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Archive for Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lawmaker calls power co.’s offer improper

Deal would net KSU $2.5M if coal plants OK’d by Legislature

February 19, 2008

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Coal plant approval halfway through House

A bill allowing two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas wins first-round approval in the House. Enlarge video

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Do you think it is appropriate for Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to tie a $2.5 million donation for research at K-State to passage of its plans to build two power plants?

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— After a three-hour debate, House Speaker Melvin Neufeld addressed his colleagues to tell them why they should vote for a bill allowing construction of two coal-burning power plants.

He said the bill, which the House later advanced, was a serious start in Kansas toward formulating an energy policy.

And Neufeld, R-Ingalls, noted the plant's developers, Sunflower Electric Power Corp., have entered into a memorandum of understanding to pay $2.5 million to Kansas State University over 10 years for energy research if the plants get built.

If Sunflower Electric doesn't get state permits to build by June 1, there's no deal with KSU, according to the memorandum of understanding, which was distributed to all House members for their perusal.

State Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said it was inappropriate to make that deal while a major debate was pending on Sunflower Electric's bill.

"I think it's in poor taste to dangle a contribution to a state university in front of the state Legislature on the eve of a debate on a major bill like this, and then to also say, 'If you don't pass the bill I want, we are not going to make this contribution,' " said Davis, who opposed the bill.

But Steve Miller, a spokesman for Sunflower Electric, said there was nothing inappropriate about the memorandum of understanding.

Miller said if legislation allowing the plants to be built weren't passed, then Sunflower would not have the money to invest in the bioenergy center.

"If we don't have a deal, we can't proceed. It's that simple," he said.

Officials with KSU could not be reached for comment.

Comments

a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 2 months ago

notnowdear says, "I said property taxes. Maybe in your eyes, all taxes are the same or you don't pay much in property taxes. "

then,

"It is a fact. You are just too lazy to dig deep enough to find it."

You should really get your facts straight. If you want to talk about tax comparisons within the state, review this first:

http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/forms/07arcomplete.pdf

"Yet you think you have a say."

When the pollutants have a direct impact on others, they should have a say. I suspect that you would be a bit peeved if someone was trashing your property and then had the nerve to tell you that you don't have a say.

"gtet out of your Lawrence bubble and experience Kansas."

Hmmm. Speaking only for myself here, but I have been through most of Kansas (beautiful place, friendly people, for the most part), practically every state in the US and all but 2 of the continents of the world.

"Live in W. Kansas. Vacation there."

Well, if you are so intent on establishing a major pollutant source there, it's probably not going to make my list of homes or vacation destinations anytime soon.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

I have yet to adher to the climate brainwash. Not gonna attach to that particular fear-mongering.

But I do my best to be green, since red and blue are no longer suitable to my tastes. But I was raised green, GOP green, when that existed in the party.

My gas bills are half those round me, as remarked by the meter-reader. My trash is one bag a week. I just made a billfold for my son out of Capri Sun containers and green plastic produce netting. I keep the gas consumption as low as I can, except for work and trips to family in various areas of the country. Gods know, Lawrence is far less hospitable than ever. It is always good to get away from it.

Go visit Greensburg. SEE all of KANSAS. Fo out to Sunflower territory and live! there. KNOW what your opinions are influencing and stop abstracting this issue from the biggest, fullest picture.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

What business is any of Sunflower's activities to you all?

Just what kind of investment do you have in this issue?

This is an issue in concept only for you folks. You will never have this issue directly affect you.

Yet you think you have a say.

Next time you get a proctology exam, a prostate exam, can I have a say in how it is done on you?

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

"More population equals more taxes equals more roads does it not. As far as schools and post offices how is that eastern Kansas 's fault?"

I said property taxes. Maybe in your eyes, all taxes are the same or you don't pay much in property taxes. And who said it was eastern Kansas fault. Does it boost your ego to twist other's words and meanings into something beyond recognition? I sure hope so because that is all it will do.

State property taxes go to state expenditures, which include the building and maintanence of state roads.

Use your brain and think with some depth.

This thing about "fault" never entered my discussion. You all are the ones who brought it up, most likely out of personal defensiveness.

So what else have you misread or mislead about my posts? Is it worth reading on?

gtet out of your Lawrence bubble and experience Kansas. But that is the totality of the point I have been making and no one seems to be addressing it. Why do you suppose that is? Maybe it is less effort for you all to be defensive and post defensively. Understandable, really. Since my posts totally bring out the worst in lazy and thoughtless people.

It is a fact. You are just too lazy to dig deep enough to find it.

Go out and experience Kansas. Live in W. Kansas. Vacation there. Find out what it is really like out there before you post abstracted opinons on something that will most likely never effect you.

The Legislature spoke wisely today. Get over it. (gods, I hate that phrase but so aptly applied to this issue.)

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snowWI 6 years, 2 months ago

belexus73, Great posts, and excellent information.

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Bill Griffith 6 years, 2 months ago

IGW and others, I believe folks in e. Kansas will be posting about energy costs before LEC and Jeffrey come off line. Climate legislation will be a proverbial punch in the nose to areas that have much of their electricity provided by coal power (Kansas coal use is over 70% of our power). The best way to insulate (pun intended) against these shocks will be to make homes and businesses as energy efficient as possible. Rates will go up, but your actual bills could go down.

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Bill Griffith 6 years, 2 months ago

IGW and others, let me clear up what I mean by a 1% investment in ee. This is basically 1% of revenues annually. So if Westar has 350 million in revenue and they invested 1% in energy efficiency, they will be working with 3.5 million per year-much more than they do at the moment. Again, the KCC docket(s) on energy efficiency will do much this year to determine what about 80% of the citizens of Kansas should expect as far as energy efficiency offerings from their utilities. As a personal note, I hope Midwest and Sunflower get involved in this process working its way through the KCC along with the investor owned utilities who must take part in it to a greater extent. Midwest (out of Hays) has had a good reputation with ee offerings to customers in the past, but could be left in the dust comparatively speaking if the big boys ramp up to 1% or more per year.

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its_getting_warmer 6 years, 2 months ago

Belexus needs to be thanked again for him giving us real information.

He understands why the shorthand response "well give them wind and solar," as many suggest on these boards, is not yet a real solution. He also understands the current cost structures of energy in Kansas.

And I am sure I too have offended him when I get in my tirades about Lawrencians and the LEC.

I am very interested in the suggestions he makes relative to energy conservation investments for the rurals.. (I don't know much about the VT experience or what 1% means)..but I think these should even be considered at the municipal level in Lawrence and by the state.

I still believe some type of bill will eventually be enacted because the current state of affairs, with no defined set of standards, is a loser for everyone.

And I still believe KDHE has the actual legal authority to intervene relative to the LEC, Jeffrey, etc today, despite what they may choose to do or not do. (I do call hypocrisy here)

But I do think I have learned enough to know that when LEC and Jeffrey do eventually come off-line, at some point in the not-to-distant future, people around Lawrence will not just be posting on these boards about CO2, but about energy costs..... the same costs that Western Kansas currently pays.

Again, thanks to Belexus.

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notajayhawk 6 years, 2 months ago

I'd like to have more details about the grant - what specifically is it for? (I apologize if this has been mentioned and I missed it.)

If it's to study ways of reducing emissions in the proposed new coal plants, for example, then I see nothing wrong with tying the grant to approval. After all, if the plants aren't going to be built, why invest in ways to make non-existent plants cleaner?

That was what this story was about, wasn't it? The appropriateness of the grant? Skimming down through the stories I kinda' lost track...

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

What is the difference between Sunflower contributing to KSU contingent upon voting approval and Barack Obama contributing $800,000 to the campaigns of "Super Delegates" if they vote for him? One goes to a State University and the other goes to pockets of politicians. I don't know which bothers you more, but I do know which one I find most disgusting.

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Bill Griffith 6 years, 2 months ago

A comment on Sunflower contributions to legislators. While it is sometimes true that contributions can influence lawmakers (unfortunate, but part of the human condition), Neufeld and Holmes have run unopposed for several terms. Therefore, contributions probably have little to do with their stance. I believe both men believe in the correctness of their position and do not feel the need of outside influence on this matter. Senator Morris, on the other hand, could face an opponent in next year's Republican primary and may be watching over his shoulder if he does not carry Sunflower's water. I could be dead wrong on Mr. Morris, but he has more to lose than Holmes and Neufeld. Dennis McKinney, the House Minority Leader believes in Holcomb II, but he is also looking to run for governor or possibly Jerry Moran's spot someday. I don't know if Sunflower donated to Mr. McKinney, but I do not think it influenced him. I am of the belief that values have been more of an influence in this fight than campaign contributions.

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Bill Griffith 6 years, 2 months ago

A couple of comments concerning the situation folks who get their power from Sunflower are in. First, some disclosure: I live in eastern Kansas and I am not a fan of coal plants. Citizens in Sunflower's territory pay the highest rates in Kansas. In fact, I believe they are some of the highest rates in the United States, due to the fact that part of Sunflower's system is old, inefficent gas boilers. Sunflower probably needs around 150 MW of new power over the next ten years (depending on how many ethanol plants get put in). So, where can they get it? Well, Sunflower has done virtually no energy efficiency investments through their cooperative system. A reasonable 1% a year investment (Vermont is at 3, CA is about 2 for comparisons) should get them roughly 30 MW of this power and save their customers money. 100 MW of wind at 45% capacity factor would be another 45 MW (75 MW total) and could be integrated into their system without too many (some, but not a whole lot) system headaches. That leaves 75 MW of power that they still will need to obtain from somewhere. Choices would be to purchase it through long term contracts with some other provider and probably have coal as the resource, some large solar array (long shot with Sunflower, but w. Kansas is a viable spot and climate legislation could make it palpable), or possibly a newer gas unit (half the CO2 of a coal plant, but riskier for price fluctuation. Nuclear is not an option due to water constraints, price, and size. My point is that folks on both sides need to understand that Sunflower's system does need an infusion of power. Some of the combination could be less costly than Holcomb II (ee and wind) and some could be more costly (gas or contracts). The latter two will be affected by climate legislation-how much is to be determined within the next 18-24 months. The price of Holcomb II that ratepayers may experience under climate legislation may start out slightly below what they pay now (depending on which cooperative serves them) and after the first or second escalation of the carbon cap, it will be higher than their current rates.

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

a_flock_of_jayhawks (Anonymous) says: "...there are plenty of people, myself included, that willingly pay extra for eco-friendly whether it results in a direct, personal financial return or not."

Everyone has a price, yours is just higher than most. The price of gas doubles (still below the cost in the vast majority of the world) and people scream bloddy murder. Double it again where people have to give up their new LCD HD Sony and they will begin to get lots more moderate. They will stop talking about "zero emission" and start talking "cost/benefit analysis."

A 20% increase in the cost of food and water because we are growing crops for eco-fuel and people wonder. Double the costs of food and water over the next five years and they will begin talking about "environmentally sound methods for tapping into the vast reserves on the North Slope" so we can quit wasting farmland and the aquafer and put it back to its highest and best use, producing food and water human beings not fuel for cars.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 2 months ago

Sigmund (Anonymous) says:

"Everyone's eco-friendly as long as the costs are someone elses and it doesn't cost them a dime."

If you replace "everyone's" with "some people are" in your post, that would be true. As is, it is incorrect and there are plenty of people, myself included, that willingly pay extra for eco-friendly whether it results in a direct, personal financial return or not.

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

Everyone's eco-friendly as long as the costs are someone elses and it doesn't cost them a dime. Once they have their rates dramatically increased the ecomentalists seem more willing to moderate their hard line positions.

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

Here is a compromise. Put in the new plant and as an offset close down the Lawrence Plant! The new plant will be orders of magnitude and efficient and cleaner than the Lawrence Plant is, and much better for the environment and as a bonus Lawrence Electric rates can double so all the ecomentalists can build windmills outside of Lawrence, everyone's happy!

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 2 months ago

its_getting_warmer (Anonymous) says:

"Flock: I sure am hearing a lot of that "we can work this out together" holding-hands-across the state kinda attitude that you advocate."

As long as people don't go around distorting the facts or putting outright false crap out there. I'll call them on that and I know you would, too.

Still haven't heard anything from anyone here about the RUS tie in this, except what's been reported in the media.

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Sigmund 6 years, 2 months ago

We need that water so we can grow corn to turn into ethanol so we can drive our cars!

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its_getting_warmer 6 years, 2 months ago

Flock: I sure am hearing a lot of that "we can work this out together" holding-hands-across the state kinda attitude that you advocate.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 2 months ago

notnowdear says, "It is not my job, nor worth my efforts and time to convince of some fact that is almost as old as the hills."

  1. It is not a fact
  2. It would be your job to be able to support your assertions. Up to this point, you are failing.
  3. As Baille and logicsound04 correctly point out (and is stated elsewhere, voluminously), western Kansas is an overall beneficiary, as opposed to a donor, if you review a comparison of revenue versus expenditures.

So much for your "facts". Do you even read or understand anything before just making crap up?

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Baille 6 years, 2 months ago

Western Kansas gets more than it gives. It has been that way for decades.

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logicsound04 6 years, 2 months ago

"Use your own brain."


I am. Does your brain tell you that property taxes from Western Kansas are going to build roads in Lawrence? If so, then you may want to clean out your synapses.

I was under the impression that LAWRENCE property taxes went to build and fix LAWRENCE roads and infrastructure.

I'm not sure why you would bring up Greensburg--is that somehow Lawrence's fault as well? But since you mention it--I've been there to visit the former site of the world's largest hand-dug well on my way out to visit family in Garden City.

School consolidation is the result of having a widely dispersed population and a lack of quality teachers to fill the schools. Is this Lawrence's fault?

I'm pretty sure that post offices are a federal thing....

At any rate, my original question was "how are Western Kansans forced to support Eastern Kansans?". It seems that your premise is that they are forced through taxation. Do you not believe that Eastern Kansans pay taxes? Any disparity in the tax rates between Eastern and Western Kansans is the result of changes at the local level--for example, I don't think any Western Kansans had to pay for the flurry of roundabouts that just went up in Lawrence.

Perhaps the problem is that you've convinced yourself that us evil Eastern Kansans are the root of your problems instead of looking to your poor leadership.

I predict that in 5 years or less, when the feds are charging fines per CO2 ton, that you will still be pointing the finger at Lawrence rather than looking at the shortsighted legislators who spent their time writing a new law to allow a company to build in Holcomb rather than getting Kansas on the fast track to make wind energy a profitable source of revenue for the state.

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Nick Vaughan 6 years, 2 months ago

notnowdear,

That plant out there might be able to help you with some tax relief. Those two plants will generate millions of dollars per day of operation.

You seem to have an edge about W. Kansas. What gives? I can see you on the map out there. I drive by and say "hi" as Im going to Colorado. I like your wheat, meat, and milk. Thank you! Im sure others around the country like it too, so much so they pay for it! So what gives?

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overplayedhistory 6 years, 2 months ago

"I expect you to take a look at the property taxes coming in from all over the state, and then take a look at how much tax-payer money is spent on infrastructure in eastern Kansas."

More population equals more taxes equals more roads does it not. As far as schools and post offices how is that eastern Kansas 's fault?

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

I propose civil war.

Urban versus Rural.

Grow your own food. Raise your own cattle. Milk your own cows.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

I expect you to take a look at the property taxes coming in from all over the state, and then take a look at how much tax-payer money is spent on infrastructure in eastern Kansas.

It is my assumption that you have more access to that information that I would at the current time.

It is not my job, nor worth my efforts and time to convince of some fact that is almost as old as the hills.

Use your own brain.

Also go drive the county roads in W. Kansas. Drive, oh I donno, HWY 54 (enabling you to see Greensburg as well). Take a look at the schools, inside and out. Make note of how far, how many hours, some kids are bussed to go to school, due to school consolidation.

Ask a small town resident where their post office is, IF there is one still, since so many have been shut down because they costs $14,000 a year to run (far less in cost than any outrageous stamp marketing stunt you see in our post office).

Gods, live and learn.

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Nick Vaughan 6 years, 2 months ago

notnowdear,

You need to chill bro. You clearly do not know much about this topic, and you are causing more damage than good with your relentless banter. Learn the facts before you post your 4th grader education comments here.

The LEC does not even rank in the top 50 "dirtiest" plants in the US. That is a composite score of SO2, CO2, Hg, and NOx. That is according to 2006 EPA database. Furthermore, the LEC is however breaking ground this year with several major pollution retrofit projects that aim to ratchet down on post combustion controls.

Your view that power plants are just a pollution generating source is wrong. Take your tree huggin hippy sarcastic banter somewhere else. Learn to contribut to a conversation. You knowledge of electricity stops at the plug in the wall.

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logicsound04 6 years, 2 months ago

"Lack of awareness, dear, is far worse than being hyper-aware. And it appears you are unaware."


Rather than a pithy snipe, perhaps you'd like to show exactly how Western Kansas is being forced to support Eastern Kansas.

It's rather hard to be aware of something that doesn't exist.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

Has anyone here thought about the possiblity that this new W. Kansas plant will have in place many of the newest pollution minimizers than any plant Lawrence currently has?

And then there is the issue of planting trees around the plant to greatly reduce the effects of pollution. Willows, I believe if European research is to be believed. Don't see the Lawrence plant doing that, don't see new trees around there. Would be a pretty cheap measure to put into play. Poplars for sure reduce pollution but have a short life-span.

W. Kansas loves their trees, unless you consider the transplanted Pennsylvania corp. farmers, and we work to keep them alive and healthy, preserved. My dad planted miles!! of trees and several orchards, and they are still alive, still producing. I demand respect for those trees from my farmers.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

"I was unaware that Western Kansans were being forced to support all us ethnocentric snobs in the Eastern part of the state. "

Lack of awareness, dear, is far worse than being hyper-aware. And it appears you are unaware.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 2 months ago

LEC = Lawrence Energy Center.

Many government agencies refer to it as such.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

Oh, yes, (speculation and sarcasm drip) the EPA sent a flunkie, someone recently hired from the area, to spend an hour there, so they could say something is being done. I know this country's government thru and thru these days. All appearance, no substance, damaging practices and policies.

I am going to need some kind of link or pdf or something that says that the plant-currently-named-LEC-and-most-likely-named-something-else-next-year is making a serious effort to improve their polluting habits.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

LEC, is that the current name? It just seems to change so often. Why do you suppose that is?

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 2 months ago

notnowdear (Anonymous) says:

"And you think I am to have confidence in the EPA? LOL"

You stated that nothing is being done.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

My land is leased for wind power, for 30 and 40 years, have no fear. But that leasing company, Goldman Sacs, has sold the contract, it's leasing company, and the rights to a company in Portugal. Isn't THAT sweet?! After research into the Portuguese company, I think they care more for the environment that any American company does.

Capitalism in it's most contradicting state.

Yep, America is owned from outside it's borders.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

And you think I am to have confidence in the EPA? LOL

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

Hubris in abundance. Typical of Lawrence.

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 6 years, 2 months ago

notnowdear (Anonymous) says:

"From what I hear, the plant within or just outside our little town in one of the worst polluters in the country (think N. Lawrence). Why have you people not taken an interest in getting that particular issue cleaned up, since it is indeed in your back yard? Why do you sit there, practicing environmental ideology and concept for somewhere that you have no interest in moving to or living within, and not not taking real action, not taking real effort on what is obviously needing your attention NOW, for community health reasons, if nothing else?"

Your assertion is completely false. BTW, the EPA is involved in issues with LEC at the moment.

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logicsound04 6 years, 2 months ago

notnowdear,

Care to explain why anyone should be obligated to support one part of the state or another?

I was unaware that Western Kansans were being forced to support all us ethnocentric snobs in the Eastern part of the state. Please stop--whatever support you think you are providing isn't worth the tripe that I have to hear from some of you guys (george, yourself) complaining about the tyrannical practices and opinions of Eastern Kansans.

Your public officials and the heads at Sunflower have tricked you into believing this is about Western Kansans' right to do something without input from Eastern Kansans--I guess they know what gets under your skin.

What do you have to say about the fact that this will likely cost Western Kansas in the long run as the feds establish a CO2 tax?

Western Kansas needs economic stimulation? Fine. I hear wind technology is an up-and-coming fad--one that could be made profitable by anyone willing to invest in the technology. Hell, it's even a resource that offers a competitive advantage, since Kansas ranks at the top of the 'wind power potential' list.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

Good men do do things like Neufeldt did. I do not accept your definition of "good men". I will make my own, thank you.

I would fight just as hard for W. Kansas. Ironically, Lawrence just has not nurtured that loyalty in me, and I have been here since 1984.

Care about the energy polluters in your own town.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

From what I hear, the plant within or just outside our little town in one of the worst polluters in the country (think N. Lawrence). Why have you people not taken an interest in getting that particular issue cleaned up, since it is indeed in your back yard? Why do you sit there, practicing environmental ideology and concept for somewhere that you have no interest in moving to or living within, and not not taking real action, not taking real effort on what is obviously needing your attention NOW, for community health reasons, if nothing else?

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Baille 6 years, 2 months ago

Good men don't do what Nuefeldt did. It was a calculated scheme that took place over several hours and went against the good advice of several legislators. Maybe he has repented. Maybe he has changed. But statehouse politics is dirty and ugly and he seems to thrive in the mix.

And I spend quite a bit of money west of Hays. My business often takes me out to the flatlands, and I enjoy some of the recreational opportunities afforded in the southwestern corner.On the other hand, so what? I do not think that should impact the evaluation and consideration of my opinions and arguments. They rise - and sometimes fall - on their own merits.

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logicsound04 6 years, 2 months ago

"Its easy to say we are evil "


I have never said any such thing about Western Kansans. You are the one stereotyping an entire group based on their geographical location.

===========================================

"Maybe you could clean up a couple of your dirty plants to offset this new c02 and help us out. But it is clear that helping us in any way is out of the question."


Yes, well then, I guess I'll grab my chimney sweep brush and get to cleaning.

See, your problem is that you assume that the people who are against the construction of the Holcomb plant are in favor of continued usage of the plant which supplies Lawrence. While such thinking makes it easy for you to get indignant about the injustices doled out by us snobs in Eastern Kansas, it doesn't even begin to address the issue. I would LOVE to pay a bit more per KWH for clean power in Lawrence--unfortunately, they don't ask my opinion.

My point is this: if we continue to use the "but THEY have a dirty coal plant" reasoning as justification to keep building new plants, then we will NEVER reach a point where we cease building these plants.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

If the GOP would just morph back to what I was raised loving and being, then I would revert back to GOP in a flash.

I think the Dems are just as corrupt, just as careless.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

oh? So good men don't have anger? Good men can't express anger? So good men are not allowed to have emotions over things they are hired to care for? What is it about being human that you hate so much?

Because I find the humanity in people as the very thing I do! vote for.

I now regret voting for Davis.

BTW, what kind of money have you spent in W. Kansas lately? What have you personally done to boost their economy?

I assure you, people from W. Kansas do indeed come here to boost our economy. They DO! send their children here to be educated. They DO add massively to the multiplier effect in this town and country.

What have you done for W. Kansas lately?

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Baille 6 years, 2 months ago

The Lawrence plant needs to be fixed. No doubt. I agree with that.

I also agree with the thought that Western Kansas should explore the feasibility of secession. I don't see any way that such a move would be financially feasible, but I may well be wrong.

I also think we should start exploring the option of community and/or county consolidation.

As for Neufeldt being a good man, I don't think "good men" threaten other legislators or call legislators' spouses late at night making salacious, unfounded allegations of impropriety in order to get the legislator to change his/her vote. I think scum bags do this. Venal men. Men without scruple or of bad character. But not "good men." Neufeldt did these things. There is a great opinion about it by the Kansas Supreme Court.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

I challenge everyone here to buy a $10,000 home in W. Kansas for vacations. You can find a pretty decent vacation home for that price. And then I challenge you all to vacation there.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

Liberal or GOP?

Too bad one cannot just remain in the middle somewhere, to moderate all things.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

I think W. Kansas should succeed from the state. All their property tax money gets spent in E. Kansas. They are taxed without appropiate representation.

I just don't think it is right for Lawrence people to say what can go on in W. Kansas without going out there to live and to eat and to breathe, to spend their money, to create industry and so on.

It is simply none of your business what W. Kansas does because you don't make the effort to care for W. Kansas in general,, much less put your valuable time in out there.

I hate this ethnocentricity that Lawrence has which effects the decisions made to influence conditions in a place they will n e v e r! live.

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notnowdear 6 years, 2 months ago

Lobbists from the conglomerate of little electric companies have a lot of power. AND most of the time, those little electric companies do indeed have a heart for the people in their area.

My dad sat on a power company board and he was very conservative about the land, resources and so on; the kind of conservative that the GOP USED TO BE when it was the Grand Old Party, not the present morphed Neo-GOP.

Contrary to what people will say here, Neufeldt is a good man.

And sometimes the bad choice now leads to a better future than the good choice now that goes bad. In fact, and I will skew the famous quote, there is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.

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georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 2 months ago

Logic here is the issue. In western Kansas we are currently paying 8-10 cents per KWH. The current Sunflower one shaft Holocmb plant is maxed we are using all the power produced. In order for us to generate the extra 150 megawats we need to keep the price below 20 cents per KWH we need to sell power to someone in order to keep the cost at the current level. We tried to build nucelar before coal but you and Jane stopped us from doing that. We have already met the 2010 requirement fron the gov. of being 5% green. We are already investing 250 million to devlope micro alge c02 mitigation. We are using the very latest technology to build these plants. Without this project the cost will go to 20 cents or higher, which kills Western Kansas as we loose any industry, new or exhisting do to high energy cost.

Its easy to say we are evil when you sit there with your 6 cents/KWH coming from a plant that has done more to damage the enviroment than these will ever do.

Maybe you could clean up a couple of your dirty plants to offset this new c02 and help us out. But it is clear that helping us in any way is out of the question.

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logicsound04 6 years, 2 months ago

"And all the while Lawrence uses power from the #7 per KWH dirty coal plant in the USA without one complaint."


Get some new (and accurate) material brokenrecordofwesternkansas.

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overplayedhistory 6 years, 2 months ago

Anonymous user

Baille (Anonymous) says:

You have to be liberal to champion environmental causes or take our roles as stewards of the land seriously? When did that happen?

Good question, (sigh) Everything needs a box and a place I guess and it is a good way to keep folks divided while small few benefit.

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KUDB99 6 years, 2 months ago

It's not going to matter anyway. If it passes, it's going to get mired in the courts, and once the election occurs, no matter who wins, new CO2 standards will be adopted on the Federal level.

This is all moot, just a bunch of Western Kansans posturing against the East for votes......"dang ole big city folks ain't gonna tell me what to do"....

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overplayedhistory 6 years, 2 months ago

"It's only unproductive because of the other side's out-of-hand dismissal that it is a problem worth addressing."

I agree, but that does not stop them from dismissing it. I know that it is ridiculous that things will have to get worse for that argument to get traction. Meanwhile it is futile when dealing with the slime machine. I don't see the point making that argument when their claims about the economic benefits to the community are complete BS.

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georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 2 months ago

And all the while Lawrence uses power from the #7 per KWH dirty coal plant in the USA without one complaint.

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logicsound04 6 years, 2 months ago

"Liberals shut up about the environment all it does is create unproductive discourse."


It's only unproductive because of the other side's out-of-hand dismissal that it is a problem worth addressing.

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Baille 6 years, 2 months ago

You have to be liberal to champion environmental causes or take our roles as stewards of the land seriously? When did that happen?

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overplayedhistory 6 years, 2 months ago

I will keep saying it. Forget about the environment. It never works in this argument. It is bad business to base your economy on power from a resource that is finite. I don't care if it is a 100 years before we run out. It is still bad business. I am tired of this being a conservative vs liberal argument with manipulatable information on both sides. The fact that someday we are going to run out is an indisputable. This should be a long term vs short term economic debate. If we were paying 30 cents per KWH this would not be on the table. If we keep using coal 30, cents per KWH is very well what we will be paying in the next 25 years. This is about big business doing what they always do; Screwing over everybody regardless of their party affiliation. There is more economic fairness in the sun and wind, it shines and blows on everyones land. No one owns it, unlike coal. The less of it there is the more these bastards make off it until it is gone. The economic benefits to the public are very short term. 2.5 million is a joke compared to the economic strangle hold these MuthaF@%$^ are going to have. Wake up and learn about the long term dollar and take that argument to the table.

In summary I say this;
Liberals shut up about the environment all it does is create unproductive discourse. Conservatives quit running your, not conservative, radical 5 year business plans. Try 50 or 100 year plans for a change.

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jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

Georgeofwesternkansas:

May I suggest you enroll in an Environmental Science class or read some textbooks on the subject.

You have been misled and we have all been there before.

Like John Lennon said, "Imagine...."

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logicsound04 6 years, 2 months ago

georgeofwesternkansas would prefer not to hear facts--it is far easier for him to sit and stew about all the injustices the Eastern half of the state has forced upon him and the rest of the poor Western Kansans.

I fail to see what Westar's expenditure on a CEO has to do with Sunflower's quid pro quo--did Westar get approval from their ratepayers for that amount? It's just too bad that Sunflower can count on the george's of Western Kansas to see this as a East vs. West issue, rather than what it is--a power company trying to pay off local residents to allow the pillaging of the environment.

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Baille 6 years, 2 months ago

"We have had enough of eastern kansas taking everything and returning nothing. "

What?!?

Western Kansas gets more tax money than it pays. Without government subsidies and the support of the state, western Kansas could not survive.

Long ago, we abandoned the principles that created and maintained the rural cooperatives and communities. Now we get a first row seat as what once may have been sustainable sinks into decay.

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rdave13 6 years, 2 months ago

Puggy...run for office and get elected. Sunflower may have contributed $250 / yr, but how about it's individual officers and current stakeholders in the plant...

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absolutelyridiculous 6 years, 2 months ago

Georgeofwesternkansas....as someone who left w. Kansas very young...the people of western Kansas have done this to themselves. Would I love raising my kids out there? Absolutely, but there is absolutely no jobs worthy staying there for and frankly I'm afraid to drink the darned water. So much cancer due to bad farming practices because everyone has sold out to Monsanto and Cargill. Here they are again...selling out to Sunflower.

Until the good people of western Kansas get a clue and stand up and do the right thing for the land they live off of, it will continue to waste into the desert on the great plains.

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Lindsey Buscher 6 years, 2 months ago

So if i'm against this and i stick my head in the sand while this debate is going on, do you think that sunflower will slip some $$$ into my back pocket?

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georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 2 months ago

Over the past 10 years Sunflower has donated $250 per year to each ligislator. The people of Western Kansas are the driver in this case. We have had enough of eastern kansas taking everything and returning nothing. We used to have the finest schools in the nation, now our money goes to support magnet schools in KC, Topeka, and Wichita while we struggle to have an advanced math class.

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georgeofwesternkansas 6 years, 2 months ago

Or it might be a company that is serious about devloping micro alge technology into transportation grade bio fuel.

This $2.5M is chump change compaired to what westar has spent on their last CEO. Oh, but I guess thats fine since he was a KU grad. All the while Lawrence uses power from the #7 poluting plant in the USA.

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Nick Vaughan 6 years, 2 months ago

You people are so shallow minded. Sorry, but do some thinking before you post. First, its the plants sole descression to offer money to whom ever they want. You want advances in renewable energy, they are offering to aid the University in that effort. My main gripe, is that its going to a second class school (KSU) and not KU. But anyhow. Additionally, get it through your head....power plants are not pollution generating facilites, they provide a commodity that you can thank for your way of life. Rest assured, the plant will have all the neccessary pollution control equipment. If the water wasnt available, then they wouldnt be able to build it there now would they...of course not. There is an emmense amout of red tape to go throug to build a new plant, so dont think for one moment they are bending any rules, because they are not. Years of studies go into determining the feasiblity of a new plant. Get off your media driven concern for CO2 and global warming, and take the initiative to abrest yourself on the issue before you come on here and post such 4th grader level comments.

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rdave13 6 years, 2 months ago

Improper or illegal? It's like being a witness to someone picking their nose in public. Wonder how much money Sunflower has put into the supporting legislator's polictical action campaign accounts? Same thing.........

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Phillbert 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes, I should have been more clear - $250K per year, for 10 years. Sure bet a lot of research will get done with that amount of money every year, especially after inflation.

(Thank you beobachter for the assist)

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Baille 6 years, 2 months ago

Western Kansas will soon be a wasteland due to years of mismanagement of their resources. Once the water is gone, what will be left?

Land for coal burning electrical plants, I suppose. Such a waste.

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tir 6 years, 2 months ago

Smells like a rotten bit of bait... on a hook. If the Legislature bites, as it looks like they will, western Kansas could be overrun with pollution-spewing coal-fired power plants, because the bills the Legislature is currently passing have absolutely NO CO2 limits attached, and Kansas could easily become a magnet for more dirty plants that other states won't tolerate being built within their borders. The proffered $250,000 per year for 10 years is nothing compared to the environmental damage two new coal-fired plants could cause. The power company would scoff if the Legislature offered them $250,000 a year for ten years to go away and leave Kansas alone. They should be ashamed for making such an insulting offer, and Neufeld and his cronies should be ashamed for trying to sell out our state to the polluters for a few jobs and some chump change.

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jayhawklawrence 6 years, 2 months ago

Although I have voted for Republicans often in the past, sometimes foolishly I admit, both sides lose credibility when they always vote along party lines. This is another one of those issues where party loyalty trumps responsible leadership.

But in this case I see a positive outcome. Most Americans are now seeing the reality of our current political leadership. You cannot hide the truth forever. It is like a field where all of its nutrients are depleted and crops no longer grow there.

That is the current Republican party in Kansas. The fact that a little man like Neufeld has the power to con our legislators in such a manner as this shows how low the bar of respectability has fallen.

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Jerry Stubbs 6 years, 2 months ago

People feel that unrelated issues should stand on their own. Just good plain common sense. Too bad our political system is often completely the opposite.

I don't understand how a utility would have the excess funds to contribute anyway. If they do we are paying too much for their product.

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cool 6 years, 2 months ago

and Sunflower continues to never mention depletion of the Ogallah Aquifer - for agricultural crops, pollution caused by the CCW - coal combustion waste on land and in the watershed, and of course never mentions acid rain deposition which will begin the death of maples, oaks, & hickories in the kansas woodlands.

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beobachter 6 years, 2 months ago

over 10 years, that's 250k per year.

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Southwester 6 years, 2 months ago

Phillbert, I agree with you, but the figure quoted in the article is $2.5M

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Phillbert 6 years, 2 months ago

Sunflower and its backers sound more and more like used car salesmen every day. First it was their ads of smiling children in fields of wind farms, never once mentioning the word "coal," and now it is bribes and quid pro quos -- sorry, "incentives."

"So what do I have to do to get you into this coal plant today?"

And is it just me or is K-State a cheap date? $250K is nothing. It's less than the coal backers have spent on misleading ads, phony grassroots groups and KC-based legal mercenaries.

Though maybe if they throw in the undercoating and a pair of fuzzy dice, the Legislature will go for it.

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KsTwister 6 years, 2 months ago

Corporate blackmail at it's finest. Throw the bums out.

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