Unfortunately, the legislation introduced in Kansas to overturn Sec. Bremby’s rejection of two new coal-fired power plants has passed through the state’s Senate.
It is still unclear whether the legislation will be able to acquire the 2/3rds majority needed to overturn a veto by Governor Kathleen Sebelius, which is practically a guarantee.
Kansas legislators have spent the last week in hearings on the legislation. You can find a record of live-blogging here. But it doesn’t seem like they’ve been paying much attention to the debate, either on the coal plants or global warming; they’ve been sadly misinformed.
State Sen. Phil Journey, R-Haysville, dismissed climate change as an “unproven scientific theory.”
State Sen. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, said CO2 was part of nature and helped crops grow. “I’m a farmer. We love CO2,” he said.
Okay, then you should also love water, a resource that’s likely to go scarce as temperature increases caused by greenhouse gas emissions set in. And, you probably don’t like pests, who may feel more welcome to feast on your crops under warmer conditions.
Their science is wrong, their logic is crooked, and they’ve been duped by coal advocates.
There could be a bright side. You know, like, a solar energy alternative. Or perhaps, wind – Dodge City, Kansas is considered one of the windiest places in the country (if not the windiest). Holcomb is about an hour and ten minutes away from Dodge City.
One of the major arguments in favor of the new coal plants is the job creation and economic stimulation it would bring to the region. But look closer and you find that renewables create more jobs (see studies here and here) and investment in them has the potential to stimulate the regional economy in an unprecedented and clean way.
If only the legislators would open their eyes. Dirty historical precedent and a wealthy industry lobby simply aren’t reason enough to put this massive a scale of Kansas health, wealth, and resources on the line.
– Kari M.