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LJWorld.com weblogs Congressional Briefing

Moran pens op-ed in favor of Holcomb coal plants

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As controversy continues over proposed coal-fired power plants near Holcomb, Rep. Jerry Moran has stepped into the fray.On Sunday, he authored an [op-ed in the Wichita Eagle,][1] saying the plants are needed - and saying any environmental harm caused by them can and will be mitigated.He wrote:"I look forward to the day when all of the energy we consume will be clean. But until then, there must either be a practical solution or Americans will face rolling blackouts and significantly higher utility costs."As America searches for ways to satisfy its need for energy and at the same time protect the environment, enterprising Kansans have taken the lead to find a solution. The folks at Sunflower Electric Power Corp. are working to show Kansas and the country a way forward."The Kansas-owned and -operated rural cooperative is proposing to build a one-of-a-kind facility in Holcomb that will greatly reduce the environmental impact of its coal-fired power plant expansion. Using cutting-edge technology, the Bioenergy Center will capture carbon dioxide before it leaves the plant and use it to produce renewable fuels. It is a central component of Sunflower's goal to make the expansion at Holcomb carbon-neutral."He concludes:"Sunflower's plan not only represents what the future of energy production can look like, but it also helps secure the future of rural Kansas. A $3.5 billion investment in a rural area is one of the most significant economic development opportunities in the history of western Kansas."Other headlines:Rep. Dennis Moore (D) ![][2][(KC Star) Stopgap bill keeps government in business until mid-November:][3] he federal government will not be shutting down Monday. Bills will be paid. Taxes will be collected. The alphabet soup of 21st century America - EPA, FBI, OSHA, DOD, HUD - will continue to simmer. Even though - yet again - Congress will miss the Oct. 1 deadline for passing legislation that actually pays for government operations. ... But the political gamesmanship over the lack of progress on appropriations is well under way. The common theme: Blame the other guy. "They're having problems in the Senate," said Rep. Dennis Moore, a Kansas Democrat. "I'm not trying to point fingers, but that's the reality."Rep. Nancy Boyda (D) ![][4]Boyda, Lansing featured in CBS story about federal earmark spending Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R) ![][5][(KWCH) Wichita senator to seek Tiahrt's seat:][6] State Senator Donald Betts says he plans to seek the Democratic nomination in Kansas' Fourth Congressional District. The Wichita senator had planned a formal announcement on Tuesday at Friends University. But Governor Sebelius revealed Betts' plans to 300 cheering supporters during a state party meeting yesterday.[(KAKE-TV) RICO Indictments Take More Criminals Off Street:][7] Friday's federal indictments against local gang members could go a long way toward making Wichita safer. The RICO Act allows prosecutors to charge organized groups instead of individuals. Law enforcement agencies, government officials, and local experts agree... criminal gang acts in Wichita have been on the rise in recent years. Now, by trying this case under the RICO Act, prosecutors hope to reverse that trend. "The crips have been around for a long time," says Kansas Congressman Todd Tiahrt. "Over the last decade they have slowly built up. Bringing them down will also take some time." [1]: http://www.kansas.com/205/story/188219.html [2]: http://ljworld.com/specials/election04/primary/moore.jpg [3]: http://www.kansascity.com/105/story/295803.html [4]: http://ljworld.com/specials/election04/primary/boyda.jpg [5]: http://bioguide.congress.gov/bioguide/photo/T/T000260.jpg [6]: http://www.kbsd6.com/Global/story.asp?S=7146649 [7]: http://www.kake.com/news/headlines/10143641.html

Comments

snowWI 6 years, 6 months ago

hornhunter, I am sure you work for Sunflower. I know western Kansas very well, and lived there a few years ago. I highly doubt that the proposed plants will keep more of the younger people in western Kansas. A good majority of the younger people leave for urban areas because that is where more of the good paying jobs are. The BRAIN DRAIN of young people will prevent western Kansas from having much in the way of economic development. Just look at the census data if you want proof. Unfortunately, we have to be the provider of dirty coal generated electricity to the greedy Front Range. The only point I am trying to make is that Colorado should produce enough electricity to meet there own demand without having to get it from other states with fewer environmental regulations. The tri-state electric cooperative would have a harder time building the plants in Colorado because they have the RPS in place.

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none2 6 years, 6 months ago

I think it is funny all these people who make ignorant comments about western Kansas and yet know so very little about the area and its people...

Wind energy itself does NOT make a lot of jobs. Sure there are construction jobs at first, but once they are built, how many people does it take to maintain them? Not that many. Now if this electricity was being generated by wind power AND staying locally, then perhaps many jobs would be created from business startups taking advantage of the cheap energy costs. (Kind of like the TVA did in the south.) Nevertheless, the plan is to transmit energy generated there to the western US grid in Colorado and further west.

There is much more wind out in western Kansas than many other places. However, realize that it isn't windy all the time. LIkewise, at higher altitudes it takes more wind to have the same force to move the blades. Thus one cannot completely rely out there on just one alternative energy source. People out there have the same energy demands that anywhere else does. People out there don't live in sod homes. They watch TV, radio, use washers/dryers for laundry, etc just like everybody elsewhere does. UNLESS you get people both there, and around the entire larger central region to use less energy, we will have need in the central states for more energy than alternative energy alone can provide.

Also, 1029 either just likes to argue, or is hopelessly ignorant. People whether out there or anywhere else, don't all think the same. For instance, I know of at least two ethanol plants planned out that way. (I believe there are actually more.) One is in Garden City -- not too far from Holcomb. The other one is near Liberal. A lot of local people out there realize just how stupid these plants will be. I'm not talking about the fact that it uses a lot of energy to make ethanol, but the fact that it takes a LOT of water both to grow the corn and to convert it into ethanol. Water is simply something that there isn't an abundance of out there. The one in Garden City is basically going to be put on the Arkansas River bed -- or what should be the river. The following is from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkansas...

"Water flow in the Arkansas River (as measured in central Kansas) has dropped from approximately 248 cubic feet per second (7 m³/s) average from 1944-1963 to 53 cubic feet per second (1.5 m³/s) average from 1984-2003, largely due to pumping of groundwater for irrigation in eastern Colorado and western Kansas."

Liberal's plant is in a very similar situation. There is no visible water where the Cimarron River river crosses US 83. There is some water further downstream where it crosses US 54. The plant is going to be competing for water with the farmers in the area.

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hornhunter 6 years, 6 months ago

Get over it snowWI, you say the same thing time after time. Maybe other states don't like to pollute their state, and send power your way either, have you ever thought of that. Just maybe if EVERYONE in the US would shut down thier, cell phones, ipods, and oh yes thier computers then all the plants that are being built in this country wouldn't be needed. But until then zip it.

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Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 6 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 6 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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snowWI 6 years, 6 months ago

Moran seems to completely lack common sense on the issue. It has been said that wind energy in western Kansas would provide more jobs overall than coal plants. Does Moran not realize that 90% of the electricity will be going out of state while Kansas pays the consequences. The CO2 from the proposed plants will not be mitigated because they would emit millions of tons of carbon dioxide every year.

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LiberalDude 6 years, 6 months ago

Back to the headline: Moran has indeed proved that he's a moron. No more coal plants! Why can't we all just agree to build a giant wind farm in Holcomb? Then we would have jobs and clean energy.

Oh, and BTW, earmarks are bogus. Boyda is still better than the alternatives, though.

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jimincountry 6 years, 6 months ago

It isn't the projects that are wrong; many, even most are good. It is the creepy way our government representatives conduct business and claim their rewards! The congress is becoming shameless in pursuit of political goals .......AT THE RISK of the country.

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ralphralph 6 years, 6 months ago

"I'm proud of her for bringing money home to her district."

??????? EVERY incumbent is bringing money home to their district !!!! The problem is, IT'S OUR MONEY !!!! Oink! Oink! Gimme a slab of that bacon, Nancy! If ANYBODY on Earth besides Jim Ryun runs against you, I'm voting for them. Otherwise, I'm not voting at all. Way to jump on the pork wagon, Ms. Outsider.

BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

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jasonc_22 6 years, 6 months ago

BigDog-

Maybe, yes, absolutely- but we have no idea what the monies would have been spent on otherwise. Perhaps the money could have been better spent in Arkansas, or Oregon or Hawaii. Or, perhaps, it would be better spent right here in Kansas or in Colorado.

The budget should be balanced (probably), and we should reduce the deficit. But, if there is money there, if it will indeed be spent regardless, I want it spent in Kansas and I want my member of Congress to fight to make sure it is spent in Kansas.

There is an additional blessing: if communities get infused with federal dollars they can avoid increasing local property or sales taxes, which promotes growth. Since federal taxes aren't increasing, and since the money as already been budgeted, I have no problem having it in Kansas instead of Utah.

If, indeed, the process changed, and the money vanished and wasn't there to be dedicated to a particular program, that would be different. Since that isn't reality (and probably won't be) I want Congresswoman Boyda to bring more money home to us each year she's in office.

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BigDog 6 years, 6 months ago

Jason:

That is exactly the problem. Many people believe the budget needs to be balanced and Congress needs to reduce the deficit. Then on the other hand, the same people expect the projects to be brought home to their districts. The Congress had over $64 billion in earmarks last year.

Even if the money was going to be spent somewhere, maybe worthwhile projects go undone because of pork projects and earmarks. Maybe the tens of millions in funding that has been used to build the bridge to nowhere in Alaska ..... say maybe those dollars were initially in the budget to maintain bridges.

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jasonc_22 6 years, 6 months ago

Edit:

"I'm proud of her for bringing money home to her district."

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jasonc_22 6 years, 6 months ago

it's so disappointing the media's decided Nancy Boyda's evil for her earmark for Lansing- $100,000 to help a community grow & prosper is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Also, people forget that this $100,000 was already budgeted- it was already going to be spent somewhere- Boyda just made sure it came to Kansas instead of, say, Utah or Vermont.

I'm proud of her bring money home to her district.

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snowWI 6 years, 6 months ago

Sunflower Electric is working hard to send Kansas backward in time. Build the transmission lines, and forget the coal plants. If KDHE approves Holcomb plant, then decomission the oldest plant in Lawrence. At least the new coal plant is "cleaner" then the dinosaur that Westar keeps operating.

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KS 6 years, 6 months ago

1029 -It is obvious that your Mother never taught you anything about being polite. Your message, regardless of whether it is right or wrong, just went by the wayside with your personal attacks.

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1029 6 years, 6 months ago

Is it "Moran" or "Moron"? This idiot would never get to be a congressman if he was from a more educated part of the country. I hope people in Wichita aren't as stupid as Moron apparently thinks they are. Maybe people in rural areas should have to take some sort of intelligence test to measure their global awareness before they get to vote.
Just another example of Republicans capitalizing on the sad fact that most Americans are not very intelligent people.

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