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Are you for or against the building of coal-fired power plants in western Kansas?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 11, 2007

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Photo of Janette Salisbury

“I would rather they build more wind farms than build the coal plants.”

Photo of Julia Broxholm

“I’m against it. There are plenty of viable ways to produce energy that don’t create harmful byproducts. I’m a parent, and I would like to leave a better world for my son.”

Photo of Dan Boardman

“No coal plants. They cause too much environmental pollution. They need to look to wind power for the extra energy.”

Photo of Lisa Arnett

“I would say that I’m against it at this point, because the people who live out there now have the option to sustain themselves by growing fuel alternatives and don’t have to depend on the power plants for work.”

Comments

RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 6 months ago

"Sunflower wants to build it here because they know that Colorado has far more stringent enviornmental regulations compared to Kansas" - SnowWI,

Sunflower wants to build it in KS because they are a Kansas Electric Cooperative, licensed by the KCC. That would be the Kansas Corporation Commission. Sunflower can not build plaints in Colorado.
Some other company that is licensed in Colorado could build power generation plants in Colorado,, then Sunflower would be paying more to buy power from the grid. Most likely they would be natural gas turbines.

Why are natural gas prices continuously rising? Oh, but thats right, you want to heat your house with wind. Open your windows...

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snowWI 6 years, 6 months ago

No, I am against the building of coal plants in western Kansas. Wind energy and natural gas are much cleaner than burning coal. Coal is never "clean" no matter what technologies they use. Wind energy would also be a better idea for economic development because it spreads potential income and jobs over a much bigger geographical area instead of centering it on one county. Sunflower wants to build it here because they know that Colorado has far more stringent enviornmental regulations compared to Kansas.

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none2 6 years, 6 months ago

BABBOY (Anonymous) says:

"I go out to SWKS two or three times a month. It was a shock at first in that the lack of trees and how flat everything looked was different then the Topeka, Lawerence, KC or even Flint Hills looked. Now, I have grown to like the priarie look of it all and imagine myself building Links style golf course here and there. Hell, there is spot to the east of Liberal and another between Garden City and Jetmore which would both be perfect with the Western looking landscape."

====

Are you talking about the Cimarron River bridge northeast of Liberal? If so, yes that valley is pretty. if you ever take US 83 between Liberal and Garden City, you see that same valley again. What shocked me is that there is NO water where it crosses 83, but then there is some where it crosses US 54 further downstream. The valley also looks pretty on K-23 which runs south of Meade & on into the panhandle.

You can vary your route if it is getting kind of too much the same. I used to take 54 all the time to visit home, and then realized that there was a lot to see in Kansas. For instance, I have gotten off Kellog (US 54) in Wichita and taken a highway that heads southwest to Harper, KS. Then from there Take US 160 all the way to Meade. The Gypsum Hills are really beautiful. I wish I had time to take more side roads to see more. (Though half of my life was in SW Kansas. There was so little I knew about it given that we always took US 54.) In addition to the Gypsum Hills, there is Jacob's Well and Big Basin in Clark County. Additionally, there is a beautiful little creek near Ashland on 160. The rock is red, and it is really beautiful near sunset. Another side diversion is from Ashland up to the Clark County Lake (it does connect to US 54 with a dog leg). However, that is a dirt road for a good part of the trip. There you cross some areas where there are no fences and the cattle can cross. (There is a similar road in the Gypsum Hills if you take the back roads to places like Sun City.)

There are so many things to see in this state. Some people just don't get excited unless it is a huge mountain or vast ocean, but I see the beauty in the smaller things that our state has. If one needs vastness, I would say that the sunsets and the stars at night are pretty vast in western Kansas since there is very little to block the view and few lights to dim the stars. I do miss the winds when it is warm or hot; I don't miss the winter winds. We get so little wind here compared to western Kansas. Wind may not be good for plants as it speeds up evaporation, but it sure blows off perspiration. When I first got here (in an August), I remember how I felt like I needed to bathe multiple times a day.

Though now half my life has now been here, I will miss always miss western Kansas. Unfortunately, most end up leaving the area as there aren't a lot of job opportunities.

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jayhawklawrence 6 years, 6 months ago

I remember picking up Al Gore's book a few years ago on global warming. I think he wrote it in 1972. Before that I thought he was an idiot. I was stunned and had a change of heart. Today he gets what he deserves, the Nobel Prize. They may call you a tree hugger but you have to keep trying to tell the truth.

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situveux1 6 years, 6 months ago

Oh let's see, well, I've lived in liberal-tree-hugging Lawrence all my life and been to Dodge City once to buy a big hat that we all got a good laugh out of, so let's see, since I have the right to tell western Kansas what to do I'll push my tree-hugging opinions on them and keep them economically deprived for years to come. That way, not only do get to push my ideas and opinions on them, I also get to keep them poor and support more people through welfare, which as a liberal tree-hugger, I love.

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jayhawklawrence 6 years, 6 months ago

How can you have an opinion when you don't have access to the technical reports. It sounds like they are just trying to ram rod something down our throats. Just because Carbon emissions are currently unregulated ("see Bush Administration") doesn't mean it isn't a really bad idea.

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kneejerkreaction 6 years, 6 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says: No way for coal:it's dirty stuff. No such thing as clean coal. Wind Turbines could be the oil wells of the past for farmers of today. Receive dividends from the electric industry. Say No To Coal http://action.earthjustice.org/campaign/:


Then stop taking warm showers, Merrill, and did you drive to work this AM? For Shame! And, get off that da**ed computer, it takes electricity to send emails and for God's sake, shut the lights off.

Sure, develop renewables, but don't depend on them.

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lunacydetector 6 years, 6 months ago

why are the people in lawrence even debating this issue? by the way, the environmentalists don't like wind farms - like in the flint hills for instance or off martha's vineyard.

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GretchenJP 6 years, 6 months ago

That would be WAY COOL to glow in the dark.

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GretchenJP 6 years, 6 months ago

If you build it they will come.

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Pilgrim 6 years, 6 months ago

No, no, we can't burn coal for electricity!

OK. Well then, let's build nuclear power plants.

No, no, we might all glow in the dark!

OK. Well then, let's build a bunch of windmills to generate electricity.

No, no, they kill too many birds and are a blight on the landscape!

OK. Let's all sit around in the dark and curse the bad old days.

Yea, darkness!


This conversation brought to you by the Sierra Club and the rest of the enviro-Chicken Littles.

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Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

No way for coal...it's dirty stuff. No such thing as clean coal. Wind Turbines could be the oil wells of the past for farmers of today. Receive dividends from the electric industry.

Say No To Coal http://action.earthjustice.org/campaign/kansas_coal/wnng63gzhe6b7en?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 6 months ago

Goots, I thought western KS started @ Topeka.

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Gootsie 6 years, 6 months ago

Wonder where in western Kansas MadelnKS lives. Most people here think Salina is western Kansas. HA!

C have you see the Hallmark e-card about Don't Care Friday?

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Ceallach 6 years, 6 months ago

Good thing this came up today, tomorrow is Don't Care Friday!!! Only a few more hours, as the day goes on I find myself leaning towards Dontcaredom :P Truth is I am a skeptic (I know you all find that hard to believe) the powers that be have probably already made the decision, just have to give it enough time to look as though it was thoroughly thought out. Hey, maybe this is Skeptical Thursday!!

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 6 months ago

Perhaps Sunflower will relocate to Bombay.

My lil post was sort of in half jest. The talking points were too funny. Then, MadeInkS came back with, "If I were, maybe I wouldn't mind paying an exorbitant rate for my electric bill." Once again, cute little talking point. That and it was their 1st ever post. Who knows? Who cares? It's Thursday afternoon funtime.

"I'm just an ordinary person that actually lives in the area you're all dictating the future of:"

Sorry, tush. Same State. We all follow the same rules. We didn't ask for your district to elect Connie to the state school board. But, that is how it was. The regionlization aspect of this argument is dumb.

I'm from out that way and really don't have a dog in this fight. It's in the hands of one person and who knows which way the poliical wind will be blowing when she decides.

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 6 months ago

TOB, now you're making me miss the executive whose company wouldn't locate in KS.

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consumer1 6 years, 6 months ago

I am against subsidising the power companies to build anything we must pay for and then pay to use the power it produces.

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gccs14r 6 years, 6 months ago

Eventually we'll run out of stored solar and have to live within the energy budget provided by real-time solar. Must we pollute as much as possible between now and then?

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MadeInKS 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, TOB, i'm not that well-paid. If I were, maybe I wouldn't mind paying an exorbitant rate for my electric bill. I'm just an ordinary person that actually lives in the area you're all dictating the future of...

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey! A mid-level executive from Sunflower just posted! A nice freshly approved post by their PR department even!

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MadeInKS 6 years, 6 months ago

i live in western KS, i love western KS and I am for Sunflower's plant expansion. Actually, some communities in western KS are growing, there is an increasing demand for energy right here in our state, and yes, it is also for local use. Due to the current structure of the state power grid, it is very difficult and expensive to move power from the eastern half of the state. Our community contracts with Sunflower to purchase energy for resale to residents, and it is much, much more efficient, cleaner and cheaper than if we were to generate it ourselves with a city-operated diesel power plant. Wind and solar power are great, but are expensive and undependable. The job opportunities are a big plus to this area. The proposed addition's emissions will meet or exceed federal and state environmental regulations, and since coal is a US natural resource - it's that much less fuel oil we have to fight to import, I'd much rather have a coal-fired plant in my back yard than a nuclear facility, no matter how "clean" it is. And most of us that have grown up in Western KS love the wide open spaces, fields and view of the beautiful night sky.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 6 months ago

While wind energy is nifty, it would take a whole lotta acreage to supply enough power to equal that of a coal plant. However, coal plants strip the earth of resources (and they are ugly). I think eventually they will go with nuke power. Am I against coal? I guess so.

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 6 months ago

"I sawwwy, TOB, it's just:well, it's very bare out there" ACG

That's how we like it. We don't need no trees that attract you hifalutin Easterners.

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Jonathan_Jason_McDaniels 6 years, 6 months ago

Okay, I admit it.......after reading and re-reading Lisa Arnett's response...I have no idea what she's trying to say. If she means that in western Kansas they can always grow more corn or whatever....okay, fine. But that's a fuel source for automobiles in particular. Power plants (coal-fired or not) are for homes and businesses, yes?

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b3 6 years, 6 months ago

Build it, how else am i going to power my 4th tv.

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Kontum1972 6 years, 6 months ago

ask dick cheney....

i also prefer Blues Power...

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average 6 years, 6 months ago

Nuclear is the best option out there for baseload power. Add solar and wind to the mix as available.

Unfortunately, Holcomb KS is a bad place for either coal or nukes. Either kind of plant needs tons of water. Something that SW Kansas just ain't got enough of to export (via electrical generation).

I'd support nearby nuclear expansion. Or, I'd support Wolf Creek 2 and 3 if it's cheaper than planning a new site. But, if Colorado needs power, let them build their own. They already have enough of Kansas' water as it is.

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BABBOY 6 years, 6 months ago

I go out to SWKS two or three times a month. It was a shock at first in that the lack of trees and how flat everything looked was different then the Topeka, Lawerence, KC or even Flint Hills looked. Now, I have grown to like the priarie look of it all and imagine myself building Links style golf course here and there. Hell, there is spot to the east of Liberal and another between Garden City and Jetmore which would both be perfect with the Western looking landscape.

Now, I just wish there was more four lane highways -- at night my 42 year old eyes do not do so well on those two lanes and I cannot drive slow and must pass slower traffic. Also, land is not an issue. HYW 54 is really bad even in the daytime with all the trucks on it in that you get stuck behind trucks following other trucks who cannot get the speed to pass.

On, the Coal plants, can't we do better than that? It is afterall the 21st Century.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm against it. I'm OK with coal, but I'm not OK with the way that California demands more from the nation's [insert name of any natural resource or source of energy] than it contributes. Lisa's response is somewhat off-topic in that this power would not be used by the people of western Kansas. This juice would go into the grid, and get used by L.A., Las Vegas, etc.

"because the people who live out there now have the option to sustain themselves by growing fuel alternatives"

Just because you grow corn doesn't mean you have the infrastructure in place to power your home with it. They actually don't "have the option to sustain themselves" with alternative fuels.

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acg 6 years, 6 months ago

I sawwwy, TOB, it's just...well, it's very bare out there.

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Gootsie 6 years, 6 months ago

":let's face it, there's a lot of nothing in western kansas."

ACG = Bite your tongue, woman!

Sorry acg, I'm with TOB on this one! Course with him and me gone, there IS more of an emptiness, but it still kicks.

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ms_canada 6 years, 6 months ago

I am against anything that pours more pollution into the air of this earth we call home. We have had a coal fired power plant very near to our city for many, many years. The coal is mined very near to the power plant. It is strip mined and it leaves a terrible, ugly scar on the earth for a long time until they get it covered over. We also have a large number of wind turbines in the southern part of our province. I would be all for the increase in wind power. Just hope that coal runs out soon because I don't see the ceasing of this method of power production.

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Azure_Attitude 6 years, 6 months ago

Against. Turbines don't build and maintain themselves, so job opportunities will come from wind farming too.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 6 months ago

I am for or against many things...

I am for the idea that Johnson was behind the Kennedy assassination. I am against opening Christmas presents on Christmas Eve. I am for the belief that all the trouble in the world started with just one apple. I am against parking meters. I am for puppies and children. I am against citrus flavored beer. I am for women dressing so the male mind has to use it's imagination. I am against socialist movements. I am for long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

Coal fired powerplants are still a viable means of electric power production, but there are alternatives. Not that those alternatives are not without there own indiviual negative issues. The Grid is the Matrix.
Without it, as a nation we will be plunged into darkness. So I am for it, yet I am against it.

A tortured soul...

"Ad Astra Per Alia Porci"

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Bone777 6 years, 6 months ago

Wind blowing west........For Wind blowing east........Against

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 6 months ago

"...let's face it, there's a lot of nothing in western kansas."

ACG = Bite your tongue, woman!

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acg 6 years, 6 months ago

I have to look at it from an employment standpoint. Building, operating and maintaining those plants will bring a lot of jobs to the area out there and let's face it, there's a lot of nothing in western kansas. We all want alternative energy sources, but until they come up with a viable, cost effective, space effective plan, we gotta go with what we know. If we make sure the emission standards the plants have to follow are very stringent, that will go a long way to lowering the amount of pollution that is put off by these plants.

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Topside 6 years, 6 months ago

No coal. Nuclear power plants are the only suitable means to provide constant energy.

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The_Original_Bob 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm against it on technical grounds, but reading the responses of Lisa A. and Julia B. make me sad*. If you are against it yet don't really know what you are talking about, just nod your head and remain quiet. Putting out easily disprovable misconceptions isn't helping.

Sad isn't the right word. More like dissapointed. Sad is an emotion for puppies and ex-girlfriends.

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Ceallach 6 years, 6 months ago

Since I wouldn't want them in the Lawrence area, I can't in good conscience be in favor or allowing them in someone else's area.

I think Lisa A was referring to job opportunities that the two plants might provide for Western Kansans. (Thank goodness for spell-check, I almost posted "ob opportunities" :):)

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

I thought we were supposed to be trying to emulate the Europeans. They're big on nuclear power. http://www.euronuclear.org/info/maps.htm

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deec 6 years, 6 months ago

Nope. The billboards are from a coalition of neighbors of the proposed wind farm on the west and southwest of Hays. The Hays Daily News has many stories about the controversy here if anyone is interested.

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overthemoon 6 years, 6 months ago

horn--i think wind is an alternative to coal fuel and is there for a 'fuel alternative'

interestingly, when you drive down I-70 in the middle of the state there are homemade looking bill boards claiming that windpower will 'industrialize' farm land to the detriment of everyone. I guess those who own the land where the coal plants are proposed are hoping to deflate the wind program.

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blue73harley 6 years, 6 months ago

For it. Emissions can be controlled. They are better than nuke plants in my opinion and wind farms take up an incredible amount of space for the amount of energy they produce.

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hornhunter 6 years, 6 months ago

" I would say that I'm for it at this point", because people like Lisa A. in Lawrence don't have a clue. This power that is being talked about not fuel.

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