Judge denies dismissal of Sierra Club lawsuit

A federal judge Friday refused to dismiss a Sierra Club lawsuit related to the proposed coal-fired plants in southwest Kansas.

Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and a Colorado partner have proposed building two 700-megawatt coal-burning plants near Holcomb.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ administration has rejected the project based on concerns about climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions.

Sunflower is fighting that decision in state courts.

Meanwhile, the Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit against the federal Rural Utility Service, which gave its permission to Sunflower Electric for the project. The Sierra Club said the federal government should first do a study on the environmental consequences of the project.

On Friday, the federal government sought to dismiss the lawsuit, but a district court judge refused that motion.