Archive for Thursday, March 20, 2008

Loss of refinery blamed on coal decision

Governor denies lawmakers’ assertion, says choice preceded KDHE ruling

March 20, 2008


Legislators say Kansas missed out on energy project

Several Legislators say Kansas lost out on a big energy project because a regulator blocked two coal-fired power plants. Enlarge video

— A group of lawmakers, including House Speaker Melvin Neufeld and state Rep. Tom Sloan of Lawrence, on Wednesday blamed Gov. Kathleen Sebelius administration's rejection of two coal-fired power plants for the loss of a proposed oil refinery project in northeast Kansas.

The legislators said Hyperion Resources Inc. chose South Dakota over Kansas for construction of a $10 billion oil refinery and electrical power plant because of "regulatory uncertainty" in Kansas.

"The damage is happening to the state of Kansas," said Neufeld, R-Ingalls.

Sebelius' spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran denied the legislators' assertion.

Corcoran said Hyperion Resources' decision to build in South Dakota came months before the Kansas Department of Health and Environment rejection of the two 700-megawatt coal-burning units in southwest Kansas.

"Regulatory uncertainty doesn't exist in Kansas," Corcoran said.

Officials with Dallas-based Hyperion did not return a telephone call for comment.

Media reports indicated Hyperion chose South Dakota in June 2007 for the refinery. The decision on the coal-fired plants in Kansas was announced four months later in October 2007.

At that time, KDHE Secretary Roderick Bremby denied permits for the $3.6 billion power plants citing health and environmental concerns from the project's annual emissions of 11 million tons of carbon dioxide. CO2 emissions have been linked to climate change.

Neufeld and supporters of the coal-fired plants have pushed through legislation that would essentially require Bremby to issue permits for the plants. Sebelius has vowed to veto the bill, setting up a possible attempt next week in the House and Senate to override the veto.

Supporters of the plants have said KDHE's rejection of the permits has put numerous Kansas industries in jeopardy because the action was based on CO2 emissions, which aren't regulated at the state or national level.

Sloan said Bremby's decision has put Kansas at a disadvantage.

"Other states are benefiting by getting those jobs," he said.

But Corcoran said if there is any regulatory uncertainty it is on the federal level because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in April 2007 that said EPA should regulate CO2 emissions.

Hyperion apparently considered several locations, including one in northeast Kansas, for a refinery to turn 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day into gasoline and diesel and transport its product on the planned TransCanada Pipeline. Hyperion officials say the project will produce 10,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs.


dirkleisure 10 years, 3 months ago

Read the Cap Journal for "the rest of the story." They have a copy of a letter from Secretary Bremby to Hyperion.

Hyperion didn't "skip" Kansas due to regulatory uncertainty. They skipped Kansas because the state refused to offer lower environmental standards than South Dakota! I'm sure Hyperion was unaware all they needed to do was go to the Legislature and demand they be allowed to build their plant with no regulatory oversight!

Liberals, indeed.

In a Feb. 11 letter from Bremby to Preston Phillips with Hyperion, Bremby wrote that "Kansas remains open for business."

"Flexibility will be the key to success in moving forward," Bremby wrote.

He continued, "I cannot offer a commitment on behalf of KDHE to process and issue a permit for the project with less than the provisions identified in the permit filed in South Dakota."

But he said if the company met the same requirements as in South Dakota, issuance of the permit "should not present a problem."

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 3 months ago

When the radical environmentalists get control it's bye bye, jobs - bye bye, growth - bye bye, prosperity.

rdave13 10 years, 3 months ago

Where can I find the commitment by the project and our Legislators that all 1800 permamant jobs and 8,000 construction jobs would be made up of 100% Kansas residents, using 100% Kansas materials purchased from Kansas suppliers?

KsTwister 10 years, 3 months ago

Kansas and China has something in common--- with the "who gives a damn" attitudes.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 3 months ago

autie, logicsound, logrithmic,

Why do you hate capitalism?

bd 10 years, 3 months ago

Heck, S.Dakota only has a population of 1800 ?????

toefungus 10 years, 3 months ago

The correct answer is Kansas' high severance taxes, high income taxes, high property taxes, predatory sales tax collections (one of the few states that ask about out of state purchases and auditors gleen business books for use tax compliance), along with regulatory uncertainty. Kansas needs investment in the state very badly right now. I do not see many people working out at the wind generators either. Our Gov. is a carpet bagger only interested in her political future, not Kansas.

OnlyTheOne 10 years, 3 months ago

Hey! They're building the refinery, right? They're going to have to hire the construction workers, right? They're going to have to hire the operations workers, right? Look at a map. SD isn't that far from Kansas - there'll be a ripple effect that'll still be good for Kansas (or if you want you can move to SD) plus we won't have a refinery (with it's pollution) in our immediate backyard.

Mike Blur 10 years, 3 months ago

Jeez, Marion has gone bye bye since his comment at 8:13. News to you Marion--some of us "libs" actually have a life and do not have on 24 hour refresh.

Get ready more more stupid non-stories like this with the election impending.

God forbid, if JIm Ryun is elected back in office, I will renounce my Kansas citizenry (born and bred) never to return.

That being said, RCJHGKU!

justthefacts 10 years, 3 months ago

The reason the economy is in the tank is that everyone in this country (from governments, to businesses, to individuals) has been living on credit! This is not a new problem. Or a problem that can be laid at the feet of one President or pollitical party. It's been a problem for a long time. It is just that the results of our credit habits are finally coming to a head. We robbed Peter to pay Paul. And now Paul wants his money.

We are printing up money without any standards to back it up, and we are borrowing and going into debt at record rates. Savings? Other then government or employer required/funded retirement accounts, who has savings?

Credit = debt. Debt = foreclosure and bankruptcy.

Better tighten your belts. Get ready to live with relatives. Learn to plant gardens (with seeds you save each year) and hunt/fish. And find water in the yard. And shoot straight. Cause it is not going to be pretty.

Baille 10 years, 3 months ago

It is funny how Sloan's newsletter does not represent what he really does. Sloan always focuses and spins his letter to appeal to the people-focused, environmentally sensitive liberals, but then he acts pro-corporate and Chamber right down the line.

lounger 10 years, 3 months ago

Oh good less horrible pollution that we have to suck into our lungs. It would be quite the hospital bill to "deal" with all the pollution from rotton, old, nasty, outdated oil refinerys! You fools dont even think of the children that would have to live with this type of thing. Oh yes, but your pockets get lined and lets just turn the other way when being responsible comes up in conversation. This is NOT an adult attitude you have so please grow up and face the facts!! Its a very good thing these oil refinerys went elsewhere!!!!!! I do feel bad for the children up in the Dakotas though....

zzgoeb 10 years, 3 months ago

Marion would you prefer a moonscape covered with toxic waste and air unfit to breath? Since when is this a "liberal" issue? How about a "let's have a clean place to live"? Could we put our next mega-plant/refinery in your backyard? I bet not...!!!

kansanjayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

When you elect a liberal democrat this is what you can expect. Anti-development, anti-commonsense, anti-business, and in the long run definitely anti-Kansas. We need to replace this bone-headed "Sebelius" leadership!

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