Ecumenical Christian Ministries at Kansas University has lodged its opposition to the proposed coal-burning power plant in southwestern Kansas.
“Given the urgency of the need to curtail health hazards, decrease energy consumption and our commitment to the well-being of future generations, we object to the Holcomb plant construction,” Thad Holcombe, campus minister for ECM said in a letter to state environmental officials.
Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp. has proposed building an 895-megawatt coal-fired plant. A permit for the plant is pending before the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which is taking public comment.
Supporters of the project say it will be one of the cleanest coal-burning plants in the country. In 2007, KDHE Secretary Roderick Bremby rejected Sunflower's proposal for two 700-megawatt plants, citing the health and environmental effects of carbon dioxide emissions from the project.
In 2009, Gov. Mark Parkinson made a deal with Sunflower to reduce the size of the project in exchange for passage by the Legislature of renewable energy legislation.
In his letter opposing the project, Holcombe also notes that ECM is refurbishing its 18,000-square-foot building to make it more energy efficient.
“The construction of the Holcomb plant, in many ways, tends to negate our efforts,” he said.
ECM is one of the largest campus ministries at KU and serves more than 1,000 students per month.