Topeka House Speaker Melvin Nefueld, R-Ingalls, on Tuesday appointed four legisators who support the proposed coal-burning power project in southwest Kansas to a new committee that will work on a statewide energy policy.
Neufeld appointed to the Joint Committee on Energy and Environmental Policy, state Rep. Carl Holmes, R-Liberal and chairman of the House energy committee, who was the primary sponsor of legislation that would have required permits for the two 700-megawatt coal-fired plants near Holcomb.
Citing environmental concerns, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed three bills that would have led to construction of the plants.
Neufeld also appointed to the panel state Reps. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, Forest Knox, R-Altoona, and Mitch Holmes, R-Saint Joseph.
All of the appointees and Neufeld supported the coal-fired plants during the 2008 legislative session. Neufeld, however, was unable to get the two-thirds support needed to overturn Sebelius' vetoes.
In announcing his appointees, Neufeld took a swipe at Sebelius.
His appointees, Neufeld said "will not have an outside organization dictating which energy-related topics they can discuss; hear testimony on; and ultimately recommend for policy."
Last month, Neufeld said an organization - the Center for Climate Strategies - chosen to work with an energy policy group appointed by Sebelius was tied to "alarmist" environmental groups. But the center said it had a track record or neutrality.