Archive for Thursday, May 1, 2008

House fails to override veto of coal-fired plants

May 1, 2008


State Rep. Tom Sloan talks about coal plants

State Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, who supports the two 700-megwatt coal-fired plants, talks about the project and the House's failure to override Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' veto.

State Rep. Paul Davis talks about coal plants

State Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, who opposes the construction of two coal-fired plants in western Kansas, talks about the House failure to override Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' veto.

— In the biggest legislative showdown this year, the Kansas House failed to override Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' veto of a bill that would authorize two 700-megawatt coal-fired plants.

The House voted 80-45 for the bill, which was four votes short of the two-thirds majority needed in the 125-member chamber to override the veto.

The vote took more than two hours as legislative leaders, who support the plant, kept the roll open hoping to get enough votes.

House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, and a supporter of the project, said of the outcome, "It is a sad day for the state."

But Nefueld said the fight wasn't over. "We have other options," he said.

Procedurally, there could be a reconsideration of the vote Friday or the Legislature could try to override a similar bill that also was vetoed.

In the most contentious issue of the 2008 legislative session, Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and two out-of-state partners want to build the coal-burning plants in southwest Kansas.

Sebelius vetoed a bill clearing the way for the plants because of environmental, health and fiscal concerns.

The project would annually emit 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, which is linked to climate change. And most of the power would be sold to customers in Colorado and Texas. The bill also stripped the Kansas Department of Health and Environment of much of its regulatory authority in permiting power plants.

Supporters of the plants say they will be among the cleanest burning in the country, and the $3.6 billion construction cost will boost the western Kansas economy.

On Wednesday, the Senate overrode Sebelius' veto 32-7, five votes more than the required two-thirds majority.

But the veto override attempt failed in the House.

Among local legislators, voting to override Sebelius' veto were Reps. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie, and Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing.

Voting to support Sebelius' veto were Reps. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, and Ann Mah, D-Topeka.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 12 months ago

Ok, Paul Davis, Barbara Ballard, and others, when will the windmills be up and running? When will the needed additional capacity be "bricks and morter"??? When will these windmills of the governer's mind be spinning and keeping our electric capability up to the need? And when will the electric bills start to go down?? You turkeys voted to sustain this ill-starred veto, so lets see the alternative? Where is it? When will the windmills from Germany sprout on the plains of Kansas? You owe the public some very hard answers, since you voted to support the loony left and their wacko enviornmentalist cabal. Lets have some answers soon.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 12 months ago

BTW, IGW, I've been well outside of "the Lawrence-Topeka bubble". Been around the world (literally) and lived in some interesting places far from Kansas. I've been to most of Kansas, too. Went to a homecoming game at Meade. Maybe it's you that needs to get out and get some perspective.

georgeofwesternkansas 9 years, 12 months ago

Neufeld did what his constituants asked him to do. This issue has created a divide in this state that will last a long time. It is sad that things had to turn out this way, but what is done is done.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 12 months ago

Well, GeorgeofWK, when you come at legislators and threaten their family members because they won't change their vote, how is that right?

Lets_Be_Proactive 9 years, 12 months ago

Why can't we be more like this?Des Moines, Iowa (AP) _ Governor Chet Culver announced the creation of an alliance between the state, its colleges and universities and the wind energy industry yesterday. It's an effort to strengthen the wind power work force in Iowa. Culver says the newly formed Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development will combine research, public policy, training and education and testing facility expansion. Culver says the key is to produce a skilled, productive work force by developing a constant stream of new, well-trained workers. Iowa ranks fourth in the nation in wind power capacity, according to a report by the American Wind Energy Association. Iowa also has four of the 13 wind energy plants that were either opened or announced last year. They are in Keokuk, Fort Madison, Newton and West Branch. Iowa has set a goal of using renewable sources to create 25 percent of its electricity by 2025.

georgeofwesternkansas 9 years, 12 months ago

IGW, thanks for the support. The only thing left to say is what comes around goes around.

texburgh 9 years, 12 months ago

Kansas got all of the pollution, almost none of the power, and some temporary jobs. If Texas and Colorado want all this power, let them build the plants in their states. Let their residents enjoy the pollution. Yes the plants are cleaner than the old ones - including one here in Lawrence - but that doesn't change the fact that we get all the negative and none of the benefit. Good for the House, shame on our so-called "environmentalist" Republican Tom Sloan. Up until this year he has been a great representative for Lawrence. What happened?

clyde_never_barks 9 years, 12 months ago

flock's 12:36 post makes me laugh...only because I know differently. What a joker you are.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 12 months ago

IGW says..."Your comment Flock, underscores your lack of knowledge of the issue from all sides."Um, yeah. Whatever. You're not making any sense. People are going to "die" because we don't have this plant expansion? Get real.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 12 months ago

frwent says..."You turkeys voted to sustain this ill-starred veto, so lets see the alternative? Where is it?"Sebelius has called for a task force that involves all sectors involved to put together an energy policy for Kansas. It was in the member comments on the floor tonight.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 12 months ago

"Why do people in Lawrence assume people in Liberal have no environmental consciou?"Can't say much about the people of LIberal, but anyone voting for this override certainly has zero environmental conscious, just like you, warmer.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 12 months ago

It's a great day for America. It is amazing that so many bitch about corporate welfare, special interest funding of campaigns and the known corruption attached to both yet get behind corporate welfare beggars and their legislative counterparts. When is the last timeeither told the truth?There are thousands of new jobs attached to wind power,solar power, refined hydropower and geo thermal. It's all available now. Why not go for it?

Meatwad 9 years, 12 months ago

Who voted for Tom Sloan? He needs to go!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 12 months ago

The vote totals for an override actually decreased, because those legislators know they wouldn't be returning next session if they voted to override. Sloan and Pine could well wish they had voted differently.

David Benson 9 years, 12 months ago

Kudos to the governor for not bending to the pressure exerted by industry and their republican enablers! I guess I should qualify this remark.....for the most part Kansas democrats are not much different from their republican counterparts in the Kansas State House or in Congress.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 12 months ago

clyde_never_barks (Anonymous) says:"flock's 12:36 post makes me laugh:only because I know differently. What a joker you are."Really? Guess the joke's on you.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 9 years, 12 months ago

It's kinda funny because the Speaker kept asking where Holland was during the call to the house procedure.

sinedie 9 years, 12 months ago

To say that people voted in favor of the expansion because they were "bought and paid for" is both inaccurate and irresponsible. Some of the folks pushing for it had less than admirable motivations, but most people only did what they thought was best.If you demonize everyone with whom you disagree, you only make matters worse. You're right to attack people who have no tolerance for diverging opinions (like Neufeld), but to fall to his level is contemptible.

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