Archive for Monday, August 15, 2011

Statehouse Live: Environmentalists seek to block western Kansas coal-burning plant

August 15, 2011

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— Environmentalists on Monday filed a legal brief with the Kansas Supreme Court seeking to stop construction of an 895-megawatt coal-burning power plant near Holcomb.

The Kansas Sierra Club, represented by Earthjustice, alleged the permit given to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. violates the federal Clean Air Act.

"The Sunflower permit process was so completely hijacked by coal supporters that a citizen lawsuit became necessary," said Stephanie Cole, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Sierra Club.

Sunflower Electric, based in Hays, and state regulators have said the permit meets all state and federal requirements.

The lawsuit filed against the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said the permit fails to protect the public health and was granted using an improper procedure. Environmentalists cited a recent Kansas City Star report that showed Sunflower was allowed to draft responses to public comments about the proposed plants for KDHE.

Comments

KEITHMILES05 4 years ago

This is going to be the cleanest and most advanced coal burning plant in the country! Why doesn't the Sierra Club go spend their time and efforts on the old, outdated, and diry plants in the Northeast that wouldn't even come close to meeting air standards now-a-days. Go AWAY Sierra!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years ago

Why does it have to be one or the other?

There is no such thing as "clean coal."

Bill Griffith 4 years ago

I think they did.. It seems like in May of 2010 the Sierra Club filed suit against Westar for CA act violations and there was a settlement between DOJ and Westar that the Club signed off on. I know that they are involved in the proceedings over at the KCC concerning KCPL's request for upgrades to LaCygne I and II and they brought an attorney in from their home office.

Ken Lassman 4 years ago

This electricity is not for Kansans. It is being held as an option to help Sunflower Power shareholders get out of hock for the debts they have run up on their first power plant, which they have been unable to pay off. They plan to do that by selling electricity to front range developers in Colorado while millions of tons of CO2 are spewed out and mercury drifts across Kansas. What a crock--this plant is not needed even by Colorado from what I can tell.

Kris Adair 4 years ago

The pollution is for Kansas. The power is for Colorado.

Dan Thalmann 4 years ago

I'd prefer Kansas pursue another nuclear plant. Reliable power. Clean energy. Lots of high-paying jobs. No risk of tsunamis or earthquakes here on the Plains.

Kris Adair 4 years ago

That is the best idea yet.

I am not invested in nuclear power, no one I know works in a plant, I don't have any axe to grind.

Nuclear power is the best option available for continuous power in areas without geography to support hydro-electric or geo-thermal.

It isn't perfect, but it is better than all the others. Relative to coal related ash, CO2 and heavy metals, it is hands down cleaner. Relative to natural gas, "fracing" pollution and CO2, it is a better alternative.

If we are serious about leaving an inhabitable planet for our great-great-grandchildren we should be streamlining nuclear construction. The waste can be re-processed and stored in a facility not much larger than a landfill. By sacrificing a few dozen acers to radiation, we can preserve our entire atmosphere. Not a bad way to go.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years ago

Aside from sweeping the very real problems with nuke power under the rug, you forgot to mention how obscenely expensive they are to construct, fuel and maintain.

At any rate, until I hear nuclear proponents willing to see the Price-Anderson act repealed (the one that basically absolves the nuclear industry of nearly all liability for accidents) then I won't take them serious about how "safe" nuclear power is.

Bill Griffith 4 years ago

Right now demand is flat and Kansas is producing more electricty than it needs a good deal of the time. Projections for future demand are rather modest-thus a nuclear plant is not in the cards unless it would be a Kansas utility buying a small share in a new plant in a neighboring state.

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