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Archive for Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pro coal-plant lawmakers appointed to energy panel

Sloan among those named by Neufeld

July 1, 2008

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— 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.

Comments

CatFan 5 years, 9 months ago

zzgoeg used the phrase "which is 'no more coal' as polls have shown". The only polls that show that were sponsored by highly profitable natural gas companies from Oklahoma. The results are not credible. Western Kansans are largely in favor of coal. They realize the "no coal" mantra will have a far greater negative impact on the West. Eastern Kansas already has the economic benefit of a couple dozen coal units. If Sebelius could run for another term, she would get, at best, 20% of the Western Kansas vote. I doubt that those of you in Eastern Kansas have an inkling of understanding how bad the economy is in the West.

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Kasha 5 years, 9 months ago

Oh, and by the way, Neufeld, part of the last proposal you submitted (which Gov. Sebelius wisely vetoed again) contained a proposed COLA for State of Kansas retirees. We haven't had an increase in our retirement pension checks in six years. Now, I realize this is not a problem in YOUR mind because you are more than financially secure. But State Retirees are not financially secure..We are in a Depression, although the word is whispered, and "recession" is used instead. You Republicans have really gouged America these past (almost) eight years.Are you able to sleep nights?

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Kasha 5 years, 9 months ago

Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, reminds me of Dubya Bushwacker. Both are spoiled little children intent on having their own way regardless of three vetoes by Gov. Sebelius at the end of the Legislative Session regarding the proposed coal burning plant in SW Kansas. Gov. Sebelius speaks for the people who do NOT want any more polution going into our already overladen environment. Neufeld wants, I would guess, to rake in some profits he and his buddy Holmes stand to gain if the coal plants are built. I hope Neufeld's and Holmes's terms are up soon.I suggest Neufeld, Holmes, and their uninformed cronies move into the 21st Century.

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zzgoeb 5 years, 9 months ago

This is "winner takes all" two party politics at it's worst....what else is new. Until and unless Kansas citizens let Rep. Neufeld and their own reps know what they think, which is "no more coal" as polls have shown, this nonsense will continue. As for Neufeld's comments about "outside organizations dictating", I assume he meant the coal lobby?...;p

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max1 5 years, 9 months ago

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."April 15, 2008 http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=AP&date=20080415&id=8437708Lobbyists have reported spending more than $789,000 during the ongoing debate over two proposed coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas, most of it on efforts to sway public opinion. . . Of the more than $789,000 spent over the past six months, almost 99 percent has been spent either on advertising or on other efforts to build outside pressure. Typically, the biggest expenditure for most lobbyists has been providing free meals, drinks and snacks to legislators."I think it's the most efficient and effective way to get our message out to people," said Sunflower spokesman Steve Miller.

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beobachter 5 years, 9 months ago

if he's re-elected, you know he will. his buyers will insist on it.

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Baille 5 years, 9 months ago

Nuefeld is a jackass. I wonder if he will try to blackmail any legislators next session?

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jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

Merrill:And Lawrence need to fire our so called economic growth leaders and bring new economic growth thinkers into city hall so citizen/taxpayers do not have to seek the freedom of information act to discover what exactly is happening with our tax dollars.Looks like either everyone is either on the take or don't believe in the ideal of "public service" and living for the greater purpose.There is another one. Living for the sake of others.Of course, these concepts are very difficult to understand.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

Ever wonder why economic growth is slow in Kansas and Lawrence for that matter? Powers that be think in terms of yesterday and fail to acknowledge new job markets and new technology as the economic drivers of our times. The state needs help in a big way. And Lawrence need to fire our so called economic growth leaders and bring new economic growth thinkers into city hall so citizen/taxpayers do not have to seek the freedom of information act to discover what exactly is happening with our tax dollars.

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notnowdear 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree. Sloan in ineffective.

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notnowdear 5 years, 9 months ago

Neufeldt isn't the massive J O K E ! that Time Huelescamp is. Good gods, you think that W. Kansas could find a better Rep. than the comical huelscamp.Neufeldt is a decent man. Huelscamp is a Religious Rite power-monger with no inteliigence.

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Stinger66 5 years, 9 months ago

a_flock_of_jayhawks (Anonymous) says..."Umm, it looks like LJW got it right. Especially since that was practically the entire agenda of the past legislative session. They have fought hard to earn that label. Let them wear it proudly. Others, including myself, see it as the "kick me" sign on their back."Are you kidding me? This committee hasn't even met yet are already we are calling them a "Pro-Coal Plant Committee." Ridiculous! Sloan stalled the original legislation to modify it so that if these plants were to go up, they would be more environmentally responsible. Sloan and Neufeld don't like each other very much and it wouldn't surprise me if Sloan uses his position on this committee to hi-jack Neufeld's agenda. In my opinion, Sloan voted for the plants due to party affiliation, not for his true feelings towards the legislation. Many people involved with the Douglas County Democratic Party have personally told me they would love to have Sloan on their side...and he's halfway there. He just needs to switch parties. I view the reporting in the article to be pure LJW propaganda to further establish their political agenda as part of the "liberal media."

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a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 9 months ago

Stinger66 (Anonymous) says:'This is poor reporting. Where is the editor on this headline? This is an "Energy Policy Committee" not a "Let's Build a Coal Plant Committee." Pure inappropriate labeling by the LJ World.'Umm, it looks like LJW got it right. Especially since that was practically the entire agenda of the past legislative session. They have fought hard to earn that label. Let them wear it proudly. Others, including myself, see it as the "kick me" sign on their back.

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bobberboy 5 years, 9 months ago

It's time to vote these bozos out of office.

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Ken Lassman 5 years, 9 months ago

Remember when Neufeld and the gang were telling us about how we would never get transmission lines for wind energy built without building the Holcomb expansion to subsidize them? Well, guess what: around 1 BILLION dollars has been committed in the last few months to upgrading transmission lines in Kansas because we don't want to get too far behind the wind power boom happening in Texas and Oklahoma, and they need a way to get the power out of there. Check out the blog.climateandenergy.org site for details.So yet another argument of the Holcomb welfare league just quietly disappears. But keep an eye on these guys--they want the public to get them out of their financial troubles and will stop at nothing to do it.

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packs_of_wild_dogzz 5 years, 9 months ago

What do you expect from a bunch of old crusty men. They're all afraid of change and figure they'll be dead before the world goes to hell in a handbasket so who cares.

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jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

Now that we have paid the big oil companies more gold than we have in Fort Knox, we have to give them all the public lands they have been drooling over for years.I can see these big, fat white guys with stogies laughing as they sip expensive scotch from their glasses and talk about how many politicians they have in their pockets.They have a lot of incentives to jack up the oil prices, not just for profits, but for land.Tom Sloan likes to talk about balance, but there never has been any balance in Kansas. Balance in Kansas will have to be a Bi-partisan approach to energy, not a Neufeld style approach.

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XD40 5 years, 9 months ago

This will bring balance to the committee. All forms of energy generation must be on the table: coal, nuclear, wind, etc. There is a huge wind farm going in near Ellsworth. We need coal plants for base and peak generating capabilities. Tom Sloan is a good man and favors that kind of balanced approach.Drill here. Drill now.

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logrithmic 5 years, 9 months ago

I guess we can now call this the committee of right wing man boobs....

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jayhawklawrence 5 years, 9 months ago

How far do you compromise before you start to feel like just another jerk in the Kansas legislature?I guess that is a question only Tom Sloan can answer.When you align yourself with Melvin Nuefeld, I think your political career is just about over.Makes sense to start looking for a lobbyist job with a big energy company. Plan B?

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Frank Smith 5 years, 9 months ago

Neufeld is wholly in the pocket of out-of-state energy corporations who want to take profits from Kansas leaving only pollution and aridity. He is a mental midget, a scientific illiterate who believes that jogging produces as much pollution per mile as driving. Forrest Knox is also on the take from these corporate clowns. On his campaign finance forms he fails to identify his contributors properly. For instance, "ITC Holdings of Novi, Michigan" is actually the parent company of ITC Great Plains, an electrical transmission company located in Topeka. "Crown Properties" shares a P.O. Box with Bonanza energy, but is identified as a "real estate" corporation. Aquila Corporation also kicked in. They are notorious for building a power plant in Missouri without bothering to get pemits, then mau-mauling the MO Legislature into approving it ex post facto. Most of Knox's dough appears to be coming from other industry sources, many from outside Kansas, such as Occidental Petroleum, the National Cooperative Refinery Association, the Kansas Committee for Rural Electrification, the Koch brothers-controlled Kansas Chamber of Commerce, etc.Tom Sloan also connects with generous contributions from the Refinery Association, the Kansas Electric Power Cooperative, Holcomb proponent Sunflower Electric of course, El Paso Energy Service Corporation and various PACs such as Atmos Energy, the Builders' Association PAC, the Empire District Energy Company and Duke Energy Field Setvices. If you want to have a state representative who's so beholden to the energy corporations, I guess Tom's your man.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 9 months ago

You folks have your candles? Sierra club membership to win ownership of a brand new damp cave? The ecoterrorists must go. Build the damned plants.

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Stinger66 5 years, 9 months ago

This is poor reporting. Where is the editor on this headline? This is an "Energy Policy Committee" not a "Let's Build a Coal Plant Committee." Pure inappropriate labeling by the LJ World.

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sinedie 5 years, 9 months ago

Hi LiberalDude - I get what you're saying, but the history is different. He has actually been at odds with his own party more often than not. He regularly opposes anti-gay legislation and anti-woman legislation (the gay marriage amendment in 2005, for example).As far as going along with Neufeld...Neufeld disbanded Sloan's committee and moved him from a cushy office to a broom closet, so I don't think they're the best of friends :)Like you, I disagreed on the coal issue, but I trust that he voted the way he did based on honest beliefs, not misguided loyalties, like some others.

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LiberalDude 5 years, 9 months ago

Sinedle- The big problem with Sloan is that he is loyal to the Kansas Republican Party. Thus he'll go along with whatever Neufeld and the fools decide to do. This is why Sloan needs to go. He doesn't represent the views of Lawrence.

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sinedie 5 years, 9 months ago

Neufeld is a petulant crank.Tom, on the other hand, is my representative and I have always felt lucky to have him. He's got more intellect and integrity than most folks. Just my 2 cents

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beobachter 5 years, 9 months ago

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

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Jeff Zamrzla 5 years, 9 months ago

Yep, we get the government we got by letting idiots control the message.

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David Albertson 5 years, 9 months ago

Here we go again. More idiots from the Grand Oil Party representing big corporate interests. Do you think polluting is a sin? What about selling your political influence to the highest bidder?

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