricity.

etsi_truss 7 years, 3 months ago

TYPICAL LIBERAL APPOINTMENT I believe it would be irresponsible to ignore emerging information about the contribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to climate change and the potential harm to our environment and health if we do nothing."

Bremby talking about being responsible????? Advertisement Bankruptcy Rod Bremby's Chapter 13 petition (.pdf) Rod Bremby, who oversees an annual budget of nearly $216 million as a state Cabinet secretary, filed this week for personal Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection along with his wife, physician April Bremby.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

snowWI (Anonymous) says:

"horne. by the time we get through paying for wind power through June and July, no one will have any money left to turn anything on."

Wrong. Most of this electricity would have been going to other states.(around 85% or a little more). Kansas already has plenty of coal plants that are generating electricity.


Sorry, but you're wrong. Kansas generation has about 20% more capacity than needed, total generation, not just coal. FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) requires states to maintain a 15% capacity above called-for generation and build new capacity when they get close to the 15% because it takes time. So, we're only about 5% in the plus, which isn't much.

etsi_truss 7 years, 3 months ago

Wind power? 6,300 MW of wind has the same load carrying capacity as 550 MW of thermal generation (i.e. 8.7% due to unreliability of wind generation when power demand is highest). The biggest wind turbines are around 2 MW, so it would take about 16,000 wind turbines to equal the two 700 MW of coal generation at Holcomb.

LETS BUILD THEM ALL AROUND TOPEKA AND LAWRENCE AND LET THE TREE HUGGING SUCKERS IN EASTERN KANSAS GAZE AT THEM ALL DAY AND SIT ON THEIR PORCH'S IN THE EVENING AND LISTEN TO THE BIRDS BEING DECAPITATED

Orwell 7 years, 3 months ago

Martin_D_15: Well, I'm glad you cleared that up for us. No doubt the courts will reverse Bremby's action because, you know, name-calling and character assassination are such effective legal arguments.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

Wind blows. If wind were viable, someone would have already built wind generators. Realistically, it's either coal, natural gas or nukes to generate elec. efficiently. We're just going to have to live with the downsides of each.

And I vote for Topeka as a nuclear waste dump. No one would notice it there.

yankeelady 7 years, 3 months ago

I am very surprised. I didn't think KDHE would stand up to the utility lobby. And for the comment that if had been in eastern Ks it would have been approved---I seriously doubt it. I think people are beginning to realize that we have a major problem. Maybe Sunflower should come up with something that exceeds current standards and cut CO2 emissions dramatically. Let's be on the cutting edge for once, instead of stuck in the backwater. Don't forget most of the power was going out of state, to places where they denied permits for the polluters. And finally I don't think we'll see global warming viewed as a joke--disaster yes, joke no. And apparently some are now trying to convince us that since it's too late to do anything about the problem, let's just keep on as we are.

optimist 7 years, 3 months ago

Another shining example of government employees abusing their power. For Mr. Bremby to deny this project on the grounds that he did is an absolute abuse of his power. There is no legal basis for his decision. It is purely a political decision no doubt pushed by the governor in order to prop up her resume for national office. Again Kansas and our economic future take a back seat to Mrs. Sebelius's political ambitions.

This project would have been an excellent source of jobs and tax revenue needed in rural Kansas. Instead the Governer's plan for economic and revenue growth in Kansas is as about as creative and forward thinking as a state run casino. Oh wait, that's about the extent of it. Insane!!!

thebigspoon 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm all for building a wind turbine on my 5 square miles of Lawrence so it can blow away all the mosquitos hatched in the Baker/Haskell swamp as I sit and watch the birds being decapitated.

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH, KANSAS! There's no place like home.

gccs14r 7 years, 3 months ago

There isn't enough water in western Kansas as it is, so we don't need more industrial users out there sucking the aquifer dry. Kudos to Bremby.

ASBESTOS 7 years, 3 months ago

This will not stand. Secretary Bremby has truley been "capritious" in this decision. I have posted the laws and statutes that Bremby quoted that gives him the authority. It also gives the Power Company a whole lotta smack to hit KDHE and the Taxpayers of the State of Kansas for damages.

Go here to read som real discussion based on LAW and STATUTES. All that is posted here is hot air of what people THINK and WANT the laws to say, but do not state.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/oct/18/text_kdhe_announcement_coal_plant_permits_western_/#comments

ASBESTOS 7 years, 3 months ago

"The decision constitutes a first step in emerging policy to address existing and future carbon dioxide emissions in Kansas. "KDHE will work to engage various industries and stakeholders to establish goals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and strategies to achieve them. This is consistent with initiatives underway in states leading the effort to address climate change," said Bremby.

One such initiative currently being undertaken by eight northeastern states is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a mandatory regional cap-and-trade program aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 10 percent, or approximately 12 million tons annually, by 2020."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SOrry there Secretary IDIOT, but "Initiatives" are not "Law" or "statute". Statutes and Laws take precedence over "initiatives", on everyday of the week. IT may be consistent of the "initiatives of other states", but it violates a corporations right to due process, and the right to have the laws applied as they are written.

This will be overturned, and this case shows why Secretary Bremby was NEVER Qualified to be a Secretary of KDHE.

mick 7 years, 3 months ago

"By forcing Secretary Bremby to deny the permit she (Sebelius) has not only caved to liberal special interest groups; but she has once again shown her lack of commitment to promoting Kansas economic interests," said Kris Kobach, chairman of the state GOP. Here is the writing on the wall regarding today's Republican party. Do what's good for big business and to H with everyone else. This is not your parents' Republican party.

ASBESTOS 7 years, 3 months ago

Mick, go to :

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/oct/18/text_kdhe_announcement_coal_plant_permits_western_/#comments

And read the laws. The Bremby went about this the wrong way. He has to follow the laws. He did not do that, and in doing so undermined a sundry of other environmental, administrative, and procedural laws. He simple made a decision not based on what is required in the LAW. Remember he can only reject a permit on '"SUBSTANCIAL HEALTH RISK", or "A VOLIATION OF LAW". Since CO2 is not a pollutant legally, there is no violation, and since it is needed for respiration it is not a health risk at the PPB levels.

I am an Environmental Scientist and deal with laws better than KDHE does (well hell anybody could do better than those idiots), you have to HAVE laws and have to ENFORCE LAWS.

I have been complaining about KDHE doing this type of crap with UST sites, Asbestos, Superfund Sites, and I also contacted Seirra Club on ALL of those issues. But those issues that are REAL and IMMEDIATE, and not theoritical and not sexy like the whole Golbal Warming Cabal. But whatever you believe LAW is what matters, and enforcing it is clearly what KDHE could defend themselves with, if they enforced laws, which they do not. So under Kansas Administrative Procedures Act there must be a "Good faith effort" by KDHE and the Secretary did not make a "Good Faith Effort". Again, GO TO THE LAW, because CO2 is NOT a pollutant (no violation) and is necessary for life (needed for health and NOT an immediate health threat) AND ADDITIONALLY IF those 2 were true, the KDHE cannot just not issue the permit, they must allow a "remediation" or Mitigation effort by the claimant.

SO this will be overturned if not thrown out and ignored by the court.

THANK YOU SO MUCH KDHE for being a total SCREWUP IN ENFORCING ENVIRONMETNAL LAWS!!!!!!!

EVERYONE OF YOU AT KDHE SHOULD BE FIRED

toefungus 7 years, 3 months ago

Economic growth has been set back for the next 50 years. If the governor was really interested in global warming, she would walk to work.

deec 7 years, 3 months ago

I believe the original proposal said there would be 140 temporary construction jobs and abut 30 permanent jobs. Also I recall the % of power going out of state was originally closer to 90 or 95%. The Aquifer is drying up. Wasn't there a recent Supreme Court case allowing regulation of carbon dioxide as a pollutant? Also there was considerable talk about electric rates going up in all the coop members' service areas due to pass-through construction costs. I wonder why the other partner opted out of the project? Just some random stuff to think about

Lifelong_Lawrencian 7 years, 3 months ago

Asbestos,

You make an obvious and interesting point. I don't know anything about the law, but how does the recent supreme court decision on CO2 figure into all this?

outdoor55 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't remember the exact quote or who said it but... "What's the point of having a nice house if you don't have a nice place to put it."

I understand the economic frustration of western Kansas, but what about the health and well being of the entire world? Even if you think that global warming is a farce, can't you agree that smog and air pollution is a real thing. Part of what makes western Kansas great is the lack of smog.

dirkleisure 7 years, 3 months ago

We don't need this electrical capacity.

Westar supplies the high growth area of the state which actually needs additional capacity. To meet that capacity, they are investing in 500 MW of pure wind energy.

What is the point, then, of creating 700 MW of planet killing coal? Westar is investing $500 million. This was $3.6 billion.

Why filthy up the planet and stick Sunflower's ratepayers with a $3.6 billion tab when the same energy is available via wind? Does no one care who was going to be ultimately responsible for the cost of this $3.6 billion boondoggle?

Building new coal when current coal power plants in Kansas are meeting capacity is nonsensical, and adding those emissions to the environment is a threat to the health of my children and grandchildren. A sound decision for the economy, for our health, and for our environment.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 7 years, 3 months ago

Sebelius has finally done something that was true to the principles of the Democratic Party. There's still a long way for her to go to return to the fold (starting with telling her Missouri bosses to go to hell), but this is a start.

And you folks who think these emissions are cute should visit Clingman's Dome in the Smoky Mountains and see how much pollution has altered a clear view of the area. It now looks like southern California even up there.

it would seem our Darwinian flaw is that we're too smart for our own good, but just not smart enough.

deec 7 years, 3 months ago

" In a 5-4 decision, the court said the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars. Greenhouse gases are air pollutants under the landmark environmental law, Justice John Paul Stevens said in his majority opinion." http://www.livescience.com/environment/070402_ap_GW_supreme.html "This is the whole ball of wax. This will determine whether the Environmental Protection Agency is to regulate greenhouse gases from cars and whether EPA can regulate carbon dioxide from power plants," said David Bookbinder, an attorney for the Sierra Club."" http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200964,00.html "We have ended the administration's denial of reality and defiance of the law," said Richard Blumenthal, attorney general of Connecticut, one of 12 states that joined a similar number of environmental groups in suing the Bush administration for its refusal to regulate emissions tied to global warming." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17911853/ Oh, and those jobs? Tell 'em to move to Hays. The unemployment rate here is about 1%.

ASBESTOS 7 years, 3 months ago

LLLawrencian,

That SCOTUS decison was based on "inaction" by the EPA. It was another case of a Governmental Agency not dong their job, and then when hauled into court, EPA stated "becasue we did not feel we had to address it." That was the essence of the decision, EPA DID NOTHING, no Science, no health studies (which is why there is no "immenent threat" of harm to health). EPA did the same thing with asbestos though there is not a lobby pushing asbestos regs (yes it has laws, but the Seirra Club avoids Asbestos and lead issues like the plague, which is why they are not a real environmental organization. EPA was ordered to do a toxicology assessement in 1990 during the "Ban of Asbestos" which was overturned, and Sen. Patty Murry D-WA, has got the BAN ASBESTOS ACT OF AMERICA 2007 passed through the senate, and is now in the house.

The point being, is that EPA, like most government agencies are NOT FOLLOWING THE LAWS. They are not doing their business, and are not hiring apporpriate personnel, Like KDHE too. NOW the taxpayers have to pay again for an assessment that was laready paid for and appropriations were made in 1990s.

This is the essence of governmental regulation in the 2000s. They cannot do their jobs, and are inept at doing them when they are trying. Secretary Bremby states it quite clearly when he spouts about the "Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative" (which is not law and is NOT legislative) and ignores Statutes (which ARE LAW and ARE LEGISLATIVE, ie will of the people, as opposed to "the will of the bureauracracy", which does not require the public input and "elected representation".

The problem with the agencies coming up with "initiatives" and ignoring the law, it that it is great when "your guy" is in power, but sucks when you are not "in power". Thus the need for laws to be followed and to be enforced REGARDLESS OF WHOM WEARS THE MANTLE OF ELECTED LEADERSHIP!

If it is important enough for the people and their well being, the voting electorate will figure it our, that is the nature of the DEMOCRACY. It you want the Gooberment to figure out what is best for you, without the majority will of the people, then you want SOCIALISM. Again, great when "your guy is in power" not so good when he is not.

Public health should be in the eye and mind of the people and democracy is much better prepared to deal with issues like these than socialism.

It is that simple

ASBESTOS 7 years, 3 months ago

It is a matter of perspective with Public health issues.

IF I asked what is a worse killer in deaths produced per year:

Asbestos Staph Infection AIDS Second hand Smoke Coal Fired Power Plants All Gun deaths gun murder acciental gun death

What are your numbers?

Remember there are 2.8 million deaths per year, and all cancers are about 500,000 per year with lung cancers taking about 157,000.

There is also 850,000 abortions per year in the United States.

All of these numbers can be checked with the CDC Mortality Study and statistics.

ASBESTOS 7 years, 3 months ago

OH! I forgot Radon, add that to the list!

ASBESTOS 7 years, 3 months ago

SCOTUS Decision of Mass V. EPA

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf

IT only applies to the automobile emissions, as well and not the reat. IT was the EPA NOT TAKING ACTION as I stated. They simply refused to look into the matter.

That is what the SCOTUS was saying, we have a lot of scientist stating this issue is real and EPA refused to even look at it, open public comment, initiate rule making, etc.

What EPA IS Doing is these "initiatives" which is NOT UPHELD by SCOTUS, on the fact that Agency "initiatives" exceeds the "Executive branch" powers by acting as the "legislators", and the EPA Agency is not "elected Representation", and therefore cannot make law without the legislators voting.

That is "Democracy" versus "Socialism".

KsTwister 7 years, 3 months ago

About time some sensibility returns to this State. Of course having ties to western Kansas to those people I say this: Wanting a polluting,water guzzling coal plant to provide money and jobs is about as ridiculous as building a ski lodge in the desert. The disadvantages outweigh the benefits. Now its time for wind energy to get recognition in a state where the reverse can be true.

doubledogleg 7 years, 3 months ago

this should end the ruse once and for all of Sebelius/Parkinson portraying themselves as moderate democrats. unbelievable. last I checked China and India we're burning coal at astronomical rates. I don't think Holcomb will make a dent, but Sebelius/Parkinson have sure made a dent in Holcomb. unilateral disarmarment. nice.

ASBESTOS 7 years, 3 months ago

i will state again, NOBODY IS READING WHAT THE LAWS are concerning this. IT will be overturned.

Go Here, the statutes that Bremby stated giving him "authority" to reject the permit, has some requirements.

RedwoodCoast 7 years, 3 months ago

Burning coal is not good for the environment. Who will contest that assertion? China and India burn a crap-ton of coal. And in terms of infrastructure, they are probably many decades behind us. All the while, the international scientific community is largely in support of the notion that humans are inducing climate change. Who's saying that, you ask? Scientists... and lefties... well, if lefties are saying that too, then who can believe what scientists say... right? If one looks at the prehistoric record of climate change, there really isn't any one major change in climate that can't be reasonably explained as the result of some variable. Ocean currents get disrupted for various reasons, the tilt of the Earth's axis changes, etc. Anyone on this board can challenge the assumption that humans are inducing climate change, but not one person can offer an alternative explanation. As far as we know, we are doing this. Heck, even if we aren't sure, it is better to change our habits now than to keep on keeping on under the premise that such meager creatures like ourselves couldn't possibly make such a mess. I seriously doubt any altruism on the part of Sunflower. They frame their arguments in a way that suggests that everyone can benefit from more coal plants, even the windmill folks. But who really stands to benefit? Sunflower and coal companies of course.

Godot 7 years, 3 months ago

It is going to take Kansas a long time to recover from Sebeliustosis.

dirkleisure 7 years, 3 months ago

mmhhmm. Enlighten us, Godot.

When the next Governor is elected, what are the five immediate things he or she must do to cure the state of its case of Sebeliustosis?

deskboy04 7 years, 3 months ago

What a horrible decision. All the tree huggers want to sit under the air conditioner on a hot summer day. They pretend that their "footprint" is a small one because they recycle their bottles and cans. The electricity has to come from somewhere.

ilovecatsohyeah 7 years, 3 months ago

Wind is one thing we Kansans do have in abundance. WE can capture it. We can convert it to energy. BUT if we cannot transmit it at a reasonable price it will not be purchased. Wind blows at best 35% of the time. If adequate transmission lines are built to service the wind energy generated out in western kansas without a reliable energy source to also travel on those transmission lines, it raises the cost of producing the wind energy, thereby making it economically unfeasible to compete with other energy sources. IF you want wind, you must also partner it with reliable consistant energy sources to make the cost of producing and transmitting wind comparable. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

snowWI 7 years, 3 months ago

I think the government should pay for the extension of transmission lines in some areas of the Great Plains. That way wind energy could be developed more quickly even in the more isolated areas that lack transmission lines.

KsTwister 7 years, 3 months ago

http://www.alliantenergy.com/docs/groups/public/documents/pub/p015392.hcsp

FYI "Today, state-of-the-art wind farms can produce electricity for less than five cents per kilowatt-hour." "How does wind power get to the electric grid? Typically, electricity generated by the wind passes through the wind turbine's base and joins electricity from the other wind turbines via an underground system of cables, or collection system. The collection system brings all the electricity to a substation, which loads the electricity onto transmission lines to carry the power over short and long distances to customers."

Wind speeds and reliability puts Kansas as one of the top three states in North America.

Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank you Secretary Bremby! You are a great Kansan, and future generations owe you a debt of gratitude!

Godot 7 years, 3 months ago

Bremby essentially pulled a Lawrence-style "Walmart" on this coal plant. He must have been taking advice from the department's attorney. I cannot wait for the depositions and hearings to begin.

happyscriv 7 years, 3 months ago

Compact Flourescents are good. Energy-star appliances yes. Insulate the attic! Pull the shades in the summer to keep the hot sun out and raise them in the winter to let the warm sun rays in. Dress warmer in the winter and turn the thermostat down......way down. I hope the power companies realize the money to be made by implementing power generation with wind and solar. And get started on that right away. Litigation would be wasteful of time and money for all parties involved(everyone in ks). Of course the lawyers might like it and be smiling all the way to the bank.
We are all in this together. We just need to work together to get the power we need from wind, solar and hydro generation. Coal will probably still be in the picture but we don't need more coal burning power plants.

seriouscat 7 years, 3 months ago

YES!!! Good job KDHE and Gov Sebelius! Even if one is on the fence about global warming there can be no argument that coal plants produce an enormous amount of pollution. Why would Kansans want to welcome that?

Coal ought to be getting phased out. It's time to be forward thinking about energy production and usage. This is a step in the right direction.

dirkleisure 7 years, 3 months ago

Godot (Anonymous) says:

Bremby essentially pulled a Lawrence-style "Walmart" on this coal plant. He must have been taking advice from the department's attorney. I cannot wait for the depositions and hearings to begin.

godot, too chicken to back up his ridiculous comments.

KSEC 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank you to Massachusetts Supreme Court and KDHE Secretary Bremby for saving us from our bad habits . . . yes, it is time we started making beautiful electricity together. Let's move over with some healthy BTU via 21st century demand-site fuel-free non-polluting solar electricity.

Kansas Solar Electric Co~operatives The K-SEC Model 1,000 MWp BI-PV Solar ElectriCIty for Kansas by 2020

Read $3.5 Billion Business Plan linked on the K-SEC website.
www.geocities.com/Solar_Electric_Coop...

We seek to form a five-person board in each county of Kansas by March 2008 via K.S.A. Chapter 17-4651 to 4680 Renewable Cooperatives. We are also compiling a database of solar rooftops and need help to make related website link for the Kansas Solar Electric Buildings Registry.

In 1992, I founded the SOLAR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATIVE www.geocities.com/Eureka/1905

In 2005, I founded the Kansas Solar Electric Co~operatives to bring 10% Solar to Kansas and released my first energy industry book "ElectriCity BEYOND THE CURVE OF DEREGULATION" www.geocities.com/EthosOfCommerce Phase I Demonstration = 10,000 SF BI-PV 105 counties of Kansas by 2010 = 1% Solar Phase II Foundation = 10 MSF BI-PV a year for ten years from 2010 to 2010 = 10% Solar Phase III Service = Monitor ~ Maintain ~ Manage ~ Educate ~ R&D

Mix in 1,000 MWp of Wind and Solar Chimneys, and Kansas has 20% renewable capacity by 2020 and is highly educated in renewables while breathing fresher air. Did you know that mercury toxins and some CO2 emissions are not visible? Secretary Bremby will certainly go down in history as a saint for taking the responsibility and flack of doing what is way over due! If there is any chance we can slow global warming until we better understand what is happening with the Earth, we must take the opportunity. There is also new evidence of the extreme health hazards of coal mercury toxins. Save coal for a date far into the future . . . where posterity may need it. Get involved in the K-SEC Vision and help us put it all together. You are needed!!! www.geocities.com/Solar_Electric_Coop... CONTACT: KS_SEC@yahoo.com

KSEC 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank you to Massachusetts Supreme Court and KDHE Secretary Bremby for saving us from our bad habits . . . yes, it is time we started making beautiful electricity together. Let's move over with some healthy BTU via 21st century demand-site fuel-free non-polluting solar electricity.

Kansas Solar Electric Co~operatives The K-SEC Model 1,000 MWp BI-PV Solar ElectriCIty for Kansas by 2020

Read $3.5 Billion Business Plan linked on the K-SEC website.
www.geocities.com/Solar_Electric_Coop...

We seek to form a five-person board in each county of Kansas by March 2008 via K.S.A. Chapter 17-4651 to 4680 Renewable Cooperatives. We are also compiling a database of solar rooftops and need help to make related website link for the Kansas Solar Electric Buildings Registry.

In 1992, I founded the SOLAR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATIVE www.geocities.com/Eureka/1905

In 2005, I founded the Kansas Solar Electric Co~operatives to bring 10% Solar to Kansas and released my first energy industry book "ElectriCity BEYOND THE CURVE OF DEREGULATION" www.geocities.com/EthosOfCommerce Phase I Demonstration = 10,000 SF BI-PV 105 counties of Kansas by 2010 = 1% Solar Phase II Foundation = 10 MSF BI-PV a year for ten years from 2010 to 2020 = 10% Solar Phase III Service = Monitor ~ Maintain ~ Manage ~ Educate ~ R&D

Mix in 1,000 MWp of Wind and Solar Chimneys, and Kansas has 20% renewable capacity by 2020 and is highly educated in renewables while breathing fresher air. Did you know that mercury toxins and some CO2 emissions are not visible? Secretary Bremby will certainly go down in history as a saint for taking the responsibility and flack of doing what is way over due! If there is any chance we can slow global warming until we better understand what is happening with the Earth, we must take the opportunity. There is also new evidence of the extreme health hazards of coal mercury toxins. Save coal for a date far into the future . . . where posterity may need it. Get involved in the K-SEC Vision and help us put it all together. You are needed!!! www.geocities.com/Solar_Electric_Coop... CONTACT: KS_SEC@yahoo.com

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