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Letters to the Editor

Complex issue

February 6, 2008

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To the editor,

Last Thursday night's standing room only sustainability forum "Focus the Nation" at the Dole Institute of Politics was very informative. Though I thought I understood climate change and alternative energy issues, it is far more complicated and urgent than I knew. Much discussion regarded the Holcomb coal plants, whose permits were recently declined by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

This week in Topeka, representatives from western Kansas are "fast tracking" legislation that will make it open season on coal plant building in the state of Kansas. Not only will this bill override the KDHE ruling so that construction on proposed plants can begin, it will also loosen standards to such an extent that companies from states where new coal plants are not being allowed will actually have an incentive to come here, effectively making Kansas, as Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson said, the Yucca Mountain of coal plants.

It is understandable that residents of western Kansas want cheaper energy and new jobs. But it is also obvious that the dangerous and inhumane conditions for workers and the negative impact on the health of the entire planet make coal plants an antiquated energy source. It is the responsibility of the estimated two-thirds of Kansans who oppose new coal plants to offer healthy and profitable alternatives to our western neighbors so we can all prosper.

It's a complex issue that deserves much more than one week of discussion in Topeka.

Amy Albright,

Baldwin City

Comments

logicsound04 6 years, 2 months ago

Abortion and coal:

If we build more plants, then that coal will never reach it's potential as a diamond.

Pro-coal plant people are diamond killers.

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Pilgrim 6 years, 2 months ago

Way to go, Richard. As unresponsiveness goes, you have reached new highs (or is that lows?).

Let's try again.

What is the KDHE professional staff recommendation on the Sunflower application? And what technical, professional expertise does our former assistant city manager have to make him think he knows better than his own professional staff?

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 2 months ago

"....I'm failing to see the connection between coal plant legislation and abortion."- Redwoodcoast

I know you don't RWC, and I want to help connect the dots for you. Let's go back to the 'sustainable' word and start over. Read my initial post/links and I want your abstract on my desk by 7 am. It's very complex and I may seem conspiratorial, but we discuss conspiracies on LJW On-Line, an award-winning forum; it's what we do----they are critical to our discussions.

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RedwoodCoast 6 years, 2 months ago

right_thinker (Anonymous) says:

This is Democratic Socialist dogma that is among many other things, intended to be used as the underpinnings of the pro-abortion crowd.

Pro-abortion????? Wow, can I see a slo-mo of those mental gymnastics? RT, yes I do like fish, but red herring is not my favorite. Stick to the issue's RT. I understand that you do not agree with the pro-choice crowd, but I'm failing to see the connection between coal plant legislation and abortion.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

FYI- If a jump in your electric bill has occured it might be the big screen.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0616/p13s02-stct.html

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Pilgrim 6 years, 2 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says:

He also said the legislators likely do not have the authority to veto Rod Bremby's veto.


That may or may not be true, but the courts certainly do, and Bremby needs more than "Because I said so" for his authority.

BTW, Richard, what is the KDHE professional staff recommendation on the Sunflower application? And what technical, professional expertise does our former assistant city manager have to make him think he knows better than his own professional staff?

I dare you to answer those questions, Richard.

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LeviCircle 6 years, 2 months ago

"It is the responsibility of...Kansans who oppose new coal plants to offer healthy and profitable alternatives to our western neighbors so we can all prosper."

Yep...and, 'til you can do that, we'll be burnin' coal! Wind can only be a "helper", not a steady source, plus it's more expensive. Geothermal? Not today, not tomorrow... Nuclear? Yep, I'm sure you're anxious to build THOSE plants.

So, until that responsibility brings forth fruit, the real world goes on...and it needs power...and it's going to get power.

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 2 months ago

"Funny, I would have said Fear."

All the same, that is the cornerstone of the Al Gore Green Machine.....be scared!! The more scared, the wealthier Gore and his Green Fearmongers will get.

I'll live in mud hut, get water from a creek, burn wood and candles and walk/ride a bike before I bow to that SOB and his fearmongering.

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logicsound04 6 years, 2 months ago

"This period's tyrant (hobgoblin) is Green"


Funny, I would have said Fear.

Unless you think An Inconvenient Truth had a greater effect on our way of life than 9/11 (and the subsequent politicization of).

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Thagan 6 years, 2 months ago

President Bush sent them here. I've an idea. Build the coal plants on his ranch in Texas. Brilliant!

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Thagan 6 years, 2 months ago

Let's build wind farms instead. We can have jobs and clean energy too. Geez, Washington D.C. and it's lobbyists have landed in Kansas. Go away. Hang in there governor, stand for Kansans!

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 2 months ago

I think the Flintstones had it right, with their smart-mouthed animals providing all the household power.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

"Richard, how is it you think you speak for the majority of people?"

Fair question.

Unlike yourself and a few other posters most people do not want to pay for expensive energy sources that are plagued with large cost overruns and pollution taxes attached to coal aka carbon taxes that are written into these bills. It all shows up on the electric bills. Nuclear energy has identical complications.

Financing problems may also play a part in this fiasco cuz these coal plants cost a small fortune which comes back to the ratepayers.

According to what one republican who sits on the energy committee told me this afternoon the no tax ever lobby is coming out against these coal plants. He also said the legislators likely do not have the authority to veto Rod Bremby's veto.

Your pals in the deregulated energy business seldom level with ratepayers/taxpayers. All they want is your money and they do not give a damn how they go about it. As we speak these coal people are running expensive radio and TV ads pushing their drug which again will be added to your electric bills.

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LogicMan 6 years, 2 months ago

"But it is also obvious that the dangerous and inhumane conditions for workers"

Welcome to the real world, Amy. It is a dangerous and sometimes inhumane place.

Safety is typically the highest priority of workers in industrial facilities here in the U.S. Powerplants have many hazards, but the workers are well-trained and equipped. Major accidents do occasionally happen, including here at the Lawrence plant, but fortunately they are rare.

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gl0ck0wnr 6 years, 2 months ago

"merrill (Anonymous) says: Wind energy is cleaner and less expensive than coal,clean coal or nukes therefore the ratepayers and taxpayers would rather go with the most practical and frugal choice. "

Richard, how is it you think you speak for the majority of people?

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jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

If we all reduced our energy use, we could reduce our costs, reduce our pollution of the planet, and reduce the need for new energy sources.

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Dollypawpaw 6 years, 2 months ago

One would think that every Liberal in Kansas would have a big fan gernerating electricity for their needs.

What's the matter? Can't you afford the cost? Don't you have $6500 laying around just to get one?

I am ashamed to hear so many Liberals demand fan electricity and yet still use nasty coal to electrify their homes.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 2 months ago

Are diesel locomotive engines "cleaner" than coal plants for electricity generation?

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devobrun 6 years, 2 months ago

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H. L. Mencken

"Each period is dominated by a mood, with the result that most men fail to see the tyrant who rules over them." Einstein in 1938 communication to Maurice Solovan

This period's tyrant (hobgoblin) is Green.

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Bowhunter99 6 years, 2 months ago

Merrill, where is the post about the 88Million that we should be spending on bike paths???

C'mon... if you're going to paste large amount of nonsense, you might as well paste them together so we can scroll right past ALL of them at once!

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

Wind energy is cleaner and less expensive than coal,clean coal or nukes therefore the ratepayers and taxpayers would rather go with the most practical and frugal choice. We would expect our elected officials to place cost to rate payers and the environment above all else.

Wind energy pays back in 4 months to a year. Neither nuke nor coal can produce that efficient a payback. Wind is a best bang for the rate payer and environmental buck.

Wind,Solar,BioMass and Hydropower create more jobs and economic growth for farmers and the entire state of Kansas. These sources are available to the state of Kansas as we speak. I would like to think the objectives of the legislature would be the least expensive sources of energy, the cleanest sources of energy and jobs/economic growth for the entire state of Kansas. An energy team comprised of wind,solar,hydropower and biomass will accomplish exactly that goal. In essence this discussion is about creating a new industry for the entire state of Kansas. This new industry is cleaning up our energy sources yet spawning jobs, economic growth and tax revenue for the state cookie jar which in turn could assist in funding the education of Kansans no matter what ages. Educated Kansans are good for business and our employers.

In addition to solar,wind,biomass and hydro power Kansans can include energy efficient practices at home and in business as a means to reduce demand for energy. At a recent home and energy fair Westar Associates said to me Kansas does not need more energy. Kansas needs to support cleaner sources and reduce demand through conservation practices at home and in business.

Believe me if the same coal salesman were peddling wind,hydropower,biomass and solar they would be painting coal and nuke power as members of the axis of evil.

An energy expert at the University of Manitoba, has estimated that capturing and burying just 10 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted over a year from coal-fire plants at current rates would require moving volumes of compressed carbon dioxide greater than the total annual flow of oil worldwide - a massive undertaking requiring decades and trillions of dollars. "Beware of the scale," he stressed.

So what we have before us is an excellent opportunity to bring in a new energy industry. This new energy industry will breed jobs,economic growth,tax revenue and cleaner energy for the entire state of Kansas which as I stated might should be the primary objective .

I urge a no vote on either SB 515 or HB 2711 in order to provide more time to ponder an issue of such great importance.

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 2 months ago

Corey, you're right, and the Green Guru knows the market decides. How pathetic---put out the propaganda, replete with scare tactics up the wazoo, then promptly proceed to cash in on your own propagada.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/technology/13gore.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

http://money.cnn.com/2007/11/11/news/newsmakers/gore_kleiner.fortune/

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Corey Williams 6 years, 2 months ago

Wow, right_thinker. You say it like it's a bad thing.

I'd say that we should let the markets decide. And with the top three lenders putting a hold on loans toward construction of new coal power plants...I think it has.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

Thank you Amy Albright for offering some clear thinking on this issue. You are a breath of fresh air.

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75x55 6 years, 2 months ago

Wonder what kind of cookies they were serving with the Kool-Aid at that propaganda event?

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 2 months ago

You're welcome, Weezy.....think of me as the right-wing Simon Cowell of LJW On-Line (an award-winning forum). Up too early with nothing but time and a head full of conspiracy theories!

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Weezy_Jefferson 6 years, 2 months ago

As always, right_thinker, your leftist-conspiracy comments strike my funny bone. Thanks for the early-morning chuckle!

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Tom Shewmon 6 years, 2 months ago

".....sustainability....."

Socialist dogma.

http://www.freedom21santacruz.net/site/article.php?sid=159

Sustainable Development


"The guiding principle of the new universal education system is "sustainable development." People everywhere must be taught "facts" about environmental "risks" that are sensational enough to scare them into compliance. They must be persuaded to accept unthinkable limits on consumption, land use, transportation, and family size. Everyone must protect resources for future generations, say UN leaders, but they agree that the real meaning of sustainability is based on the E's: Environment, Economy, and Equity, which point to a redistribution of the world's resources-money, energy, water, and people-in order to create global equality."

http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/hab2.html

This is Democratic Socialist dogma that is among many other things, intended to be used as the underpinnings of the pro-abortion crowd.

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