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Archive for Saturday, April 5, 2008

Second coal plant bill OK’d

April 5, 2008

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Friday vowed to veto a second bill approved by the Legislature that would allow the construction of two 700-megawatt coal-fired plants.

"I am disappointed that again, we have the same elements in a bill that I cannot accept, and will not support," Sebelius said in a prepared statement.

Asked about the prospect of another veto, Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, said, "We'll deal with that when it happens."

Lawmakers approved the bill before they ended the regular legislative session to take a three-week break. The Legislature will reconvene April 30 for a wrap-up session.

Last year, Kansas Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby denied the coal-fired plants, citing concerns with its annual emission of 11 million tons of carbon dioxide and its effect on global warming.

Since then supporters of the $3.6 billion project have been trying to overturn the decision in the Legislature and strip Bremby of key regulatory authority.

The new coal-fired bill was approved Friday in the House, 83-41, and then in the Senate, 32-7.

The House vote was viewed as something of a test. Despite keeping the roll open for nearly an hour, House leaders fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority of 84 votes that would be needed to overturn a veto.

Last month, Sebelius vetoed a similar bill and while the Senate was able to override it, House leaders have been several votes short.

The standoff over the coal-fired plants has loomed over the entire legislative session that started in January.

Under the proposed project, Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and out-of-state partners would build the plants near Holcomb. More than 85 percent of the power would be used by customers in Colorado and other states.

Supporters of the plants say they will be among the cleanest burning coal-fired units in the country, boost the local economy and provide the transmission lines needed to develop more wind energy.

State Sen. Roger Pine, R-Lawrence, said the plants will be needed to handle the state's future power needs. "I really don't want a brownout in Kansas," Pine said.

Environmentalists, however, say the project should be rejected.

"Endorsing this bill leaves Kansas wed to an obsolete energy technology that will pollute our air, deplete our water resources and prevent clean energy jobs in western Kansas," the Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club said.

Sebelius has offered to support a 660-megawatt unit and environmental commitments to renewable resources, but Sunflower Power has rejected that offer.

Here is how area legislators voted on House substitute for Senate Bill 148, which would allow the construction of two 700-megawatt coal-fired power plants in western Kansas.

SENATE

Yes

Roger Pine, R-Lawrence

No

Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence

HOUSE

Yes

Anthony Brown, R-Eudora

Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence

Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie

Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing

No

Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence

Paul Davis, D-Lawrence

Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City

Ann Mah, D-Topeka

Comments

tennesseerader 6 years ago

It's funny that Al Gore, the most vocal proponent of the global warming frenzy flies around in his own personal jet, has several mansions (each of which consume more power in a month than a normal house does in one year), owns land that is the biggest environmental eye sore in Tennessee and is poised to make millions from the trading of Carbon Futures.If he really believed this crap he would live like it!Wake up America! Without cheap energy we are doomed to becoming a third world country, which is exactly where the democrats will take us.

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lounger 6 years ago

I saw that Turner interview and it was terrific! Turner speaks the truth and has a lot of money- a very rare thing! The land he buys up is restored and bison are put back where they belong. Turner knows-as do we all- that if action isnt taken soon havoc will indeed be in our future as far as global warming is concerned. Act now is all he is saying and I agree with him....

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Andrew Stahmer 6 years ago

"Nuclear waste is still an unsolved issue. Nuclear gases which escape into the atomosphere periodically are still an unresolved and unpublicised issue."What waste are we talking about here? The radiation put in the atmosphere? You might be interested to learn that coal puts TONS more radioactive material in the air than any nuclear plant, not to mention the tons of filth (including c02) that coal plants produce. (Nuclear plants put no c02 in the atmosphere.) It's funny in a way because you use the word "periodically"- each and every coal plant CONSISTANTLY pump 'global warming' waste in the air....not 'periodically'.Or perhaps you're talking about the spent nuclear fuel rods. The technology now exists to recondition those rods; technology that was invented here in the U.S. but is only being used widespead in europe. There also is a market for spent fuel rods-they still can be 'harvested' for more energy.

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its_getting_warmer 6 years ago

Cool: "It has been noted above that the local Republicans are largely responsible"Like Minority Leader Dennis McKinney, Senator Janis Lee, Representative Eber Phelps. All prominent Democrats.It is Cool who wants to make this a partisan issue. Of course he supports his friend Marci even though she shoved the Oread Hotel up Cool's wazoo, so what political judgment does Cool even have.

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its_getting_warmer 6 years ago

Where are Cool's electrons produced?Coal.Hypocrisy.

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cool 6 years ago

it has been noted above that the local Republicans are largely responsible for the pro-coal votes in the legislature.again the sierra club quote above is comprehensive, true, and quite excellent. "Endorsing this bill leaves Kansas wed to an obsolete energy technology that will pollute our air, deplete our water resources and prevent clean energy jobs in western Kansas. i would say that Mr. Neufeld, Mr. Moline and the other proponents of these plants have a severely myopic view of rational concerns for the environment.myopic meaning here a lack of discernment for the long term view of things.

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cool 6 years ago

The governments which would disagree with Mr. Khosla's quote which is used above -- beg the questionthen why is Germany getting rid of all of its nuclear reactors ? the waste that they create is clearly the issue.

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cool 6 years ago

i personally know Bill Joy, the other co-founder of Sun Microsystems. Mr. Khosla and Mr. Joy's areas of expertise are far from energy generation sciences or energy system management protocol.Nuclear waste is still an unsolved issue. Nuclear gases which escape into the atomosphere periodically are still an unresolved and unpublicised issue. Whole governments such as that of Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and others would disagree with Mr. Khosla regarding the problems of nuclear power.

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Andrew Stahmer 6 years ago

"For every nuclear plant that environmentalists avoided, they ended up causing two coal plants to be built. : When you ask someone like the NRDC [Natural Resources Defense Council], 'Do you prefer nuclear or coal?' they'll say, 'We prefer nuclear to coal, but we don't want either.' It doesn't work that way; we need power."-Vinod KhoslaVenture capitalist and co-founder, Sun Microsystems"5 Questions for Vinod Khosla" Earth2TechJan. 30, 2008

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none2 6 years ago

I'm more against the plants because of their water usage in an area that is already way over irrigated. Just check the Arkansas river in that area (or more precisely the Arkansas sand bed) and you wonder why they would want coal plants & ethanol plants there. I also think it is wrong to say that this is for western Kansas when only about 14% of the generated energy would stay there. They need to insist that more of the energy stays in Western Kansas to help keep energy rates lower there and to encourage job creation beyond just electrical plant jobs. Yes wind energy should have been a bit part of the total portfolio of this proposal. Keeping that in mind realize that wind energy alone will not meet the total domand. If everybody started conserving on their energy usage maybe that would be different.On the flip side I think it is disingenuous for many of these people here that are 100% opposed to any plants out there to claim they have solely environmental global warming concerns. If tomorrow the KPL plant blew up & electrical rates went way up, they would be some of the first people to be really pissed.Alternative energy is great, but has anybody recently tried to price what it takes to put up a wind system or solar system for an entire house? Have you checked the prices of ground geo-thermal heating & cooling systems? It takes a lot of money that most individuals don't have. Plus any appliances that are super efficient cost a lot. Looking at solar panels, I saw a 190-Watt 5x3 foot one for $1,100.00. 190 Watts isn't a lot in today's world of computers, kitchen appliances, power tools, giant LCD TV's, etc. 190 Watts might power your computer and a few light bulbs (florescent of course), but that is about it. Going with 100% alternative energy means changing to a vary spartan way of living. Until one is willing to live that kind of existence, they shouldn't expect their neighbors to do it instead.

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Bradley Klamm 6 years ago

Anyone else amused that ALL of the R's are under the 'Yes' heading and ALL of the D's are under the 'No' heading?

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overplayedhistory 6 years ago

"wake up people - get out there an tell the 'lobbyist politicos' NO COAL"---------------------------------And when that doesn't work lets get together and discuss a more direct old school 1760's style approach. Just kidding, please don't release my data to big brother.

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cool 6 years ago

seeds of change !wake up people - get out there an tell the 'lobbyist politicos' NO COAL.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pSOe1...

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cool 6 years ago

no body does it better ----- than the creator.wind energyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92_5j4q3ass

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cool 6 years ago

talk about dinosaur logic.with Kansas wind energy potential ? to choose to build not one but two coal plants ? this is a typical 'corporatist strategy' float paper and debt so that the big bucks via lobbyist Moline - go to the top.meanwhile the Sierra Club statement above is really quite perfect, "Endorsing this bill leaves Kansas wed to an obsolete energy technology that will pollute our air, deplete our water resources and prevent clean energy jobs in western Kansas," the Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club said.

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ibroke 6 years ago

why do you listen to ted turner?

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logrithmic 6 years ago

Ruppert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal credible? Now that's a laugh.Only in the little mind of the rightwing....

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its_getting_warmer 6 years ago

You all need to recheck the boundaries of Sen. Pine's district, and recallilbrate assumptions you have of his constituents agreeing with "Lawrence" political attitudes. LJW forums: Where the Wall Street Journal has no credibility, but Ted Turner does. HA!

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speedykitty 6 years ago

I'd certainly believe Sen. Roger Pine before I'd give any credibility to the blatherings of Ted Turner. Leaving him is virtually the only thing I ever agreed with Jane Fonda about! If Ted's 109 in 40 years and still around, he can gnaw on a chunk of one of his buffalo. Hope his teeth are strong.

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Pilgrim 6 years ago

logrithmic (Anonymous) says:Only a neanderthal could continue to push coal in the face of global warming and the danger it presents.*******Said Chicken Little to Turkey Lurkey.======================Just yesterday news broke that Ted Turner said global warming would reduce us to cannibalism. Why? It's drastic effect on the food supply.*******Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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logrithmic 6 years ago

Pine needs to go. Please someone run against him.Only a neanderthal could continue to push coal in the face of global warming and the danger it presents.Just yesterday news broke that Ted Turner said global warming would reduce us to cannibalism. Why? It's drastic effect on the food supply. But who cares? If Sibelius and the RepubLICKlan leadership have their way, Kansas will host a bio-defense plant soon (really a biological warfare plant) that will house the deadliest toxins known to man. Whether any of these toxins escape the plant and poison our environment remains to be same. The spectre of death is in front of us all. We willingly board the Titanic.Here's Turner's comment to Mike Morris of the Atlanta Journal Constitution:Failure to address global warming will have us all dead or eating each other by mid-century.So says Ted Turner, the restaurateur, environmentalist and former media mogul....If steps aren't taken to stem global warming, 'We'll be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow,' Turner said during a wide-ranging, hour-long interview with PBS's Charlie Rose that aired Tuesday.'Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals,' said Turner, 69. 'Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state - like Somalia or Sudan - and living conditions will be intolerable.'One way to combat global warming, Turner said, is to stabilize the population.'We're too many people; that's why we have global warming,' he said. 'Too many people are using too much stuff.'And:Turner went on to say that military budgets need to be cut 'way back.''Right now, the U.S. is spending $500 billion a year on the military, which is more than all 190 countries in the world put together,' he said.'The two countries that the military industrial complex and some of our politicians would like to demonize and make enemies are Russia and China,' Turner said. 'China just wants to sell us shoes. They're not building landing craft to attack the United States, and Russia wants to be our friends, too.'He said that despite the United States' huge military budget, 'we can't win in Iraq.''We're being beaten by insurgents who don't even have any tanks, they don't have a headquarters, they don't have a Pentagon, we don't even know if they have any generals,' Turner told Rose.Turner called the Iraqi insurgents 'patriots' who 'don't like us because we invaded their country and occupied it. Nobody likes to be invaded.'And a great Logrithmic Amen!

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