Kansas Gov. Sebelius vetoes coal plants

Today Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius took her turn in vetoing the two coal-fired power plants proposed in western Kansas, whose permits Sec. Bremby controversially rejected in October 2007.

Read her full statement here. She has offered to compromise on legislation that would:

* Build one new plant similar in size to the Sand Sage permit previously approved (660 MW);
* Kansas base load power needs must receive top priority;
* Plant must be able to implement carbon sequestration technology;
* Commitment for 20% wind power (132 MW)
* Commitment for 100 MW of energy efficiency
* Net metering allowed in the Sunflower service area

Otherwise, legislators have 30 days to override her veto, and luckily, the House appears a few votes short.

Also worth noting is that the Gov. signed an Executive Order to establish a Kansas Energy and Environmental Policy Advisory Group:

Sebelius has named Jack Pelton, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cessna Aircraft Company, to lead this group.

“I am so pleased that one of our most prominent business leaders has agreed to serve as chair,” said Sebelius. “Jack understands the balance between continuing to grow our economy and making sure that we protect our environment and maximize our natural assets for future generations.

“The Advisory Group will explore opportunities in all sectors of our economy to accomplish the goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions; and, at the same time, continue to take advantage of the economic prosperity provided by job growth throughout Kansas.”

Better yet – the EO says:

The Advisory Group will first produce a comprehensive inventory and forecast of greenhouse gas emissions in Kansas from 1990 to 2020. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment shall produce an annual report to the Governor at the end of each fiscal year tracking statewide greenhouse gas emissions in Kansas and forecasted trends, and tracking progress toward the reduction goals that are established.

— Kari Manlove

3 Responses to Kansas Gov. Sebelius vetoes coal plants

  1. Marie says:

    If the governor raises energy costs and chokes off economic development in western Kansas during a time of recession, she isn’t likely to keep her job very long.

    She would be clever to be proactive about wind and conservation, without being destructive to the economy. That doesn’t appear to be the case. Her knee-jerk response to coal will discredit her objectives.

  2. Paul K says:

    They are still going to build a privately funded coal burning power in Kansas. Rates will more likely be affected by the price of coal than by the requirement to sequester CO2. There may even be profit in sequestration. The 20% wind goal is consistent with the fossil fuel replacement plan. The Guv’s response was not at all knee jerk. It was a well considered compromise that allows the project.

  3. Swunderers says:

    “We have always known that we will someday face the fact that fossil fuels are a finite resource,” said Rep. Joshua Svaty, an Ellsworth Democrat who voted against overriding the veto. “The state of Kansas can do better”.The bill allows Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build the two plants outside Holcomb, in Finney County, and limits the power of the secretary of health and environment.

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