Federal judge to hear arguments over Sunflower Electric lawsuit

? A federal judge will hear arguments over whether to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the state over a decision not to allow two coal-fired plants in western Kansas.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren is giving each side 30 minutes Thursday to make their case. The hearing is limited to the state’s request to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Sunflower Electric Power Corp.

The attorney general’s office argues a federal lawsuit interferes with the appeal of the state’s decision. It contends the lawsuit seeks to force state officials to disregard Kansas law and the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions in evaluating the application.

Sunflower contends the decision to block the coal-fired plants violates its constitutional rights. It argues the state seeks to block the interstate sale and distribution of electricity.