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Archive for Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sebelius rejects coal-fired plant ultimatum

April 30, 2008, 10:12 a.m. Updated April 30, 2008, 10:56 a.m.

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Sebelius rejects coal plant ultimatum

— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today defied legislative leaders and rejected a proposal for two coal-fired power plants.

"I am disappointed that, for the third time in a row, the Legislature is asking me to mandate that Kansas send the power we need -- the power we create -- to Colorado and Texas," Sebelius said during a news conference.

House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, and Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, said Sebelius' decision could trigger a veto override vote today.

"We'll proceed," with a veto override, Neufeld said after he and Morris met with Sebelius.

The dispute is over a project by Hays-based Sunflower Power Electric Corp. and two out-of-state partners to build two coal-burning plants in southwest Kansas.

Sebelius has rejected two bills that would authorize construction of the two 700-megawatt plants. She has cited concerns about carbon dioxide emissions, linked to climate change, escalating costs of coal-fired plants, and the fact that 85 percent of the power would be sold to out-of-state customers.

Sunflower Power offered to reduce the project to two 600-megawatt plants, and Neufeld and Morris demanded that Sebelius accept the offer or they would initiate override votes.

But Sebelius continued to criticize the deal, noting it also would strip the power of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary and put the power to issue permits in the hands of the Legislature.

"The ultimatum I have been given contains all these problems, and would surely send our state in the wrong direction," she said.

Now, the showdown moves to the House and Senate.

To override Sebelius' veto 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.

Sebelius said she was working hard to sustain the veto in the House.

Comments

its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

Dirk: "it is now clear they will be demanding the 1.4 million other retail customers in Kansas pay for their green offsets instead.....two cents per month per electric meter."I thought all of the good citizens of Lawrence were clamoring for ways to help out their West Kansas neighbors a little......even if it cost them money. That is what many people on these boards have inferred and stated. Someone needs to tell Dirk. Twenty five cents a year for energy conservation has ole Dirk's panties in a wad all of a sudden? Ole Dirk ought to drive out to Liberal and hook up an electric meter and watch its hands go around, if he wants to see a real windmill. Or the Governor's plane can take him out next Pancake day.

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dirkleisure 5 years, 11 months ago

The Topeka Cap Journal: "The new legislation would also implement a new two-cents-per-meter fee on utility customers to help pay for Sunflower to build a bioenergy center in conjunction with the Holcomb plant."That would be on every utility customer in Kansas. We are all part of the Sunflower cooperative now. igw fails to mention the oh so attractive trailer bill passed with only 27 votes. The override and all prior coal bills have passed with 32. So one can see where igw would infer the trailer bill is so attractive.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

The Legislature is hard at work on a "trailer" bill to help persude a few House members to override the Governors veto and support the Holcomb plants.During consideration in the Senate today, State Senator Marci Francisco offered several amendments to improve this trailer bill. At least one of those amendments passed, thus helping the attractiveness of the trailer bill in overturning the Governors veto, possibly as early as tomorrow. She stood mute on the final vote for the bill, but her amendments helped the Holcomb supporters.

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hornhunter 5 years, 11 months ago

Dirk, Where did you come up with all of the above post info, other then georges?

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dirkleisure 5 years, 11 months ago

georgeofwesternkansas (Anonymous) says:They were communicating. The gov. demamded they meat her 2010 goal of being 10% green which they have done, she also demaned they sit down with sierra whcih they did and agreed to open the bio energy center which they have done. Then the gov and sierra turned on them and said no joy. Thats the reason WK is so mad, we did everything she asked.-----------------But in the other story..."The new measure would also charge every ratepayer in Kansas two cents per month per electric meter.Those funds would go to help develop Sunflower Electric's bioscience energy center and weatherization programs."Sunflower has 51,000 retail customers.For comparison, there were over 1.4 million retail customers in Kansas in 2006, the last year for data.Whereas previously Sunflower has claimed their bioscience energy center and conservation programs would be paid for in-house (part of the stay out of our business argument), it is now clear they will be demanding the 1.4 million other retail customers in Kansas pay for their green offsets instead.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

I think Dirk is trying to give Senator Craig type signals once again. Someone help him out, because I don't catch or pitch.

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dirkleisure 5 years, 11 months ago

Transparency is chosen specifically to hide?Wow. Quite the turn of phrase.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

Yea Bozo, I do see connections, patterns, and relations you choose to ignore. They may not all exist, but I know some of them do. Transparency is chosen by the Alliance specifically to hide these. That is not a baseless or casual conclusion. Or they would be more transparent. And even a Bozo at the back of the bus should easily see it.Bozo, naive? I don't think so. But you do very well at disingenuous

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dirkleisure 5 years, 11 months ago

Igw apparently had to go to work. Given how much he knows about the goings on at the Statehouse, it appears some let him know about the state of the men's restroom on the 1st floor.Get to work, igw.

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JJE007 5 years, 11 months ago

Nuculear is bayad. Get rit of ther sunn. Eet iss bayad.Ackshully, prehapes wee shuut seemply domp nucular wayst intuh the oshunic riffed, r sumthin. We shuut dump al of ourn tarxik wayst their...all of ar poissons.We shuut also durmp ar ainergee inter Colerady and Taixiss. We doan wawant thayit stuuuf har een Kainsis. Eet carses pluustshun.

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Armen Kurdian 5 years, 11 months ago

Too bad that there's such a stigma against nuclear plants...all the power with no carbon emissions.If indeed 85% of the power would go to out-of-state people, you charge enough for the electricity such that you can affordably reduce emissions, and make the plan cleaner and more efficient. That way everyone wins...Kansas jobs, electricity, and the environment.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"Why not list their major members, basic sources of funding, or details of structure?"Good question. But I'm sure until there is a clear answer, you'll use it to jump to convenient but baseless conclusions, such as this one--"Totally controlled by the Governor and staff unless you can demonstrate to me otherwise."

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 11 months ago

its_getting_warmer (Anonymous) says:"flock: Thanks for agreeing with my point."I'd say your welcome, but I didn't agree. More twisting? I think so.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

flock: Thanks for agreeing with my point.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

Bozo: I stand by my statement of whom Mr. Allegrucci represents based on his characterization, with words from his mouth while in the Capitol. You can try to equivocate or obfuscate all you want. That so-called 'Alliance' doesn't hold up to scrutiny and is just a front for washing sources of political money.Why doesn't the "Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy" exercise some the most minimal of transparency efforts others around here insist on? (Perhaps to serve the purpose you just used it for, to obfuscate the money and the political direction?) Oh yes, no hypocrisy for Bozo.Why not list their major members, basic sources of funding, or details of structure? Right now, they are just a Black Hole. Totally controlled by the Governor and staff unless you can demonstrate to me otherwise. Not really a site or group to be trusted, until. Show me the money trail, you Bozo, Bozo.Ha!

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 11 months ago

IGW,Again, the permitting processes don't work that way. It's not a matter of ego, it's just that you seem to be reaching and grabbing at things that don't exist in an effort to get your argument to fit. Here's how it typically works. You apply. They might contact you to ask some questions about your permit application, provided you have met at least the minimum criteria. They approve or deny and sometimes there is some reason(s) given for the denial. You modify your permit application and try again.Some projects are more complicated than others. Those that are less complicated and where each and every i was dotted and t was crossed normally get approved. Even those that get approved can come with typical or atypical stipulations. I recall one that had stipulations involving equipment required because of a habitat issue.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

"3) Who does the political work in Kansas for Chesapeake? Scott Allegrucci, former Sebelius staffer and son of her primary political confidant, Joyce Allegrucci."Actually, he works for The Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy. Chesapeake happens to be one of several member organizations. So Allegrucci, in fact, doesn't represent Chesapeake. Or Sebelius. Or his mother. Or his father, who happens to be a Supreme Court justice.

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dirkleisure 5 years, 11 months ago

"1) the so-called 'independent' political poll conducted by the Land Institute was paid for by the Governor"Something you have zero proof for. Spending made by the Gov's campaign account in December to a pollster is most likely for a pre-session opinion poll. Everybody in Topeka does them, and they are broad based so as to encompass multiple issues."2) the biggest political spender in this issue last year was not the power companies, but Chesapeake Energy"Only under your definition of "last year." Change your definition to "the past year," i.e. the last 12 months, and Chesapeake falls out of first place."5) And check out the other activities of CEP. They are promoting anti-Holcomb rallies like today. Hardly non-political."So if you go to the Kansas Statehouse and advocate for a cause, that is automatically political? That would be news to literally thousands of Kansans and their organizations. What you really mean is it is "political" when it happens on an issue you are on the other side of.Try harder. Get some coffee or a rubdown or something. Think up some clever way to say Lawrence hates Syracuse or something.

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malcolm_x_obama 5 years, 11 months ago

I was wondering why Queen Kathleen is so fanatically against coal. Then I think I may have figured it out. If Kathleen strategically placed a large chunk of coal in her person in a particular place, could she assert (clench) enough pressure on the coal to create a diamond?Just a thought, hadn't been considered but might be the reason for the impass. Kansas could replace Arkansas as the Diamond state....wow!

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

While we are talking about political hypocrisy, just one little example of the Governors good influence in this issue:1) the so-called 'independent' political poll conducted by the Land Institute was paid for by the Governor, and performed by the Governor's pollster.2) the biggest political spender in this issue last year was not the power companies, but Chesapeake Energy....a company who has control over massive portions of the US natural gas supply. New natural gas generation would be...what five to ten times the cost of coal? And who makes the money? Chesapeake.3) Who does the political work in Kansas for Chesapeake? Scott Allegrucci, former Sebelius staffer and son of her primary political confidant, Joyce Allegrucci.4) The Land Institute started the Climate and Energy Project to be an information organization about energy policy in this state. Great. The IRS 501 regulations under which it is organized do not permit it to be a political advocacy group. And who is on staff? The same Scott Allegrucci. Does CEP want expensive natural gas plants in Kansas? Don't tgas-plants produce CO2? How can this source of energy, the very most expensive, be a serious piece of any solution5) And check out the other activities of CEP. They are promoting anti-Holcomb rallies like today. Hardly non-political. Maybe in violation of their IRS charter. But their godfather Wes Jackson (actual father-in-law of the CEP director Nancy Jackson) and the Governor were grinning to Frontline today. Does ANY of this sound incestuous? And driven directly by the Governor and Governor's staff. Political. Pure and simple.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

Of course we hate Western Kansas-- cause they're so....so....well, Western. And that's where the Wicked Witch of the West is from. Those evil, wicked, evil Westerners.

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dirkleisure 5 years, 11 months ago

So were there conversations or not? You say there weren't, then you say they were one sided, then you say there were but some ljworld poster has all the details.Keep making up excuses for your ignorance, igw. And you can't even come up with your own cliche? You have to rely on "stirke three"?Come on. You're not even trying. Focus in on your ridiculous "Lawrence hates western Kansas" rants instead. At least those are entertaining.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 11 months ago

IGW says,"Applicants rarely are caught off-guard that a permit will be denied. "Wrong. We were twice on the instance I mentioned.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

Dirk: Just saw Georges statement explaining the "conversations" above. Maybe the two of you have met each other in them.

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bobberboy 5 years, 11 months ago

You tell um govner. Don't give in to the pro-slavers oopps I meant pro-antienviormentalists. Tell um Kansans have values worth fightin' fer.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

Dirk: "That happened. Discussion with Sunflower was absolutely going on 18 months ago. Swing and a miss, igw.".....Sounds like a one-way conversation Dirk, which as you know is not a conversation. Or we would not be in this mess. Strike three to you. And the rest of you or your friends on the Governors staff.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

Flock: Well, Miss understands-all-about-permitting sorry to step on your ego. Your post actually supports my view, that pre-permitting and permitting processes can involve lots of back-and-forth negotiation in informal and formal processes of environmental permiting. A business-friendly environment dictates this. Applicants rarely are caught off-guard that a permit will be denied. That is why KDHE (as well as other states) can say they don't deny many permits, because applicants can identify issues and fix or withdraw (walk away) before applications are denied. And that is why the business community is scared to death of Kansas right now.....because of the arbitrary and out-of-the blue nature of the Sunflower decision, and the now lack of any standards at all on CO2.The Court case had been hanging in the air since its argument months earlier. I don't presume the Governor has a crystal ball, but more than one commentator had predicted the outcome. Regardless, after the SCOTUS opinion, the Governor could have weighed in in a positive fashion to explore other resolutions, other than the self-serving burn-Atlanta political stance she instead chose.

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georgeofwesternkansas 5 years, 11 months ago

They were communicating. The gov. demamded they meat her 2010 goal of being 10% green which they have done, she also demaned they sit down with sierra whcih they did and agreed to open the bio energy center which they have done. Then the gov and sierra turned on them and said no joy. Thats the reason WK is so mad, we did everything she asked.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 11 months ago

its_getting_warmer (Anonymous) says: Newsflash to Marion. The override was only one individual short three weeks ago. Not rocket science."Marion writes:Yeah, I know; or they'll just put up a new bill and override with that oneI should have been more clear; the plants are going to be built..You wait.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 11 months ago

IGW says..."You totally miss my point!"Nah, that would be you. At this point, you are 0 and whatever. Even if they had not been communicating during that period, I doubt that they could have forseen the April 07 SCOTUS decision. With that out there, Bremby would have been lit up if he had just ignored it.It also sounds like you don't fully understand the permitting processes at the state and federal level. As it happens, I have first-hand knowledge of those processes. Once, I had a permit application at the federal level that took three modifications before the permit was approved, which took about 18 months.

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malcolm_x_obama 5 years, 11 months ago

She's a lame duck. Second term so she's hosing us. We should have a recall, while were at it, recall the Lt. Governor as well. Nuefeld for Governor!!

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dirkleisure 5 years, 11 months ago

She could have avoided this whole problem by getting into the issue with Sunflower 18 months ago.----That happened. Discussion with Sunflower was absolutely going on 18 months ago.Swing and a miss, igw.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 years, 11 months ago

Last night I was called by a pollster, but I forgot to ask who the poll was for. There were a lot of questions about who would I vote for if they were running against Marci Francisco, so I'm assuming it was a Kansas Republican group. There were also questions about the coal plants. I kind of shocked the lady with 2 answers. She asked if I would support the power plants if I knew our electric bills would go up 30%. I told her I don't give in to blackmail. I'd put up a clothes line and buy some kerosene lamps and lower my usage 30%. Then she asked if I approved of the polluting coal plant in north Lawrence. I said we needed to find an alternative and shut it down as quick as we can. The governor might have compromised, but these jerks want to strip the executive's powers to protect us from air polluters. Not an option. They may override it, but it will be a campaign issue, so they better be careful how they vote.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

Newsflash to Marion. The override was only one individual short three weeks ago. Not rocket science.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

" I have written my letters relative to Clean Air Permit renewals."Well, kudos to you. Too bad you have to simultaneously take the exact opposite position wrt Sunflower's coal plants. I think that would generally be considered hypocritical.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm not saying that I am in favour of the plants but I'd bet there is an override in the works.

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KS 5 years, 11 months ago

Looks like a showdown at the Okay Corral! Maybe we will know as soon as tonight who is the last one standing.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

average:"They're never getting more than 15% of the power".......You can't make that statement average. Not true. And besides, so what? Lets shut down interstate transmission lines with NE, MO, and OK if this is the right energy policy.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

Flock: "She tried and they rejected any compromise"---You totally miss my point! She could have avoided this whole problem by getting into the issue with Sunflower 18 months ago. The application for these plants did not drop out of the sky into the states hands with no prior knowledge. But KDHE's (read the Governors) response certainly did.That is why it is all about politics now. And why I am so snarky about todays made-for-TV publicity event. And you people in Lawrence eat this up, when you are just being used. Well, as they say, lay down and enjoy it.

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average 5 years, 11 months ago

I think Sebelius needs to re-frame the debate. Point out that no matter how much energy western Kansas needs in the future, they're never getting more than 15% of the power from Sunflower. That's the contract. In writing. It puts a limit on the future out there. And Kansans get 90% of the emissions, and pay with 100% of the Ogallah water.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 11 months ago

IGW says..."instead of early on working with those in Western Kansas to modify the Sunflower proposal"She tried and they rejected any compromise. Now, when it's pretty obvious that they will lose, they try to force a compromise (somehow, that doesn't come off even looking remotely like negotiating on their part).Bottom line, she tried. Your wrong to spew that nonsense. You've managed to twist practically every aspect of this issue toward your ridiculous, nonsense slant. Say it as often as you want, but it won't make it come true. And if she happens to have the eyes of the country/world on her over it, good on her. She happens to be in a place where she can make history in a good way. Journalists come with that territory.

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bookworm4 5 years, 11 months ago

What a proud day in Kansas! Once again, Gov. Sebelius refuses to give into the pressure of the coal idustry. I do agree that Western Kansas has economic needs. And the fact that the legislature has ignored and resisted attracting green industry there has gone on too long.Let's harness that strong Kansas Wind!

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 11 months ago

vpete69, ever consider that your idiot lawmakers can't override her veto? Now who's the idiot! haha

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beobachter 5 years, 11 months ago

if neufield had votes to override veto, he wouldn't have tried to bluff her with this so-called compromise. she is simply a little better politician than he is.

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logicsound04 5 years, 11 months ago

"I hope Governor Kathleen doesn't get sunburn from all the TV cameras today on her shameless publicity stunt."--------------Um, if I'm not mistaken, the "publicity" war was started by the grandstanding of Neufeld and Morris, offering a "compromise" (that was really no different from the first proposal) and threatening to initiate a veto override (which they had already tried to do) if not accepted.Sebelius simply rejected it like any reasonable person (and even Neufeld and Morris probably) foresaw that she would.This should not come as a surprise to anyone.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

The hypocrisy of the Governor choosing this issue to advance her political standing, instead of early on working with those in Western Kansas to modify the Sunflower proposal stands by itself as the largest icon of hypocrisy in this entire issue. No other way to explain it. Which is why the legislature does not support her.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

Right back at you Bozo. I have written my letters relative to Clean Air Permit renewals. And I do support economic growth in the State beyond the confines of the Westar service area.Hypocrisy indeed. From a Lawrencian, no less.

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vpete69 5 years, 11 months ago

LOL! She had a choice to accept the two 600MW plants, or veto it and get two 700MW plants. She vetoes it. LOL what a f'n idiot. Sorry lefties, but your queen just cost you 200MW of carbon credits... haha.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 11 months ago

It'd be a lot less hypocritical of you to work towards closing the existing plants rather than shilling for new ones, warmer.

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh give us all a break. The organization which conducted the so-called opinion poll which the Governor paid for, The Land Institute, has been fronting and organizing a HUGE rally today which will include a crew from TV's "Frontline." Frontline will interview Wes Jackson of the Land Institute and the Governor as part of its coverage. Fawn, fawn, fawn. And thanks for the opinion poll money, Kathy. Today is so-much about a choreographed national publicity plug for her, not anything else. (oh Barak, are you watching???)

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its_getting_warmer 5 years, 11 months ago

I hope Governor Kathleen doesn't get sunburn from all the TV cameras today on her shameless publicity stunt.And I wonder how much CO2 is being generated by all those TV lights with Jeffrey and Lawrence generated electrons.

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