Sebelius vetoes bill on coal-fired power plants

As expected, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Monday vetoed legislation that would have allowed the construction of two 700-megawatt coal-burning power plants in southwest Kansas.

She vetoed three similar bills last year. On Monday, in her newest veto message, Sebelius said of the legislation, “What was a bad idea last year, is an even worse idea today.”

President Barack Obama is moving toward regulating carbon dioxide emissions, and Kansas doesn’t need the plants for its own energy needs, she said.

And, she said, the Legislature’s attempt to marry renewable initiatives to the bill was a failure because many of the so-called “green” provisions ended up watered down.

“Once again, as the rest of the country moves toward a renewable energy future, the Legislature is intent on darkening Kansas’ energy future with new coal plants that will provide energy we don’t yet need,” she said.

The veto sets up a showdown with lawmakers when they return for the wrap-up session on April 29. A two-thirds majority is required to overturn a veto.