Three Strikes and Pollution’s Out

A bill to allow the construction of two coal-fired power plants has been vetoed for the third time by Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius. The proposed bill would have allowed the emission of 11 million tons of greenhouse gases from the production of the power plants at the Sunflower Electric Power Corporation in western Kansas and it would also have raised utility rates throughout the state. This veto is unlikely to be overridden thanks to a majority vote.

Criticizing the legislation in a news release, Sebelius says the proposed bill violated the Kansas Constitution. “Rather than working toward a compromise solution, legislative leaders recklessly chose to jeopardize important initiatives for businesses and communities across our state by combining them with energy legislation I have previously vetoed twice,” Sebelius says in her veto message.

 The issue at hand, Sebelius says, is developing comprehensive energy policy, providing base-load energy power for western Kansas, implementing carbon mitigation strategies and capitalizing on Kansas’ incredible assets for additional wind power. 

“I am pleased that we can close this contentious chapter of our debate on energy policy, and begin to work collaboratively on a comprehensive plan that provides for the power needed to continue to grow our economy, while protecting our environment and maximizing our alternative energy potential,” Sebelius says in a news release.

Kansas now joins 36 other states in developing a state plan to deal with the current climate changes. The Energy and Environmental Advisory Group will develop recommendations to the governor involving opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as examine other issues.

To read more, click here.

More about coal

• Read why the government won’t reveal the locations of hazardous coal ash sites.

• A group of protestors demonstrates in front of the Capitol Power Plant, a coal-burning plant that heats congressional offices.

• Find out how you can use coal in an eco-friendly way in your home.

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