Archive for Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sebelius: No ‘tailored’ coal plant deal

February 23, 2008


Officials to discuss coal plants

Kansas House and Senate leaders will begin discussions on Monday on new energy legislation that seeks to clear the way for two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas. Enlarge video

— In the fight over proposed coal-fired plants in western Kansas, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said she wants a compromise, but not one "tailored to a single company."

Her message was delivered in a letter to House members who voted this week against a bill that would allow Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build two 700-megawatt, $3.6 billion plants near Holcomb.

The House approved the bill 77-45, but fell seven votes short of the two-thirds majority of 84 in the 125-member House that would be needed to overturn a veto from Sebelius.

Last year, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby rejected the coal-burning plants, citing health and environmental concerns about the project's 11 million tons per year of carbon dioxide emissions.

Legislative leaders have vowed to reverse Bremby's decision and have pushed through bills that would allow the plants and strip Bremby of his authority. The measures are now in a House-Senate conference committee, which will start meeting Monday.

In her letter to House members voting against the bill, Sebelius said she was "proud to stand with you as good stewards of our environment looking for a more balanced approach than the legislation which came to the House floor."

She added, "I am eager to have a thoughtful discussion about long-term energy policy; not tailored to a single company, but setting a series of guidelines and goals through which all parties can compete."

Sebelius has offered to support construction of one of the plants, saying that would take care of current and future electric needs in western Kansas.

Under the two plants proposed by Sunflower Electric, approximately 85 percent of the electricity would be used by out-of-state customers.

Sunflower Electric officials have said the project must have both plants.

Under the deal, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association of Colorado would own one plant, while Tri-State, Sunflower Electric, and Texas-based Golden Spread Electric Cooperative would own the other one.

Sunflower Electric would receive $95 million in development fees from other companies in the project.

"These upfront payments provide for the equity necessary for Sunflower's 200 megawatt portion of the plant, which will cost a total of about $540 million," said Sunflower president and chief executive officer Earl Watkins Jr.


lounger 10 years, 3 months ago

Someone has to look out for the enviorment. Thanks Kathleen!

ASBESTOS 10 years, 4 months ago

I guess the European Union is going to exempt the major polluters from buying their emission credits. The rest that are not politically powerful will have to pay full price.

ASBESTOS 10 years, 4 months ago

And so much for ethanol beind "cost effective" and "price stabilizing". IT is apparently tied to the cost of corn .

wakarusan 10 years, 4 months ago

They hate the will of the people because they are rt. wing Republican sellouts taking bribes from Sunflower.

snowWI 10 years, 3 months ago

We need to be more REALISTIC about all pulverized coal plants and realize that it will be the ratepayers that will be affected by upcoming CO2 regulations. Why build plants that will require very expensive modifications in the near future. Also, energy prices and transportation costs are only going to increase in the future. Coal still must be transported long distances from Wyoming/Montana region.

teacher4ku 10 years, 3 months ago

First of all, who conducted the survey? Secondly, I have read that we don't need this plant in Kansas because only 15% of the electricity is staying in Kansas. That is the most ridiculous arguement. I don't see anyone telling farmers not to produce more than what is needed in this state, nor any other industry for that matter. Coal is not the best alternative, however, if the population and demand continue to increase, wind and solar cannot keep up with that demand alone. If you think it can, you are dreaming.

snowWI 10 years, 3 months ago

teacher4ku, You are comparing apples and oranges. The proposed Holcomb power plant is the pulverized coal variety and it will be costly to the taxpayers to upgrade it if national regulations for CO2 come into place in the next few years. Also, the demand side of the equation could be offset with more energy efficiency programs, net metering, as well as conservation.

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