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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.”


hornhunter 7 years, 11 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.

overthemoon 7 years, 11 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.

deec 7 years, 11 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.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 11 months ago

I thought we were supposed to be trying to emulate the Europeans. They're big on nuclear power.

Ceallach 7 years, 11 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" :):)

Topside 7 years, 11 months ago

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

acg 7 years, 11 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.

Bone777 7 years, 11 months ago

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

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 11 months ago

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

ms_canada 7 years, 11 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.

Linda Aikins 7 years, 11 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.

acg 7 years, 11 months ago

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

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 11 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.

average 7 years, 11 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.

Kontum1972 7 years, 11 months ago

ask dick cheney....

i also prefer Blues Power...

sunflower_sue 7 years, 11 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.

MadeInKS 7 years, 11 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.

MadeInKS 7 years, 11 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...

gccs14r 7 years, 11 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?

sgtwolverine 7 years, 11 months ago

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

Ceallach 7 years, 11 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!!

Linda Aikins 7 years, 11 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?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 11 months ago

No way for'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

GretchenJP 7 years, 11 months ago

That would be WAY COOL to glow in the dark.

lunacydetector 7 years, 11 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.

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 11 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

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.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 11 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.

situveux1 7 years, 11 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.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 11 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.

snowWI 7 years, 11 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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