Archive for Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sebelius says coal plants not on her agenda

The governor's trying to put an end to the bickering over coal plants. Governor Kathleen Sebelius says she doesn't see much future in building two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas.

November 6, 2008


— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius says she doesn't see much future in the proposal to build two 700-megawatt coal-burning power plants in southwest Kansas, and doesn't want it tying up the 2009 legislative session.

"I'm hopeful that given the challenges that we are going to face, that every issue that we need to deal with is not hijacked by a proposal that, frankly, may have some serious financial implications moving forward," Sebelius said.

Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp. has proposed building the two units near its existing facility in Holcomb.

Last year, the Sebelius administration rejected the plants, citing health and environmental concerns from the project's annual emission of 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, believed by many scientists as causing global climate change.

During the 2008 legislative session, supporters of the project pushed to overturn the decision by adopting bills that required construction of the plants. But Sebelius vetoed the attempts, and lawmakers couldn't muster the two-thirds majorities to overturn those vetoes.

The Legislature will start its 2009 session in January, and supporters of the plants say they again will try to get the plants approved.

The $3.6 billion project would help the economy by providing needed jobs, said Cindy Hertel, a spokeswoman for Sunflower Electric. And Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, and House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, have already said they want to try again to get the plants built.

But Sebelius said the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president and the nation's worsening economy make construction of coal-fired plants doubtful. Obama supports a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which many say will increase costs of coal-produced energy.

But Hertel said the Sunflower project's funding was solid, and she said public opinion was moving toward acceptance of more coal-burning plants.

"The tide is changing. People see we need to make use of all our resources," she said.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

Cap and trade is a bad idea. Here's a better idea-- we should put a CO2 tax on all major producers of it, including coal plants, manufacturing plants and gasoline and diesel. Phase it in gradually over a five-year period, with corresponding reductions in residential property taxes and sales taxes on food, which should be completely eliminated by the end of that five-year period.

frank mcguinness 9 years, 7 months ago

Cap..... nothing can produce more waste then the trolls like you on this forum.

Cap 9 years, 7 months ago

Madam Sebelius' vitriol produces more carbon emissions than clean coal.........

Ryan Neuhofel 9 years, 7 months ago

"People see we need to make use of all our resources". We DO see Governor! Coal is a viable and proven source of energy that can be produced and transmitted with our existing infrastructure (both in and out of state) - WITHOUT the assistance of subsidies needed by the ethanol, wind and solar industry. Nobody opposes "alternative and green" energy (with the exception of nuclear!), but the current "alternative technologies" simply cannot meet the demands of our present economy. If we continue to live in this pipe dream that we can do without carbon-based energy, we had better prepare to go to bed early!

Danimal 9 years, 7 months ago

Cap and trade is retarded. The US is the Saudi Arabia of Coal, we've got more of it than anyone else. You don't see any other nation taxing their energy resources into irrelevance.

frank mcguinness 9 years, 7 months ago

Lets be realistic about this for a minute. #1 Only repubs support this and we see all the wonderful thing they have brought us. increased national debt, increased gov't, One bad idea after another.#2 Kansas wouldn't even get much if any of the energy from the plants but would incur all the waste.#3 Many if not most Kansans would not see a penny from the income generated, Sure GC, Dodge, and holcomb would but most of us would not see one single solitary cent.#4 Just because we have Coal out the wazoo doesn't mean it is our future. We have other resources to power our state with less negatives and greater benefits like wind, thermal and solar. In conclusion kansans are generally wrong on what is beneficial for us. Please refer to the presidential election earlier this week. This message was approved by rooster.

mcontrary 9 years, 7 months ago

The proposed coal plants and the current ads for "clean-burning" coal that are flooding our air waves ignore the fact that clean burning coal is an oxymoron. i.e. clean-burning coal doesn't exist. Anyone that promotes coal plants neglects to mention that any immediate positive effects such as increases in employment to build and operate the plants, will then be followed by future employment increases in the health-care field necessitated by the latent health effects of that not-so-clean-burning coal. Then, there are the known environmental effects that will keep plenty of folks in jobs trying to find ways to keep our farmers in business as temps become increasingly warmer.

KRITIKOS 9 years, 7 months ago

I can see where she is coming from. Why our local paper failed to report the intents of a few to intentionally bankrupt a major industry is absolutely appaling.Everyone should go online and listen to what the President Elect told the editors of the SanFransisco Chronical..Listen to his full statement.Make sure that you do not get a quote out of context.Our governor's intent is evident, she too wants to bankrupt one of the major industries in the United States Of America. .

Bill Griffith 9 years, 7 months ago

Some observations concerning the Sunflower coal plant(s) proposal within the context of the federal and state elections. At the state level in the Kansas House the opponents of the coal proposal picked up two more votes-and one more if Rep. McLaclan of Wichita is re-elected (still being counted down in Wichita). Also, Melvin Neufeld will probably not be Speaker of the House next year. It is rumored tha Susan Wagle may take on Steve Morris for Senate President and that may change priorities in the Senate. The KCC decisions on the energy dockets will be announced after Thanksgiving and may influence Sunflower to invest in energy efficiency with its cooperatives at a higher level than the primitive level they are now. On the federal level there will be a Renewable Energy Standard passed fairly quickly (failed the Senate last year by one vote) which will require utilities to invest a certain amount in energy efficiency programs as well as renewables. This probably have some effect on Sunflower. Tri-State may be affected less since they are under the Colorado RPS as of last year. This remains to be seen. Funding for rural cooperative coal plants by the Department of Agriculture may be pulled under the new administration. Probably in the fall or spring of 2010 a climate treaty will be signed by the U.S. and a formal cap-and-trade system will be implemented. I am not stating whether this is better or worse than a carbon tax, just it has more polltical support. On Sunflower's side the Chamber of Commerce will be supportive of Sunflower's backers in the Legislature. This will possibly manifest itself in weakening the power of the KDHE and some type of energy bill will be presented with some window dressing of ee/renewables to get enough votes.

humblecommentator 9 years, 7 months ago

What's the matter with Kansas? Clearly Sebelius cares more about impressing the Democratic party than promoting Kansas.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

Water isn't a "pollutant" either, XD40, but New Orleans would find that of little solace.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

"Do you people not realise that the taxes which you seek to impose on energy producers are simply passed along to the end user; the consumer:."That's precisely the intent, Marion. Rather than subsidizing these dinosaur technologies, we should be encouraging alternatives by leveling the playing field.

james bush 9 years, 7 months ago

Sebelius's agenda is to serve her new messiah Obama with all her heart, mind and body and help him perform miscellaneous miracles while raising ACORN to the most important cabinet level department in government to insure that victimhood keeps him in power for life.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

You are ignoring (conveniently) the rest of the idea, Marion. There would be corresponding decreases in other taxes-- no one would be financially ruined, with the possible exception of folks like you who continue to cling to your dinosaur gas guzzlers and other stupid ideas."Perhaps you should talk to your commie buddies in Red China who are building two new coal plants a WEEK ?"They should stop, but they won't if we continue to build them here. But hypocrisy has always been one of your strong suits.

Chris Golledge 9 years, 7 months ago

Cap and trade gives more ways to circumvent the intent of reducing CO2 production than straight taxation, but it is better than nothing. "...believed by many scientists as causing global climate change."Try "...every scientist or non-scientist whose work has not been repeatedly debunked..."Carbon sequestration? Picture this: For every train of coal coming into the plant, two trains of CO2 leave. I just don't see that it is viable (and safe) to try to store that somewhere.I kind of doubt that China will be in a hurry to reduce its carbon emissions, but we can only try.Look at any population with plenty of resources and without adequate predation, bacteria in a petri dish, deer in the woods, humans on Easter Island, that population will bloom until the resources are gone or the species poisons itself with its own waste. And then it will crash. Then ask yourself if the same pattern applies to humans in the world. It is time to try to take steps to prevent that pattern from playing out on a global scale. If the solution means that 6 billion of us don't get to drive SUVs, fine.What do you think, India and China are just going to sit back and say, "OK America, you enjoy your opulent lifestyles; we are happy in our huts."? If we don't inflict some burden on ourselves, they absolutely will not.

Chris Golledge 9 years, 7 months ago

XD40,You have fallen into the trap of failing to distinguish circulations of carbon within the biosphere from adding carbon to the biosphere. That begs the question of can you change the chemical composition of a gas mixture and really expect no changes in its behavior. There is no doubt that there is more carbon in the atmosphere and all indications are that fossil fuels are the most significant source.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 7 months ago

The notion that only Pubs support the Sunflower project ist he most ludicous and stupid thing I've heard on this entire topic. That is a lie. The posters who believe this nonsense and post it are showing their ignorance.Sebelius will probably be in DC when this comes up again.Good riddance.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 7 months ago

Are Solar PV panels right for my property?If specified properly, installing Solar PV WILL reduce your electricty bills. For roof mounted panels, having a south facing roof is useful. However, depending on the roof angle panels can function properly facing South West to South East. They still benefit from 95% of the suns radiation.The panels can be sized in a number of ways, one method is to geat the capacity to the minimum load on the property, so if the property typically uses 1kW, install 1kW of panels. This means that on the sunniest day every bit of electricity being generated is being used. Alternatively, you can install a much larger capacity and sell the excess electricity back to the national grid. The rates the electricity companies will pay for this electricity is now starting to become more competitive.Will this type of solar panel pay for itself?This answer to this question depends heavily on way you measure payback. The environmental payback is extremely quick, perhaps even 6 months? After 20 years the system would have paid for it's self twice over.

Bob_Keeshan 9 years, 7 months ago

Rooster - House Democratic Leader Dennis McKinney is one of the loudest proponents of the Sunflower project. He was quoted just yesterday saying the plants need to be taken up again in 2009.In the Senate, the Assistant Democratic Leader Janis Lee is also a proponent.Time to concede.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 7 months ago

With at least 2/3 of the state's population living in the eastern 1/3 of the state, western legislators will fail if they try to make energy/environmental policy strictly an east vs. west issue.

Chris Golledge 9 years, 7 months ago

Timely, I expected you to chime in. Is this site as reliable as the rest of yours? "Anonymous userXD40 (Anonymous) says:Arctic ice refuses to melt. Global warming proponents stymied: "At the bottom of the article, written by Steven Goddard, which you site as evidence supporting your believe, the author states:Steven Goddard writes: "Dr. Walt Meier at NSIDC has convinced me this week that their ice extent numbers are solid."

hipper_than_hip 9 years, 7 months ago

Injection of co2 into the ground is unproven. The only proven way of sequestration is to pump it into oil fields for enhanced recovery efforts.It's all fine and dandy to talk about capture and sequestration, but until you've proven that you have a safe way to store the co2, it's all just talk.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 7 months ago

Ambitious plans to combat global warming by pumping carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants into the ground have been delayed or canned due to spiraling costs, the New York Times reports. A project to build a flagship plant in Illinois to test the latest coal-burning techniques lost its government backing in January after costs doubled to $1.8 billion.=======================================

Bill Griffith 9 years, 7 months ago

A couple of comments. It may very well be true that Sebelius could be headed to Washington-or not. If Mark Parkinson assumes the helm there seems to be a consensus that he will be opposed to the Sunflower coal expansion project. Parkinson heads up the governor's energy policy and is a firm believer in the threat of climate change to the United States. As far as prominent Dems backing Sunflower, BK is correct with the names of McKinney and Lee. McKinney may be facing a fight over House Minority Leader and it may only be Lee, as a significant backer from the D side, but for now there are two prominent D's standing out there almost by themselves backing the plan. By the way, Mark Treaster, the legislator located the westernmost in the state who backed the governor, was defeated in a tough battle. The only one left out that way is Rep. Svaty. It seems like it may be even more of an east-west split over this issue in the legislature this year.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 7 months ago

Energy Payback of Wind TurbinesEnergy payback for a wind turbine is the length of time the wind turbine must produce in order to supply all of the energy used in its manufacture, construction, maintenance and decomissioning.Of course, the energy payback of a turbine will depend on a number of things. The wind resource in particular is crucial, as a windier site will produce energy more quickly than a less windy site.This issue of energy is a crucial issue both to cost, and to supplying energy for people in the future. Fortunately, the energy payback for wind turbines is very good. All of the energy used to produce, install, maintain, and decomission a wind turbine is earned by the turbine in 2-3 months of production. Because wind turbines will last at least 20 years, the net energy output from wind far exceeds the energy used.This compares favourably with photovoltaic, which is estimated at 2-3 years. And it compares favourably with nuclear and coal fired plants which have more embodied energy in them per kWh produced than wind. from corn has a poor EROEI. Some studies have demonstrated a negative EROEI, although these studies have largely been refuted. The most common number accepted now is that there is a 30-40% energy gain in energy when making ethanol. Growing corn on mechanically irrigated fields, such as they have in Nebraska, would have a lower EROEI, because of the large amount of energy consumed in pumping water. The low EROEI is largely because of the intensive use of fossil fuels in fertilizer to grow corn. Sugar cane is better. Biodiesel from virgin feedstock is better as well, but making biodiesel from waste oil streams is very good.It seems to me that the EROEI for consuming fossil fuels is going down. We have tapped the easy to access oil and natural gas, with a good EROEI, and are now moving on to the harder to access sources like tar sands, arctic, and deep offshore. But with wind and solar, the EROEI is going up. The energy payback for wind turbines has dropped from 5 months to 2-3 months over the past 15 years. And solar technology is advancing rapidly. Even basic things like slicing the silicon thinner is reducing the energy required to make solar cells. And new solar technologies will be even better.Perhaps the renewable revolution will be driven more by technology advance in renewables, and higher costs for fossil fuels, than by carbon constraints.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 7 months ago

The Pickens Plan:How Individual Investors Can Make a the World's New Energy ParadigmNovember 7th, 2008From legendary oilman and billionaire T. Boone Pickens:"America is in a hole and it's getting deeper every day. We import 70% of our oil at a cost of $700 billion a year - four times the annual cost of the Iraq war.""I've been an oil man all my life, but this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of. But if we create a new renewable energy network, we can break our addiction to foreign oil."So, what is one of the world's richest oil men doing about it?The "Oracle of Oil" has unleashed a $58 million public relations blitz focused on persuading Americans to reduce their dependence on foreign oil by turning increasingly to wind power and natural gas.Called The Pickens Plan, the project calls for an estimated $1 trillion government investment... to displace electricity currently produced with natural gas with clean wind power.Meantime, he's pouring billions of his own money into each of those profitable sectors. In fact, he's spending $12 billion on what could prove to be the world's biggest wind farm--in Texas.Another of his ventures, Clean Energy Fuels, is the foremost company in one of the world's fastest-rising industries: building and operating natural gas fueling stations for vehicles.But that's just the beginning of the story behind wind and natural gas.With over 50 countries now installing wind turbines, investment in wind energy climbed to $50.2 billion last year. And hundreds of corporate and governmental fleets are converting to vehicles that run on natural gas.At Green Chip Stocks, we're tracking the best of these companies to secure early profits for our subscribers.Green Chip Stocks Editor Jeff Siegel, featured on CNBC's Green Week___Here are some recent Green Chip Review issues our readers picked as their favorites: * Investing in Water: An Ounce of Water, a Pound of Profits... * The Hottest Stock Market on the Planet: It's all about Energy and Minerals, and the Party's Just Getting Started... * Exploiting the Ethanol Technology Glut: A Profitable Day for Cellulosic Ethanol... * Putting Peak Oil to the Test: 3 Ways to Invest in Energy Prices... * Geothermal Stocks: The Emission Free Power Source Poised for Long-term Profits...Become a Green Chip Review member today. It's free, and there's absolutely no obligation, ever. And don't forget to get rich this time!

frank mcguinness 9 years, 7 months ago

KEITHMILES05 (Anonymous) says: "The notion that only Pubs support the Sunflower project ist he most ludicous and stupid thing I've heard on this entire topic. That is a lie. The posters who believe this nonsense and post it are showing their ignorance."Are you blind...said Cindy Hertel, a spokeswoman for Sunflower Electric. And Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, and House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls,It certainly easier to prove my point than it is for you to prove yours. Show me a prominent dem who supports this and I'll concede my point. This message has been approved by Rooster.

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