Archive for Monday, January 26, 2009

Lawrence legislator angers many with his proposed energy bill

January 26, 2009, 11:00 a.m. Updated January 26, 2009, 5:12 p.m.

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— Utilities and the state’s lead consumer ratepayer agency on Monday criticized a proposed energy plan by state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence.

House Bill 2038 would require new electric power plants to capture and store 45 percent of climate changing carbon dioxide emissions from. Utilities said the technology to do that was not yet ready.

Westar Energy, Kansas Electric Power Cooperative Inc., and Sunflower Electric Power Corporation testified against the bill before the House Energy and Utilities Committee.

Sunflower Electric, which has been trying to build two 700-megawatt coal-burning plants in southwestern Kansas, said CO2 emissions should be regulated at the federal level, rather than the state level.

“We firmly believe that Kansas should wait for the federal government to act on CO2 before we burden all Kansans with financial costs that may never be agreed to in Washington,” said Wayne Penrod of Sunflower Electric.

Another part of the bill would require the Kansas Corporation Commission to allow utilities to recover their full costs to develop pollution reduction technologies, said David Springe, consumer counsel for the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board.

“This language eliminates any ability of the KCC to disallow any expenditure on these technologies regardless of how excessive and regardless of how imprudent,” Springe said.

But Sloan said his proposal “represented a deliberate effort to raise issues that otherwise may not be considered by the Legislature as we attempt to craft a comprehensive and responsible energy policy.”

Expecting heavy opposition, Sloan urged the committee members to study the proposal and suggest changes. “Don’t just say no,” he said.

He said the issue of reducing and storing CO2 emissions was further along than the utilities stated.

The measure also would require utilities to produce 20 percent of their power by 2020 from renewable sources, such as wind generation.

The Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club said it had concerns about the bill, saying the best way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions was to stop building new coal-burning plants.

Comments

blindrabbit 8 years, 12 months ago

Tom is just trying to make progress on this issue; historically, Kansas has resisted moving in a positive proactive way on this issue except for the considered action that Bremby and Sebelius took in denying the Holcomb project. The Bush Administration attempted to "gut" other clean-air issues, let alone address the CO2 problem. But that was the "old mentality", hopefully with a new direction in the Obama EPA, the regulation of CO2 will become a reality, and a "New Wind" will blow free of the CO2 contributions from Kansas utilities that have "bought" the Legislature in Kansas.

overthemoon 8 years, 12 months ago

waiting for the federal gov't may mean a matter of days or weeks given the rapid response of the Obama Adm to everything Bush trashed or ignored.

armyguy 8 years, 12 months ago

The "many" that Rep. Sloan have angered amount to, Utilities and the state’s lead consumer ratepayer agency. Keep up the good work Sloan, compromise when you have to, but keep after them.This headline is pure BS

ockhamsrazor 8 years, 12 months ago

This is funny. Didn't these same groups tout "clean coal" when they wanted the western Kansas powerplant last session... or is clean coal just Holcomb-Hokum?

JSpizias 8 years, 12 months ago

This is just a silly proposal and an attempt to appease the "green loonies" in his district because they have hammered him so hard. The technology for this is simply not available. For a good discussion see the article in the NY Times:Mounting Costs Slow the Push for Clean Coal http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/30/business/30coal.htmlCheck also what the Europeans are doing European Project on CO2 Capture for Coal and Gas Fired Power Plantshttp://www.azom.com/news.asp?newsID=10577"Next-generation technologhyThe project will deal with next-generation technology for CO2 capture from coal- and gas-fired power stations, and will contribute to making future technology very much cheaper than the technology that is available for use today.DECARBit is the first CO2 handling project in the EU’s 7th Framework Programme for research and development, which was launched in 2007."As the article below indicates, Spain will build an EXPERIMENTAL plant in 2009.http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/10/02/pioneering-european-co2-capture-plant-coming-to-spain-in-2009/"In 2009, Europe will have a CO2 capture plant in the Northwest of Spain, in the coal mining region of El Bierzo.The "City of Energy" foundation has signed an agreement with Fwesa and Praxair (Foster Wheeler Energy), technology providers for the plant. The "City of Energy", a public entity itself, will build an experimental plant near the coal power plant of Cubillos del Sil which will capture CO2 from the atmosphere. The cost of the project is 70 million euros.The answer to our problem is more nuclear generation of electricity as France has shown with its 80% generation of electricity by this means.

jayhawklawrence 8 years, 12 months ago

I was surprised to see this article in today's news.Tom Sloan, who I have criticized on energy issues is supposedly taking some heat for proposing that we open up the dialogue on the coal plant issue.I call this real progress. I am going to be optimistic about this. If Sloan decides to support more wind and solar development in Kansas then I am going to be very happy about it.I don't mind the concept of clean coal, I just don't like all the lies and BS about it. The RepubliCons have a habit of just pushing through the corporate line of BS without researching what might be better for the future of all Kansans. They are ideologues who have a hard time thinking outside the party box.This is something new for Sloan. If he takes the heat, I am inclined to support him wholeheartedly.

OnlyLawrenceRepublican 8 years, 12 months ago

Wow, Rep. Sloan has lost his mind on this one."New fossil-fuel generation units, construction of which commenced in the state after January 1, 2009, shall invest at least 10% of the total cost to construct the generation in new or upgraded transmission lines with an operating voltage of 345 kilovolts or more. This investment shall not include construction of lines that are necessary to interconnect the generation unit to the grid."So, in addition to today's cost increases for labor and materials, and in addition to the increased costs of implementing new technology, he's adding 10% to the total project costs (probably including financing) for transmission. The kicker is that the transmission has to be other than connecting the plant to the grid. I'm no mathematician, but assuming there's an agreement to build a 600 MW unit at Holcomb, there are no CCS requirements, and that construction costs are near 2005 prices of $1,500/kW, that is an added increase of $9 million. In context for today, we're talking major dollars.

OnlyLawrenceRepublican 8 years, 12 months ago

Seriously, someone check my math because I'm getting a half a billion dollar increase under today's cost figures.

OnlyLawrenceRepublican 8 years, 12 months ago

Sorry, I should have clarified that the half billion is at 1,400 MW and $3,500/kW.

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