Archive for Thursday, April 24, 2008

Legislative leaders give Sebelius ultimatum on coal-fired project

April 24, 2008, 1:07 p.m. Updated April 24, 2008, 2:04 p.m.


Sebelius on new coal-fired power plant proposal

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius responds to the latest proposal from supporters of coal-fired power plants.

— Legislative leaders on Thursday gave Gov. Kathleen Sebelius a take-it or stand-back proposal on the coal-fired power project.

Senate President Steve Morris and House Speaker Melvin Neufeld told Sebelius to accept two coal-burning plants in western Kansas or they would move to override her veto of the project.

Under the new proposal, the size of each of the units would be reduced from 700 megawatts to 600 megawatts.

Morris and Neufeld also set Wednesday as the deadline to hear from Sebelius on the new offer. That coincides with the first day of the 2008 Legislature's wrap-up session,

Sebelius vetoed legislation that would have authorized two 700-megawatt coal-fired plants near Holcomb.

She cited concerns over the project's annual emission of 11 million tons of carbon dioxide and its effect on climate change.

Morris and Neufeld said the new proposal was their final offer.


Jake Esau 9 years ago

I hope Sebelius stands her ground.

Marcus DeMond 9 years ago

I wonder why Senate President Steve Morris and House Speaker Melvin Neufeld want these plants built in Kansas so bad? If the power is mostly going to Colorado or Texas why don't they build it there and let them choke on the CO2?

imastinker 9 years ago

What kind of CO2 can't cross state lines?

devobrun 9 years ago

Marcus, electric power is supplied to a grid. This grid supplies power to each user. Right now, the power to your computer is being supplied by a grid that includes Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, etc. The power doesn't have a label on it. The reason that the politicians want the generators in their districts is $. They have to be somewhere. Why not put 'em in Kansas and reap some tax and job benefits?CO2 is CO2 is CO2. Doesn't matter where it is produced, doesn't matter where the energy goes either. More power generation capability, less cost. Oh, CO2 isn't a pollutant, but that's another argument.

Keith 9 years ago

This sounds like negotiating from a weak position. Why, if you have the votes needed to override, would you even offer?

TtownKUlivin 9 years ago

People warming happens. Have you checked back in history lately? The earth goes through cycles. Are humans influencing a faster rate than what normally occurs? Quite possibly. But CO2 also allows photosynthesis to occur in plants, which in turn provides oxygen for us humans to breathe and live. I don't know if anything certain can be proven because even scientists don't agree on this whole global warming issue. It's a crap shoot.

staff04 9 years ago

"This sounds like negotiating from a weak position. Why, if you have the votes needed to override, would you even offer?"I agree...sounds like a bluff.

Telluride 9 years ago

Let's see.....can't build coal plants because of CO2. Can't have hydro dams because they kill fish. Can't have wind generators because they bother the birds and make noise. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....Has anybody studied the amount of really TOXIC chemicals it takes to make a solar panel? Maybe we should just go back to burning wood. Oh no we can't even do kills trees and makes smoke. I say build the power plants. If the Chicken Littles that think "the sky is falling" don't like it they can turn off their computers, tvs, lights, etc and be at one with Mother Nature. Any bets on how long they would last?

jafs 9 years ago

I must disagree with the above.Those who are concerned about our environment and our affect on it may not be perfectly informed, or correct on every score, but are trying to do the right thing.Those who don't care, and simply spew hateful anti-environmental sentiments, are not.

jafs 9 years ago

And, by simply reducing our consumption, we can have a dramatic effect.If everyone turned their thermostat up a bit in summer, and down a bit in winter, and didn't heat/cool unnecessarily in spring/fall, it would make a big difference.In fact, I'm pretty sure we could save enough to offset the need for new plants.

vpete69 9 years ago

That being said, maybe you should stop using your BBQ Grill. One average grilling session puts out more harmful smoke than burning 20 gallons of diesel fuel.

dirkleisure 9 years ago

Marion says - The grid is an integration of hundreds of power companies so the argument that the power is not used here is specious.----Better tell that to the power companies, they are the ones making the argument.

situveux1 9 years ago

I'm sure environmentalists think they are doing a great service to the earth, and maybe they are in some way...I personally just get tired or hearing what we can't do or shouldn't do rather than hearing what is possible and sustainable. More wind power and conservation isn't going to be sustainable in the long term. That's the proposal from Sebelius...wind power and conservation. That may be fine for a couple of years, but that's not a long term fix.So, everybody that's so against these plants, please, I'd love to hear some solutions rather than problems.

gccs14r 9 years ago

Furnace is off. A/C is off. Most house lights are now CFLs. Starting project to increase attic insulation by 6". Don't own a BBQ grill.

vpete69 9 years ago

Agnostick: I dont have any data. I figured that if the left was allowed to make up statistics like they did with the smoking ban and concealed carry threads, then we were allowed to do it with global warming and abortion.Your facts are based on personal beliefs, why cant ours?However, here ARE some facts regarding grill smoke:"Commercial charbroiling in the Bay Area emits some 6.9 tons a day of fine particulates and another 1.1 tons a day of smog-forming organic gases, the district estimates.""Pollutants found in smoke from indoor cooking fires are a major contributingfactor to eye and lung diseases in developing countries, causing an estimated2 million deaths every year.""The constituents of wood smoke typically include carbon monoxide, nitrousoxides, respirable suspended particulates, polyaromatic hydrocarbons andformaldehyde. Among the polyaromatic hydrocarbons found in wood smoke,there are many known carcinogens. There is evidence that benzo(a)pyrene,a polyaromatic hydrocarbon found in wood smoke, lowers the response ofhuman immune systems. In a single day, a woman cooking with wood may beexposed to as much benzopyrene from wood smoke as if she hadsmoked up to 450 non-filter cigarettes. Wood smoke may also triggerasthma attacks in susceptible individuals. Bladder and lung problems havebeen found to be caused by polyaromatic hydrocarbons present in woodsmoke emissions."

malehrman 9 years ago

It seems as though most agree at the very least that global climate has fluctuated over time.I think the debate about climate change should then be focused more on how much, if at all, human activity is exacerbating climate change and what, if anything, we can do about it.Maybe human activity has no effect. Maybe there is nothing we can do to slow climate change. Maybe the last time there was significant climate change, there weren't six billion people living on the planet living highly interconnected, interdependent, industrialized lives so at the very least maybe we could have an honest discussion rather than slinging cheap political slogans around.

Bruce Bertsch 9 years ago

You are missing the point. The plants can't be built in Colorado or Texas because of existing pollution laws or moratoriums. They are proposing Kansas because they thought/were assured that the government would roll over and allow it. Now we have a couple of legislators with egg on their face. BTW, any direct economic benefit will be short lived as the utility will likely hire in the expertise to run the plants. So once again, we are talking minimum wage type jobs as "economic development." Given the amount of aquifer water that the plants will use, Parkinson put in best when asking if, and I paraphrase, we would send our water to Texas and Colorado. This whole idea is a boondoggle of the first degree.

doc1 9 years ago

Morris and Neufeld = Snakes in the grass

dirkleisure 9 years ago

Why offer up the two 600 MW plants as a "compromise"?Could it be that the $3.6 billion estimate will no longer pay for two 700 MW plants?Just think, eventually they will only be able to afford one 700 MW plant, which is exactly what the Gov offered them a year ago.People who live out in western Kansas just aren't as smart as those of us who live in NE Kansas, that fact is obvious.

devobrun 9 years ago

jafs: So you feel that you want to protect the environment.Do you have any idea the magnitude of the thing that you are identifying as the environment?Mass of the ocean: 1.4 times ten to the 21 kg. It's about a million trillion tons.Mass of atmosphere: 5.8 times ten to the 18 kg. That's about 3 million billion tons.Mass of fresh water: 2.8 times 10 to the 19 kg. In the history of mankind, we have managed to increase the CO2 from about .028% of the atmosphere to about .038% of the atmosphere. The increased CO2 is good for plant life. The increased temperature of the atmosphere purely due to this CO2 is around 1 degree. The effect of CO2 that is indirect is very complicated because of clouds and transport of heat to the upper atmosphere. The global circulation models (gcm) like ccsm are monstrous. Here is an excerpt from ccsm:"CCSM-2 recreates climate by dividing the world's water and land surface into rectangular grid points that extend upward into the atmosphere in 26 vertical layers. Its resolution varies from 2.8 degrees longitude by 2.8 degrees latitude to an even finer resolution, for oceans and sea ice, of 1 degree by 1 degreemeaning that each cell of the grid at peak resolution corresponds to approximately 10,000 square kilometers (about 3,900 square miles).For every grid point, the model uses equations to solve such physical processes as the formation of clouds and the movement of heat and moisture. Scientists also input chemical components such as ozone and carbon dioxide that can affect cloud formation or trap solar heat.Such complex calculations demand an extraordinary amount of computer power. To recreate a single day of the world's climate, the model must perform 700 billion calculations. Although this means producing a picture of the atmosphere takes a long time, the payoff is that CCSM-2 can simulate Earth's climate patterns in considerable detail. "-------------------------------------------------------------Back in the 1920's Bertrand Russell decided to prove in a positive sense that 1+1=2. After 41 pages of work he admitted that he had failed, because in those 41 pages, the chances that he had made a mistake of commission or omission, were too high for him to accept. That was the end to logical positivism in science. Until new age environmental types came along and greatly exceeded the boundaries of science.Notice that last sentence from ccsm. They can simulate climate patterns in considerable detail.........only they aren't accurate. Climatologists are not engaged in science because they cannot properly test their models. Their climate analysis is simply not believable. Build the damn power plants!

Steve Clark 9 years ago

Lot's of smoke and hot air in here...In an effort to "seek first to understand, then be understood," I ask just this:who of you want to continue to argue against (and call names and make fun of and belittle) those who promote the goals of providing clean air, clean water, and natural surroundings for everyone to enjoy in good health?I would like to hear how attacking these goals fits into an understandable plan for our future.

vpete69 9 years ago

"That's understandable-but for now, it won't stop me from grilling outside. Charcoal and a few wood chips gives a better taste to the food."===========================So, lets just grill away and destroy the environment so you can enjoy a burger? I've never seen someone get so mad about a post, lol...and worse than that, you had to lose it over one about bbq grill pollution. That's the funny thing about you wackos. You only show support for a cause when its convenient for you. Thats why you dont see very many lefty men showing their support for abortion rights. You only see groups of women. Keep driving your SUV to the Earth Day parade.

fletch 9 years ago

"But CO2 also allows photosynthesis to occur in plants, which in turn provides oxygen for us humans to breathe and live."Yeah, too bad we deforested 75% of the worlds rain forests, where most of that CO2 scrubbing occurs.

tolawdjk 9 years ago

I hope Morris and Neufield are aware that two 600 MW plants are not what the original permit applications were for, nor what were in the draft permit that went out on public comment.That will require Sunflower to resubmit permits, resubmit modeling, and resubmit control options, and require KDHE to re-draft the permit. Sure, its all semantics. 100 MW less per unit, provided the underlying boiler tech isn't changing, will ammount to lower emissions, but unless they go through all the proper permitting hoops, Sierra Club will be all over their asses. No, its not a "common sense" approach, but it is what would legally need to be done, unless legislation found someway around it.They would be better off challenging the veto. Otherwise you risk adding just enough months to the project to drown it.

devobrun 9 years ago

fletch,not only did we deforest the amazon, but lots of Africa, too.We paved both coasts.We diverted the Colorado river to Phoenix and LA.We dammed rivers, and built roads.But the least important thing we did as far as climate change is concerned is CO2.Build the coal-fired power plants. Use the energy to replace the energy that is currently made from corn in Iowa and Brazil. Soothe the fevered environmentalists brow with a return to more natural land use. It will help with the cost of food, too.People who are especially susceptible to emotion-overriding-their-thoughts will love a good narrative explaining how we returned the Amazon to its previous state while drilling for oil off Brazil's coast. CO2 is fine, no problem. Stop cutting down the forest in the Amazon. Maybe I can get $300 million to spread the word.

Oracle_of_Rhode 9 years ago

For the sake of our kids, keep standing up to these polluters Governor!

yankeelady 9 years ago

I think part of the problem is also stripping the secretary of KDHE of the power to regulate. It sets a very bad precedent. It also makes Neufeld and "friends" look even more like a bunch of bullies, it has to be their way or else. If the attorney general issues an unpopular ruling is the legislature going to try to reduce the authority of that position also? Where does it end? Not to mention all of the above mentioned arguments against this project, all of which raise valid concerns. This doesn't seem to be the best time for this type of project.

ENGWOOD 9 years ago

" DRIP leisure"People who live out in western Kansas just aren't as smart as those of us who live in NE Kansas, that fact is obvious.Probably because of CO2 starvation so lets build the plants so we can be as big of an a$$ as you.

dirkleisure 9 years ago

CO2 is necessary for photosynthesis.Nitrogen is necessary for human life. However, if you come up too fast you're going to get the bends.My body is 60-70% water, so I should drink more, lots more, right? Because water is good, I need water to live, how dare anyone say too much water is bad?Tell ya what. All you climate change non-believers, I challenge you to a water drinking contest. First person who can drink 10 gallons in an hour wins. See how your body, which requires H2O to survive, deals with that.The "CO2 is good for us" argument is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard. It must have originated in western Kansas. Why don't they just secede?

Jeff Plinsky 9 years ago

For Morris and Neufeld, the issue isn't power (electrical or political), it's jobs. The plants offer an opportunity to bring a large number of high paying jobs to a part of the state where such jobs are scarce. Those jobs will get Republicans re-elected at a time when the KS GOP is taking a beating on the PR front. They want to be able to say they brought a better standard of living to western Kansas.That being said, I hope the Gov. calls their bluff.

janeyb 9 years ago

I also hope she calls their bluff. This ultimatum thing may work in Kathleen's favor. It may bring a few Democrat votes back her way. It is interesting that LJW protrays this as an ultimatum and the Topeka CJ said they offered a compromise. Sounds like someone knows the way this story is worded can affect the veto override.

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