Archive for Thursday, June 12, 2008

Coal rejection energizes chamber

Group says it will work to re-elect pro-business lawmakers

June 12, 2008


— The Kansas Chamber of Commerce is using the defeat of the coal-burning plants in southwest Kansas to raise campaign funds for legislative elections.

Amy Blankenbiller, president and chief executive officer of the chamber, said Wednesday in a fund-raising letter that if the decision against the coal plants is allowed to stand it "will have a chilling effect on Kansas' entire business and manufacturing community."

In an interview, Blankenbiller said candidates' positions on the two 700-megawatt coal-fired plants won't be the only consideration when the PAC decides next week whom to endorse, but it will be one of the main ones.

Last year, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby denied permits for the plants, citing concerns with greenhouse gas emissions.

During the recent legislative session, a majority of lawmakers approved bills to require the plants' construction, but Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed each attempt, and the Legislature was unable to muster the two-thirds majority to overturn her vetoes.

Blankenbiller said she has heard of businesses passing over Kansas for other states because of "regulatory uncertainty."

But the Sebelius administration has denied such claims.

"To be clear: There is no 'regulatory uncertainty' in Kansas," Bremby said in a recent article. "KDHE has continued to issue timely air-quality permits."

In the chamber letter, Blankenbiller says the organization will try to re-elect lawmakers who have consistently stood with business, and elect new lawmakers "who realize the well-being of the entire state hinges on the ability of businesses like yours to operate free from burdensome taxes and regulations."

Blankenbiller notes "there is no limit to the amount of money you can contribute to the Kansas Chamber PAC."


civics 9 years, 10 months ago

Let's understand the real reason behind their "coal stance." They have to make amends for scuttling the immigration legislation that the conservatives also wanted. Her comment on burdensome taxes and regulations can be interpreted as any taxes or regulations. Pollute the crap out of the state and pay as little as possible to obtain trained workers and leave the clean up to others. I understand associations are supposed to be self-serving but this outfit takes it to a new level. "Koch"s Northern Division (aka KCCI")is just getting old.

georgeofwesternkansas 9 years, 10 months ago

"ksyellowdog (Anonymous) says: One would do well to remember that the best way to live forever is to provide your children a way forward. With that in mind, is it better to pollute our atmosphere for power that can be produced in a non-destructive way, or use the most destructive method we know of?"What is the price tag?? How much does the cost of living go up to change the production infrastructure???Who pays and how much?? You libs are great with ideas, but fall off quick when it requires your money.

Bob Hechlor 9 years, 10 months ago

To xd40, better save the coal for plastic goods and start using cheaper cleaner means of making power. Maybe you need to count the number of coal cars going into Lawrence everyday. I have to sit and wait for them to pass many times and go down the tracks probably numerous times a day with more than a hundred cars. That translates into massive pollution and destruction of mountains. That translates into destruction of natures natural bounty, herbal and wildlife. How much are you willing to sacrifice for your power from this source destined to run out?

Jeff Zamrzla 9 years, 10 months ago

One would do well to remember that the best way to live forever is to provide your children a way forward. With that in mind, is it better to pollute our atmosphere for power that can be produced in a non-destructive way, or use the most destructive method we know of? You may call me what you will, but I firmly believe you anti-climate change types should take a different path. After all, what if there is even a small chance we are right about the climate and you did nothing to prevent a horrible future for your grandchildren, and their children. Would you rather be remembered as wise or foolish and wasteful?

fletch 9 years, 10 months ago

Oh no, polluters are passing over Kansas! Emergency!

Frank Smith 9 years, 10 months ago

We can always depend on the David and Charles de Ganahl Koch, worth $17 billion each and tied for the 10th richest Americans and 37th richest persons in the world to chart the Kansas Chamber's course. They will soon pass the four wealthiest heirs of Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) and the owners of Google to vault into the 4th slot amongst Americans. Charles is by far the richest Kansan though David has changed his residence address to NYC.Thanks to those two Kochs, Kansas still has a minimum wage of $2.65 an hour, the lowest in the country, as their lapdog Republican legislature once again succeeded in its two-decade quest to keep tens of thousands of Kansans living in abject poverty. Thanks to the Kochs, the legislature spent the entire session this year trying to force a dirty, coal-fired power plant on Kansans. The U.S., during Bush's term, has experienced the greatest disparity of weath between the richest and poorest Americans since the great depression, another mark that may soon be exceeded. That is precisely where those Koch brothers and their Kansas Chamber want things to be.

FatTony 9 years, 10 months ago

Coal fired power plants are antiquated technolgies. Why build something that is out of date before construction even starts. Lets be innovative and lead as opposed to following.

cato_the_elder 9 years, 10 months ago

KCC, good luck in your efforts to support those candidates who favor providing an ever-increasing number of jobs to Kansans through free enterprise and individual initiative, and oppose the use of government intervention and regulation to stifle job growth in our state - which is one state out of fifty in the most affluent nation in the history of the world, the tired, lame views of a few neo-marxists notwithstanding.

Bob Hechlor 9 years, 10 months ago

The problem is that certain people in the chamber and a few legislators have money tied up in the mining, transporting and burning of coal. They are concerned about their gravy train coming to an end. In the free market system, they should be allowed to fail, especially when 75 % of Kansans don't want dirty energy production. Anyway, if free market takes precedence over the health of the environment, we are all doomed. And, if it is always just a matter of spending more dollars to control the masses, then what kind of democracy do we have? I am not going to go through the science of burning coal again. If cato isn't a scientist, then (s)he is talking out of his/her area. The vast majority of the scientists who study and research in this area have adequately cautioned us against continued usage of coal and the problems we will face if we don't start using clean energy.

georgeofwesternkansas 9 years, 10 months ago

All of the "unscrubbed" dirty coal pollution in Kansas is East of Manhattan and Wichita. Sunflower is prepaired to go all in, in devlopment of clean coal generation, and already has the cleanest burning plant in Kansas. It is too bad that the people of Eastern Kansas are not demanding of themselvs what they demand of others. In this state the residents of Eastern Kansas are the problem, they cry like a bitch when westar askes for a tiny 15% increase.

Bob Hechlor 9 years, 10 months ago

To western kansas, it's not liberal money or conservative money, it is taxes which we all pay. Use of coal is more costly now for energy production. That has been proven over and over, but some kansans from the west enjoy ignoring the facts. Maybe western kansas was hoping to finally get a job, thinking maybe he would be one of the 75.

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