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Archive for Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Coal debate expected to heat up

Legislators to return today, may attempt veto override

April 30, 2008

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— The political showdown of the year is expected to play out today as legislative leaders try to overturn Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' veto of two coal-fired power plants.

House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, and Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, have given Sebelius an ultimatum: Approve the project or face a veto-override vote.

Sebelius will meet with Neufeld and Morris at 8 a.m., then announce her decision at a 9 a.m. news conference, one hour before the House and Senate start the wrap-up session.

The legislative leaders and Sunflower Electric Power Corp. offered to reduce the size of the two plants from 700 megawatts each to 600 megawatts each.

If Sebelius rejects the offer, Morris and Neufeld said they would start voting to override her veto of a bill that would authorize two 700-megawatt plants. An override would require two-thirds' majorities - 84 votes in the 125-member House and 27 in the 40-member Senate.

The last bill Sebelius vetoed concerning the plants received 83 votes in the House and 32 in the Senate.

"Right now, I don't think that the votes are there" to override, said Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, who has opposed the plants. But Davis said the wrap-up session, which is scheduled to last four days, could end up going longer.

"I would predict the speaker is going to keep us there as long as he can to try to use that as leverage to get the votes," he said.

But Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing, who supports the project, said he believes there are enough votes in the House to override Sebelius' veto.

"I think she is going to reject (the offer) and is very much aware that she is losing ground on the override," he said.

Sebelius has opposed the project's annual emission of 11 million tons of carbon dioxide and its effect on global warming, and that 85 percent of the power will be used by out-of-state customers. She has also criticized a part of the bill that would strip the state environmental agency of much of its authority in granting power plant permits.

Comments

MCwzMC 6 years, 7 months ago

Kansas: As Backwards and You Think!Well, at least one thing is the same - we're dominated by special interests and powerful minorities.

gr 6 years, 7 months ago

I once thought The Land Institute was doing good work. Too bad they have started chasing after imaginary pollution and playing politics instead of searching for environmentally friendly crops and ways to grow them.

gccs14r 6 years, 7 months ago

The Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is a pollutant subject to EPA regulation. Sebelius is doing Sunflower a favor by denying the permits.

christy kennedy 6 years, 7 months ago

itsgettingwarmer,She didn't ask to have the coal plants rammed down her throat. She's against it for a lot of good reasons. What about that don't you get?

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 7 months ago

At least they had time to squeeze in a bill about salvia. Geez.

BigAl 6 years, 7 months ago

I must admit that I don't know a lot about this but why are these coal plants illegal in Colorado and other states? And, as it says here, 85% of this newly generated power will be used by other states? So, we get the pollution and they get the benefit?

kansasethics 6 years, 7 months ago

Has anyone heard about Final Four tickets being used to bribe legislators on this issue???:From the Hutchinson News:House speaker questions NCAA tourney tickets, plane rideBy Harris News ServiceHouse Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, complained recently that Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius sought to prevent a veto override on a coal plant bill by offering tickets and rides on the state plane to the NCAA basketball tournament. . . .

BigAl 6 years, 7 months ago

its_getting_warmer. Thanks. At the very least, I am sure that Western Kansas could use the industrial boost for construction and future employment. And, how bad can it be that Kansas is selling energy to other states? Just guessing, I would say "Build it". But again, I am definitely not an expert on coal-fired, or any other, energy plants.

georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 7 months ago

"She didn't ask to have the coal plants rammed down her throat. She's against it for a lot of good reasons. What about that don't you get?"Up until a Jan 2007 ago she supported the project then turned to the other side. Get up to speed if you are going to post.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 7 months ago

She'll tell them no, the override will fail, and then it will end up in the courts, where it will probably be disposed of.

Marcus DeMond 6 years, 7 months ago

Wind and solar instead of coal. Kansas should be moving forward not backward.

georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 7 months ago

"Marcus (Anonymous) says: Wind and solar instead of coal. Kansas should be moving forward not backward."So build it!!

snowWI 6 years, 7 months ago

IGW,You seem to ignore the fact that the price of raw materials, transportation, and coal are going through the roof.You also don't seem to realize that Holcomb is using OBSOLETE pulverized technology.When a new administration comes to D.C. we will likely see a carbon tax enacted. Pulverized technology has no possible way of capturing nor sequestering CO2 compared with IGCC. If a carbon tax is enacted then expensive remedies or modifications will have to be made at existing coal plants including Holcomb. The price of electricity could go up. (CO2 is a pollutant: see EPA vs state of Massachusetts for details)Oh, the algae reactor is completely unproven technology and will not likely work. Photosynthesis DOES NOT occur at night!

snowWI 6 years, 7 months ago

I think many people would be more in favor of this entire project if the total MW capacity was scaled back, involved IGCC technology with CO2 capture and sequestration instead of Pulverized Coal, and included a higher percentage of electricity coming from natural gas, wind, and solar. The Algae Reactor is UNPROVEN technology. Don't believe the lies!!!

bookworm4 6 years, 7 months ago

Simply Kansas does not need two coal plants built in western KS. The energy need is coming from Colorado and Oklahoma. This new bill was not compromise. Remember that the coal folks have lots of money behind them and have been courting the legislators for years. They have a lot to lose because they have chose not invest in wind energy. GPACE is doing a great job educating legislators about the other side of coal.

hornhunter 6 years, 7 months ago

snow, why not put your nose back into your books and be quiet?Your IGCC, doesn't work on a big scale so go blow your horn some where else.You are right,Photosynthesis does not occur at night! That is not how an algea reactor works DA.One more thing snow, you seem to be forgetting that every thing is costing more these days. But how would you know how much things cost when mommy and daddy provide for you.

snowWI 6 years, 7 months ago

hornhunter,How about you live in western KS for awhile? I have lived there for several years in the past unlike you. Oh, explain how an algae reactor is much better than IGCC technology at capturing and sequestering CO2 emissions. The US has a few IGCC plants, but the costs are still high. I never said that the costs were not high for these plants. However, to go business as usual with the pulverized coal plants, and pretend we will not see carbon taxes implemented in the near future would be a falacy of judgement.

hornhunter 6 years, 7 months ago

snow Tell me how pumping CO2 in to the ground is better than using it to produce algea and then turning the algea into a bio-fuel ? Or are you saying that its ok to put it under ground and let someone in the future worry about it ?And your IGCC plants won't get taxed because the CO2 goes under ground and not above?

dirkleisure 6 years, 7 months ago

hornhunter (Anonymous) says:snowTell me how pumping CO2 in to the ground is better than using it to produce algea and then turning the algea into a bio-fuel ? Or are you saying that its ok to put it under ground and let someone in the future worry about it ?---Actually hornhunter, the plant cannot afford the algae/biofuel center without a 30% increase in the electric rates of every customer in Kansas.

snowWI 6 years, 7 months ago

IGW,You still believe that coal power is cheap? HAAfter the feds pass the carbon tax regulations in the next few years the costs for electricity generated from any pulverized coal plant will increase. True, KWH rates in SW Kansas are higher than NE Kansas right now, but will that be the case in a few years when we have more carbon regulations than we do today.

snowWI 6 years, 7 months ago

GW,You still believe that coal power is cheap? HAAfter the feds pass the carbon tax regulations in the next few years the costs for electricity generated from any pulverized coal plant will increase. True, KWH rates in SW Kansas are higher than NE Kansas right now, but will that be the case in a few years when we have more carbon regulations than we do today?

snowWI 6 years, 7 months ago

"Tell me how pumping CO2 in to the ground is better than using it to produce algea and then turning the algea into a bio-fuel ?"Hornhunter,How about catching up on some reading?http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/factsheets/technical/Tech022.pdf

hornhunter 6 years, 7 months ago

Dirk where do you find this BS?' the plant cannot afford the algae/biofuel center without a 30% increase in the electric rates of every customer in Kansas.'Sorry for a late response but I'm doing my part on conserving energy.

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