Kansas one sad step closer to new coal

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.”

Really? Because there’s at least 2,000 global scientists and many, many, many more who could just take him to town on that point.

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.

6 Responses to Kansas one sad step closer to new coal

  1. simp says:

    i can’t take no more bad news like this! W H E N will this stoppp?

  2. David B. Benson says:

    Kari M. & simp — Presumably even in Kansas there is a way to send e-mail messages to those state senators. Might do some good.

  3. RhapsodyInGlue says:

    All these Republicans that talk about personal responsibility and then demonstrate none of it…

    It doesn’t at all surprise me if these Kansas state senators don’t believe in AGW, as it’s hard to believe in something you’re not capable of comprehending. However, a politician should certainly now realize that CO2 restrictions are coming, regardless of their abilities, or lack thereof, in the sciences. So, all I’d ask of these conservative minded gentlemen is that when they’re faced with paying $50-$100 per ton for CO2 emissions or close down their plants… don’t come doing the poor afflicted victim routine to get the rest of us to bail out your stupidity.

    And to those in Kansas… stop these guys before they saddle you with this huge liability.

  4. Jay Alt says:

    The legislators have all that ‘figured out’ (same way they ciphered that AGW ain’t a problem).
    One of the proposals floating around contains a $2-3 per ton CO2 tax!
    Kansans are in for a case if sticker shock.
    Kansas pols, can you say – ‘Duck and Cover?”

  5. john says:


    Legislators don’t need to open their eyes, they need to close their hands — as in quit taking handouts from coal interests.

    This is a classic chapter from The Prince — the old guard has pwoer, money, and position. The new, none of the above.

    As long as old king coal and the other fossil interest can buy votes, the will. At some point the compelling advantages of renewables will be joined by enough resources in the renewable industry that they too, can greas palms.

    Or, we could get serious campaign reform.

    But until one or the other happens, vested interests will continue to beat new interests, and the public interest will lose.

  6. Uosdwis says:

    “I’m a farmer?” Better start making long term plans to move to northern Canada.