Kansas House expects to debate coal-fired power plants next week

? A debate in the Kansas House on a bill allowing two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas won’t occur until at least next week.

Rep. Joshua Svaty, an Ellsworth Democrat and a leading critic of the measure, suggested Thursday that its backers are searching for a two-thirds majority. That’s the margin they would need to override an expected veto by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

The bill allows Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build the two plants in Finney County. The project has been blocked by Sebelius’ administration since October 2007.

The measure ties those provisions to proposals designed to encourage the development of renewable energy.

House Speaker Mike O’Neal, a Hutchinson Republican, says he wants to make sure legislators have time to study the bill’s contents.