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May 15, 2008

Coal plants in Kansas

We just returned from a drive through Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. We couldn’t see 10 miles away, even after a storm. The air was as hazy as China until we got to the western slope of Colorado. All those wide open spaces were enveloped in a smoggy haze.

Kansans and Kansas City people should think long and hard about another coal-power plant to the west of us. Sometimes we have to consider what is really best for the future rather than money for the moment. We did see a huge wind farm being built, and the scattered oil pumps were working.

Now, who profits from a coal plant in the far rural part of Kansas?

Letty Baker

The failure of the Kansas Legislature to override Gov. Sebelius’ veto of a coal-fired power plant has more grave consequences than most voters realize. Plug-in hybrid automobiles are expected to hit the mass market in 2010. They will have a range of 500-plus miles. By utilizing smart electric meters and non-peak times, recharge is expected to cost about $2.

Pacific Northwest National Labs stated that power plants can meet the needs of 73 percent of the cars, thus cutting oil consumption by 6.2 million barrels a day and eliminating 52 percent of oil imports. C02 emissions would be cut by 450 million metric tons a year, effectively scrapping 82 million cars.

Now, the kicker: If coal-fired plants furnished all the electricity, C02 emissions would fall because coal is burned more efficiently than cars burn gasoline.

By 2010 the governor will be modeling her Oscar de La Renta gown elsewhere, and the Legislature will be wiping the pie off their faces.

Tom Hammack
Camdenton, Mo.



I wasn't referring to Robert Kennedy but to Chappaquidick Ted. And, the opposition of Kerry and the Kennedy clan to name only a few was regarding the unsightliness of wind turbines in their area.

Leawood residents haven't gotten over the proposed cell tour disguised as very high pine tree. Sounds like all of you are in favor of sticking them in an isolated part of Kansas where the wind blows. How about the Flint Hills or better yet, Greensburg?



Robert Kennedy's opposition to the Cape Cod wind farm was as much economic as it was ecological. It would have a huge negative impact on local commercial fishing and tourism.

"Kennedy said in the interview that his primary concern is not the project's impact on wild sea life and ocean views, but the economic impact it would have on the local fishing community. "It will evict more than 100 of Cape Cod's treasured commercial fishermen who run sustainable operations from their traditional fishing grounds, and destroy their livelihood," he said, explaining that their nets would get tangled in the electric cables on the seabed. According to Kennedy, the project could have an over $1 billion impact on the local fishing industry and the tourist economy, given the blighted views and obstacles it would pose to the thousands of recreational sailors who visit Nantucket Sound annually.

"I think it's a big mistake for environmentalists to alienate our natural allies like commercial fishermen and boaters, who have long been strong supporters," he said. He argued that the hard feelings and publicity surrounding Cape Wind could tarnish the reputation of wind energy nationally. "This is a very badly sited project that will end up hurting the battle against global warming, not advancing it," he said.

If the turbines were built five miles farther beyond the coastline (they are now currently planned for about six miles offshore), where they wouldn't interfere with fishing interests, Kennedy said he could back the project. He also said he supported offshore wind projects in other regions that would pose less of an economic and environmental threat, including two that have been proposed for offshore areas near Long Island and New Jersey.

"I never intended to be a champion on this issue," he said, alluding to pressure from Greenpeace that forced him to defend his position. "There are plenty of places to put windmills, and plenty of projects I will support. But there's only one Horseshoe Shoal. You can't move your fishing ground somewhere else.""


I don't see how vacant land in western Kansas compares to the commercial fisheries off Cape Cod.


Wind energy is an interesting idea. Kennedy & Kerry were energetic proponents until it was suggested windmills be installed in Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard. Things go so quiet you could hear the constant whir of the windmills. Yes, dot the countryside of Western Kansas so the Dutch would feel at home, but don't but them in Johnson County. How about the unsightly solar panels on the neighbor's roof?


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