Archive for Thursday, January 16, 2014

Public comment period opens on proposed changes to permit for coal-fired plant

January 16, 2014


— State environmental officials are seeking public comment on a proposed change in the permit given to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build an 895-megawatt coal-burning electric generating plant in southwest Kansas.

Further work on the permit was required because of a Kansas Supreme Court ruling in October.

The court overturned the permit and sent it back to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, telling the agency that the permit must comply with Environmental Protection Agency regulations on one-hour emission limits for nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.

Public comment on the addition to the permit will continue through Feb. 19.

The proposed project has been the topic of disputes for more than six years.

Under the proposal, Sunflower Electric would manage the facility while most of the electricity produced would go to customers of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in Colorado.

Proponents of the plant say it will bring crucial jobs and economic development to western Kansas. Opponents say the plant will pollute, draw down water reserves and provide electricity that won’t benefit Kansas.

KDHE said public comments can be:

— Mailed to Christy Thurman, KDHE Bureau of Air, 1000 SW Jackson, Suite 310, Topeka, KS 66612-1366;

— Submitted by email to; or

— Presented orally or in writing during a public hearing at 5 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Garden City High School Auditorium, 2720 Buffalo Way Blvd.


Richard Heckler 3 months ago

Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, experts found.

A delay would most likely force future generations to develop the ability to suck greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and store them underground to preserve the livability of the planet, the report found. But it is not clear whether such technologies will ever exist at the necessary scale, and even if they do, the approach would probably be wildly expensive compared with taking steps now to slow emissions.

The report said that governments of the world were still spending far more money to subsidize fossil fuels than to accelerate the shift to cleaner energy, thus encouraging continued investment in projects like coal-burning power plants that pose a long-term climate risk.



Bob Gent 3 months ago

If sunflower wants water for the electricity they're selling to Colorado, how about them building the plant on the Arkansas and have Colorado release the needed water into the river for the plant? Otherwise, it looks suspiciously like Colorado wants the plant sited here so we suffer the costs of their consumption


Clark Coan 3 months ago

Due to new EPA regulations, it will be too expensive to build now. BTW, Mid-Atlantic Hydro filed a preliminary FERC license permit in Sept. to build a conventional hydro plant at Tuttle Creek Lake. It would produce 79 MW of power.

Reportedly, Bowersock will look into doing hydro at Clinton Lake next year.


Chris Golledge 3 months ago

So, looking more at the Tallgrass Heartland, what else does that act do? Would it prevent the development of a coal plant in that area? What about an aerospace production facility? A chemical fertilizer plant? New cattle feed lots? What exactly does the Tallgrass Heartland do other than exclude the development of wind energy near our population centers?

I think the answer is it only restricts wind development. Does it seem a little odd that someone who claims to want less regulation of industry by government should declare an exclusion zone for one competitive industry in particular?


Chris Golledge 3 months, 1 week ago

Just looking at the area in which Brownback has declared off limits for further wind development,

And looking at where the best wind in Kansas is

And it strikes me that if someone wanted to undermine our ability to produce wind energy near where most of the population is, they could have done a worse job.


Chris Golledge 3 months, 1 week ago

That area has some of the best wind potential that exists.

Wind in those kind of high-yield areas is already cheaper than coal.>

A coal plant would place additional demands on water that is already in short supply, and our governer has stated we should find ways of conserving it for farm use.

It smells like the utility is asking the government to support its grab at market share before the competition can establish a foothold.


Les Blevins 3 months, 1 week ago

The following is from an ENN article from July 1, 1999.

A Lawrence, Kan., man has conceptualized an energy system that combines the power of the wind and the burning of biomass, such as municipal or agricultural wastes. The system, he said, could help remedy climate change woes. "Such a system could call up solid fuels (including clean coal conversion via gasification) to back up wind when the wind isn't blowing strongly," said Les Blevins, president of Advanced Alternative Energy Corp. Blevins has yet to construct the system and will not release complete details of how the system works until he has secured patents for the technology. In 1993, he secured a patent for the biomass portion of the system he calls the Sequential Grates System. However, he said energy would primarily be generated through wind turbines until the wind begins to drop, at that time system operators would dispatch the biomass burning furnaces to make up the shortfall. "I'm envisioning a power plant that can take municipal solid waste and turn it into clean energy and return it to the community," he said. Such a system could exceed 80 percent efficiency, compared to just 32 percent efficiency for conventional fossil fuel electricity systems such as coal-fired power plants. Blevins believes his technology is adaptable for both developing and developed nations. "It is clean, highly efficient, low cost, modular, scalable, expandable and provides waste disposal and energy independence," he said. According to Blevins, the technology is also applicable in the fight to slow down and prevent climate change. Renewable energies, such as wind power and biomass burning, produce much less, if any, carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide known as the most prevalent greenhouse gas.


Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

Koch Outspends Exxon-Mobil on Climate Denial

The Wonk Room has long detailed the role of the billionaire brothers of Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch, in destroying American prosperity.

Their pollution-based fortunes have fueled a network of right-wing ideologues, from McCain mouthpiece Nancy Pfotenhauer to loony conspiracy theorist Christopher Monckton.

In public, the Kochs like to burnish their reputations by buying museum and opera halls. In private, however, they’ve outspent Exxon Mobil to fund organizations of the climate denial machine, as Greenpeace details in a new report:

Although Koch intentionally stays out of the public eye, it is now playing a quiet but dominant role in a high-profile national policy debate on global warming.

Koch Industries has become a financial kingpin of climate science denial and clean energy opposition.

This private, out-of-sight corporation is now a partner to Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute and other donors that support organizations and front-groups opposing progressive clean energy and climate policy. In fact, Koch has out-spent Exxon Mobil in funding these groups in recent years.

From 2005 to 2008, Exxon Mobil spent $8.9 million while the Koch Industries-controlled foundations contributed $24.9 million in funding to organizations of the climate denial machine.

This report, “Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine” documents roughly 40 climate denial and opposition organizations receiving Koch foundation grants in recent years, including:


Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

Some trace elements in coal are naturally radioactive. These radioactive elements include uranium (U), thorium (Th), and their numerous decay products, including radium (Ra) and radon (Rn).

Although these elements are less chemically toxic than other coal constituents such as arsenic, selenium, or mercury, questions have been raised concerning possible risk from radiation.

In order to accurately address these questions and to predict the mobility of radioactive elements during the coal fuel-cycle, it is important to determine the concentration, distribution, and form of radioactive elements in coal and fly ash.


Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

The Lawrence coal fired plant is among a national list of plants that should be shut down.

"The new power plant will create less than half the pollution of the power plant in Lawrence. Those concerned about pollution should work to shut down the old power plants like Lawrence and replace them with new power plants" such as :


Bio Mass


Geo Thermal


Mike Ford 3 months, 1 week ago

please slurry that coal with the 15 inches or less of rain that area gets as the Oglallah aquifer becomes more and more depleted. head in the sand denial anyone?


Carolyn Simpson 3 months, 1 week ago

I just moved from Lawrence to Scott City, Kansas, not far from the proposed power plant. What is not reported well in eastern Kansas is that a big reason for the "coal fired plant" is to provide a power plant to receive the power generated by wind farms. Currently are few places to sell the wind generated power. I know of two wind farms that are on hold because they do not have a place to sell the power. The coal in the new power plant will be used as a supplement to provide constant power because wind does not blow all of the time even in western Kansas. The power plant will be a boon for wind farms. The new power plant will create less than half the pollution of the power plant in Lawrence. Those concerned about pollution should work to shut down the old power plants like Lawrence and replace them with new power plants like the one proposed in Southwest Kansas which will help Kansas fulfill its potential to be "the Saudi Arabia" of wind power for the state and nation.


Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

"Proponents of the plant say it will bring crucial jobs and economic development to western Kansas. Opponents say the plant will pollute, draw down water reserves and provide electricity that won’t benefit Kansas." Hmmmmmmmmmmm

Why can't jobs be the center of conversation surrounding cleaner more efficient energy? The technology is available as we speak. Cleaner energy sources do provide jobs.

Proponents of cleaner more efficient energy sources say this plan will bring crucial jobs and economic growth throughout the entire state of Kansas. The entire state of Kansas needs jobs and economic growth.

Some examples.

The Plan:



Bio Mass

Geo Thermal

Hydro Power


Larry Sturm 3 months, 1 week ago

We don't need a dirty coal fired plant in Kansas. And as for jobs their will be a lot of them during construction and then a skeleton crew to run it. Wind power or nuclear power will be a lot cleaner All large Navy ships run on nuclear power with no problems. .


Commenting has been disabled for this item.