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February 02, 2008

Power plant

A couple of months ago, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Rod Bremby denied Sunflower Power’s permit to build two large, coal-fired power plants in western Kansas. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius supported him. Both were right.

This power plant is bad for Kansas on many levels. In addition to the obvious pollution concerns, a major consequence that our legislators seem to have missed — but which our coal interests surely have not — is that the excess capacity from this project will effectively kill the budding wind energy business in Kansas by destroying the business case for future clean power alternatives.

And our representatives’ stated reason for supporting this polluting behemoth? It will provide 350 full-time jobs when finished. Guess what? Wind farms also create jobs, and the fuel is free. The real reason for their support is the fossil fuel industry has too much influence in Kansas politics. Citizens need to contact their legislators and hold them accountable.

It’s ironic and moronic that the third best state in the nation for clean, free wind resources not only allows a huge coal-fired power plant to be built, but effectively neuters the clean power interests for the next generation. The coal interests refer to that as a twofer!

Tim Lawler
Overland Park



How apt it is that Mark R. starts his post with "as I understand it".... :-)

good point by cooker:

"Even if it were possible to have them product perfectly clean air do you have any idea how much of our ground water one of these plants eats? And we are quickly draining the Aquafer below us."

Mark Robertson

I as I understand it , wind farms do not make profits on their own.
Coal and oil are the major sources of energy in the country and will be for the forseeable future.
It is insane that these coal plants are being rejected.
Technology provides for much cleaner coal.
We supposedly live in the freest country on the planet and we haven't built an oil refinery or nuclear power plant since the 1970s because of politicians overregulating and bowing to environmental extremists.
It seems that coal plants are now in the same category.
Ethanol and wind farms can't make it without government subsidies.
And it is insane that we can't drill in ANWR and elsewhere in the U.S. because of these environmental nuts.
Unless something changes, this country is going to have a severe energy problem soon. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson


To me it seems that the statements follow in logical sequence. To me it is obvious that if anyone attempts to do what Obama says he will do, huge increases in taxes will be required. The fact that he has not set out a plan either admitting this or presenting an alternative way in which he believes his objectives can be achieved only increases my fear for the Country if he is elected. He sounds as if he is a typical "loose cannon". In any event I could lead you through the obvious logic but I think you understand it and are just being intentionally obtuse. As to GWB and whatever his expenditures may have been, the Democrat Congress majority established in 2006 has increased those expenditures. This gives no ground to hope that under a Democrat president expenditures would be anything but increased.
As to Iraq, despite all the carping by Democrat and insults to Generals ala HRC, we are now prevailing in Iraq. The world is surely a better place and the Mid East more stable without SH.


Tim -

The environmentalist movement will be killed when there are continuing black and brown outs typical of what we've seen in California and the east coast. A little common sense is needed on both sides. We need power, we are currently lacking enough of it as our capacity has begun to surpass what we can produce. While I'm all in favor of wind plants, frankly , the wind doesn't always blow to create energy. These should supplement our other means of energy production. Putting an moritorium on the building of new coal plants is just plain stupid.

BTW what are your energy credentials since you question others. Also, the pitch (not much of a reference) statistics need perspective, what does this equal in terms of pollution from other polluters? What are other plants expelling?

Tim Lawler

cooker_fox - I was speaking of the Ogallala which runs from Nebraska to Texas, lies under the western half of Kansas and provides a lot of the water used for irrigation in that part of the country.

NiceGuy, Not sure how you're involved in energy but you're not well informed. if you're going to make simplistic general statements, do me the favor of citing your sources. Mine are as follows:

BTW, I'm all for nuclear but it's no panacea - like fossil fuels, uranium is a finite resource - France is becoming aware of that unhappy fact.

"Installed wind power generation capacity has tripled over the last five years. Over the last decade the average annual rate of growth was close to 30%. 5-year average annual growth was around 24%." BP Global Statistical Review of World Energy 2007 http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9017928&contentId=7033483

"According to the draft permit, plants would release 8 million pounds of nitrogen oxide and 11 million pounds of sulfur dioxide — key components in smog and acid rain — and would spew 17 million pounds of carbon monoxide (a cause of respiratory ailments) and 1,100 pounds of mercury (which has been linked to autism and birth defects).The coal plants would also suck up more than 5 billion gallons of water each year from the quickly depleting Ogallala aquifer, which supplies vital irrigation to Kansas crops. Topping the list of environmental problems is the emission of carbon dioxide,...The Holcomb complex would add another 10 million tons of carbon dioxide to Kansas skies each
year." The Pitch 8/9/2007


Just what aquifer do you have in mind? If you live in this area the coal fired plants in Western Kansas will have zero effect on any aquifer near you. The large aquifers in this area are the underflows of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers.


Oh BTW Tim looks like the complainers are never happy.Now the wind farms are eyesores.



Tim you might want to educate yourself on the new coal fire techonolgy. BTW they are putting up wind farms all across the country. The problem is the efficiency and time it takes to construct.
The yeild of energy is far less hence the price of energy will actually increase.
Supply and demand, get it?
The earth is 3/4 water so no water shortage, not in the Midwest. BTW they recycle the water in case you didn't now that either.
I work in this industry on a daily basis, is it 100% sanitary? No but is by about 97-99% more efficient and cleaner that it was back in the 70's.
Nuclear is an even better option but I would imagine you are against that as well.
So what do you do for a living Tim, I would bet it's not working in energy.


And these idiots wonder why we are paying $3.00 a gallon for gasoline......


I agree Tim. Plus one item that is often missed in the debate on coal fire plants. Even if it were possible to have them product perfectly clean air do you have any idea how much of our ground water one of these plants eats? And we are quickly draining the Aquafer below us.

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