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Archive for Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sebelius discusses upcoming legislative session which includes an energy plan

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius discusses the stimulus package she anticipates states will receive under the direction of president-elect Barack Obama in 2009. The money would help bring new jobs to Kansas and help those hit hardest by the economic downturn.

December 30, 2008

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Sebelius discusses host of state issues

With the new year come many challenges for state lawmakers. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius talks about some of the biggest issues facing the state. Enlarge video

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius talks on Tuesday with reporters about energy issues, the state's ties with the new president, and gambling, among other issues she wants to tackle in 2009.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius talks on Tuesday with reporters about energy issues, the state's ties with the new president, and gambling, among other issues she wants to tackle in 2009.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius talks with reporters about energy issues, the state's ties with the new president, and gambling, among other issues she wants to tackle in 2009.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius talks with reporters about energy issues, the state's ties with the new president, and gambling, among other issues she wants to tackle in 2009.

— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday said that despite the state budget crunch she would oppose a general tax increase — although she supports a tax increase on cigarettes — and will propose an energy plan for the 2009 Legislature to consider.

In a wide-ranging interview before the Jan. 12 start of the legislative session, Sebelius said she hopes she doesn’t see a repeat of the 2008 legislative session when so much legislation and time were tied to the proposal to build two coal-burning power plants in southwest Kansas.

Sebelius opposed the project by Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and vetoed three bills that would have required construction of the plants. Lawmakers failed to overturn her vetoes.

This upcoming session, Sebelius said she will roll out an energy plan that focuses on development of renewable energy, transmission, conservation and efficiency.

“We have some opportunities that very few states have,” Sebelius said. “We really could be self-sustained in terms of an energy future and a real leader in the country, and be at the right place at the right time.”

She said the prospect of building new coal-burning plants is more iffy now than ever because of potential regulation and penalties on carbon dioxide emissions.

“Even more than last year, we have a good deal of uncertainty about what the financial future is, what the rules will be, what the penalties will be for coal in the next year or so,” she said.

But Cindy Hertel, a spokeswoman for Sunflower Electric, said the company plans to pursue legislation again to build the plants. “We are hopeful and know we have a lot of support,” Hertel said.

Sebelius added, “I’m sure that we will have a re-engagement on the Sunflower project but I’m hoping it won’t be the only thing that the legislators talk about and are interested in.”

Political prospects

On other topics, Sebelius said she expects President-elect Barack Obama and Congress to approve an economic stimulus plan to help states. She said she also expects the Obama administration to push forward with plans for universal health care coverage.

“We will have an ally in Washington,” Sebelius said of Obama, for whom she vigorously campaigned.

Sebelius was considered by Obama as a vice presidential candidate and for Cabinet positions.

But Obama chose Joe Biden as his running mate, and after much speculation about Cabinet posts, Sebelius announced she would stay in Kansas as the state faces an immediate $140 million budget deficit and a potential shortfall of $1 billion next year.

Although there has been talk that she may run for Senate in 2010 or take a job in the Obama administration later on, Sebelius declined to say what her political future may hold.

“We’ve got some unfinished business, and it isn’t about what I’m going to do next at the end of 2010. It’s about what we need to get done in early 2009 and that’s really where my focus is going to be, and I hope that I can keep the legislative focus there,” she said. She added that as far as her future plans go, “I’m not going to make any firm decisions about anything until the end of the session.”

Budget woes

On the issue of taxes, Sebelius said of any increase, “I tend to believe (it) would just add pain to an already painful situation.” On that issue, Sebelius probably has widespread agreement from the Legislature.

But Sebelius did say she supported an increase in the tax on cigarettes, saying it would provide revenue for health care while making it more difficult for youngsters to start smoking. She said she hoped the Legislature would support a statewide ban on smoking in indoor public places, describing the proposal as “probably the largest impact we could have on the health of Kansans and it costs nothing.”

On the budget situation, Sebelius wouldn’t provide details of the plans she will unveil at the start of the session.

She said she hoped to protect social services and public schools. “What we are trying to do is not dig a lot of holes for the future,” she said.

But, she said, public schools will probably not get the full increase that had been planned earlier. “The K-12 community will regard that as a cut. I would argue that trying to hold harmless as much as possible is actually light years ahead of the rest of the world.”

Comments

madameX 5 years, 10 months ago

Global warming or no, I don't think we should be spewing more and more coal soot and other assorted pollution into the air if we can avoid it. Bring on the wind farms.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 10 months ago

OK XD40, I'll take the bait. I'll take your commentary by an editorial columnist and raise it with actual numbers taken from real world measurements. Here is a link to graphs of global temperatures. Note that these are global averages, not cherry-picked numbers from specific locations.http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

djneibarger 5 years, 10 months ago

XD40,"glodbal warming/CO2 hoax now completely discredited" by whom? pro-coal folks like yourself? since you're such a fan of hoax-busting, why don't you invest some time in researching "clean coal"? afterwards if you still think there even is such a thing, i've got some property in florida i'd like to sell you..

Phil Minkin 5 years, 10 months ago

Ask the folks in Tennessee about how wonderful coal burning is.

Sean Livingstone 5 years, 10 months ago

XD40,Wow.... you're phenomenal... not because you are smart... but I'm appalled by how easy you can accept one single piece of "news" to confirm your "belief". Well, earth is the center of the universe, and sun and moon circle around her. Feel the same? Yeap, stay in Lawrence and the Alps, and wow.... so much snow this year. Ok, global warming is not true. If things can be treated literally.... we don't need to spend 5 extra years to get a Ph.D., and then our lifetime to work on the same topic.

jonas_opines 5 years, 10 months ago

Guys, XD40 believe the National Review to be clear and unbiased. You don't need to waste your time.

Pinhead_Identifier 5 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

doubledogleg 5 years, 10 months ago

i was pretty thankful for coal this morning when I woke up and it was a whole lot warmer in my house than outside. i'm also thankful that when I pay my monthly electric bill this afternoon it's semi-reasonable, but it's sounds like tKathleen says those things are about to CHANGE.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 10 months ago

XD40,Did you actually read the article?"Based on some conservative as-sumptions regarding the value of independent estimates, we conclude thatclimate sensitivity is very unlikely (< 5% probability) to exceed 4.5 [degrees] C."It in no way says that CO2 does not affect global temperature; it simply makes another, conservative, estimate or adjustment of the upper bound of how hot it will get.

rorik23 5 years, 10 months ago

XD40 - many of your articles don't support the claims you state they do (for example, the CO2 claim). The authors of those articles may prefer you not misstate their positions in your postings. In addition, the rest of your claims come from biased sources. I might as well post snippets from "An Inconvenient Truth" to support the alternative viewpoint. It's the political equivalent to your claims and supporting arguments.

dougmarshall 5 years, 10 months ago

Sebelius is still here? I thought she was a V.P. type person. Now not even a cabinet secretary? Someone must have figured her out. Too bad for us! Maybe Ohio would take her back...

phyllyphat 5 years, 10 months ago

if ks put even a small amount of cash into some research and development of my solar power plant satellite design this state would be in the vanguard of harvesting inexhaustible energy. as ive put down before, im no college grad, no technical genius or any type of aerospace engineer, but ive still been able to bring together the basic necessities for a viable system by just studying the materials and work others with formal training have begun. sort of a "jurassic park/john hammond" thing if you will, and thats what im lacking to get this off the ground... financing. thus, as ive said, once my art sells... this is my lifes work. the spps project consists of huge discs of solar voltaics, thrust vectoring coupled with the rutan feather idea for the drone-equipped transport vehicle to and from the satellite site, industrial size rechargeable lithium batteries, robotics for the harvesting detail, and everything completely controlled at ground level. there will be no need for humans in space. we can kick it down on the ground and merely control all the goings-on plus work the shipping and receiving part when these fully-charged batteries starting dropping in 24 hrs a day 7 days a wk 365 days a yr... and we can take a day off on leap yrs. now if my whackyass can come up with this stuff why cant trained professionals do likewise? is there some grand secret i havent been let in on? this is TOO simple to get together. forget wind power forget coal power forget biomass power... in case no ones noticed, theres this great big yellow star pulsating a few planets away that emits enough power in a single solar flare to power the world from now til tuesday. why wont my voice carry to you folks?

Sean Livingstone 5 years, 10 months ago

"XD40 (Anonymous) says…Read closely, the article says CO2 in NOT the climate/temperature force that folks like you and Al Gore claim it is."Al Gore didn't claim it, like he didn't invent the internet. Al Gore, in his film, used data from scientists and made the findings into a film. Al Gore believes that CO2 emission is linked to Climate Change and Global Warming. What he believes is a political belief. It's so sad to see someone uses Al Gore as a target, and not try to dispute research findings from established scientists. Maybe all the Climate Change sciences are a hoax. It requires scientific evidences, many many of them to disprove a theory that has already been deeply rooted itself. One cannot simply pluck out one paper, one website etc... to dispute climate change. Take a look at the NASA website etc.Originally, I thought I didn't want to waste my time on you. But seeing you having so much difficulties understanding the articles that you have provided, and many times misinterpreted, and mixed up political beliefs and science, it's time to tell you to cool down, sit aside, relax, and take a brand new look at Climate Change all over again. If Climate Change is a hoax, it will blow itself up. Trust me, no sciences can survive cheating and lying. But if it's true, we'll probably be wiped out by the end of the next millennium.

KEITHMILES05 5 years, 10 months ago

All you nitwits who don't want coal usage just remember when the plants shut down and nothing is online to take up the slack.Idiots.

madameX 5 years, 10 months ago

Well duh, the whole point of phasing in new power sources rather than building more coal plants is to avoid a situation where there's no coal but nothing to take its place.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 10 months ago

phyllyphat (Anonymous) says…if ks put even a small amount of cash into some research and development of my solar power plant satellite design...I guess I'm having a hard time imagining a battery capable of storing more energy than what would be required to lift it into orbit.

Bill Griffith 5 years, 10 months ago

It is interesting to note that the governor today just deep-sixed the Kansas Energy Council and is moving on.  This committee was too large, uninspired, and unable to think outside the box.  It is also interesting to note that the KEEP committee is diligently doing its work and should be done sometime this summer on it.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 10 months ago

XD40 (Anonymous) says…"In fact, the 'green house gas' that drives most temperature forcings is water vapor:..."You're right; it is. So what? Saying that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere doesn't increase the greenhouse effect is like saying that if I add more jalepenos to my chili it doesn't get any hotter.

phyllyphat 5 years, 10 months ago

the industrial battery size makeup ive configured as the prototype is 12.75' and everything ive put together is scaled to that size. ive designed everything at an exaggerated scale with the plan that with trial and error and further r & d things will be pared way down as my technology improves. i was quite happy to read, i think in a space.com article or possibly it was a dept of energy record... i dont rememebr which, that lithium batteries have already been put into use in military satellites. my question is how much battery goop do i have to mix up for a battery that size? how heavy will a single battery be? will the weight change between uncharged and charged? how much thrust per square inch to whatever payload is being lifted... and so on and on and on... thanks for taking some interest baby, ill cut your house the first battery. satyagraha

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

Union of Concerned Scientists on Global Warming:http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/Sources of radioactive waste and high dollar energy are nuke and coal power:http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-wastehttp://www.sierraclub.org/coal/faq/http://news.cnet.com/Nuke-power-not-so-clean-or-green/2008-11392_3-6189817.htmlThe real culprit behind shutting down nuke power plants was money. Back in the 80's Wall Street declared nuke power a bad investment due to the cost of construction,was expensive to rate payers and cost of storing hot nuke waste for a few million years is very very expensive which gets into your tax dollar wallet in a big way. Polticians and corporate exectutives do not like to discuss this matter. Tulsa,Oklahoma ratepayers said NO to a nuke plant in the 80's when they were advised of the cost.....Black Fox the bad fox did not materialize.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 10 months ago

Is it a privilege to pay wayyyy too much for power that drivesa few to want it? How smart is expensive energy? Who's pushing expensive energy.....coal power executives and politicians...what does that tell you? Follow the money maybe?==========================================="When it was first announced in 2003, FutureGen was billed as a $1 billion prototype for the coal-burning power plant of the future, combining electricity and hydrogen production with the near elimination of harmful emissions. So the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) decision late last month to back out of the project, which was meant to build an advanced coal-gasification plant designed to sequester its carbon dioxide emissions underground, is once again fueling debate over the future of clean-coal technology in the United States.Some energy-policy analysts say that technology development and changing priorities have simply made FutureGen obsolete. In fact, they say that the DOE's plans to instead finance carbon-capture equipment at commercial power plants could actually accelerate the implementation of the clean-coal vision that FutureGen once represented. "The fact that the [FutureGen] project was cancelled reflects budgetary issues more than a lack of confidence in the technology," says Alex Klein, a senior analyst tracking developments in power generation for the consultancy Emerging Energy Research, based in Cambridge, MA. "If the government does, in fact, concentrate its efforts on capture and sequestration, it will be just as significant a development for the industry as if FutureGen went forward."In a statement released last week, U.S. secretary of energy Samuel Bodman explained that FutureGen had become too expensive. Indeed, FutureGen's predicted price tag has gone from $950 million in 2003 to $1.5 to $1.8 billion today. The DOE had agreed to foot 74 percent of the bill, leaving just over a quarter to the FutureGen Alliance, a consortium of primarily coal-fired utilities. "

Chris Golledge 5 years, 10 months ago

XD40 (Anonymous) says…"Seems like it could be that the sun is a climate force on the earth. Imagine that:"Really? I guess most of the rest of us aren't smart enough to figure that out. (sarcasm)So, here is a record of solar irradiance:http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SOLAR/IRRADIANCE/irrad.htmlIt cycles, but overall is pretty flat over the instrumental record.Meanwhile, CO2 has been rising and the global temperature has also been rising. CO2 record:http://cdiac.ornl.gov/pns/faq.htmlhttp://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/index.html#global(Note that the growth rate numbers from 1980 are all positive; the positive numbers are increases over the previous year.)Temperature record:http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gifSo, from about 1980 the sun has been flat, the temperatures have been rising, and CO2 has been rising, and you expect us to believe that the sun has more to do with the increase in temperature than CO2. Hmmm.

Chris Golledge 5 years, 10 months ago

Caps are important on the irradiance link. 'SOLAR' and 'IRRADIANCE' need to be uppercase.For same reason the web site converts them to lowercase. Weird, I entered them both here in uppercase and only one was changed.

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