One of the subplots in this political year is the battle over coal. A Washington group with deep Republican ties is pouring a quarter-million dollars into TV ads urging Kansans to join Governor Sam Brownback in fighting-quote-"for Kansas jobs and cheaper energy." It's a reference to one of the state's longest simmering political battles – the dispute over the construction of a new coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas. Bryan Thompson explores the controversy...
The EPA has proposed new carbon emissions standards for coal and gas-fired power plants built in the future. However, it's unclear whether the rule will apply to the expansion of a coal-fired plant in southwest Kansas.
If the new standards are applied to the expansion of the Sunflower electric generating station, near Holcomb, it could get expensive. The plant would likely have to capture some of the carbon it produces, and store it below ground. Sunflower’s Colorado-based partner has told the EPA the new rule should not apply because they’ve already commenced construction.
Holcomb city council has voted to delay implementing a new state law that allows concealed weapons in public buildings. City administrator Robin Pena said the six-month extension will give Holcomb time to create a plan to keep everyone safe.
The law takes effect July 1, but local governments are allowed to seek a delay until Jan. 1, 2014.
Plans to expand a coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas have run into another snag.
An appellate court in Washington, DC, says a federal agency violated the law by clearing the way for expansion of Sunflower Electric’s power plant in Holcomb without first reviewing its impact on the environment.
Attorney Amanda Goodin represents the Sierra Club, which filed suit to stop the expansion.