Governor Sam Brownback has signed a bill that seeks to let Kansas craft its own unique approach to regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
The governor held a signing ceremony on Wednesday at a coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas.
The ceremony took place at the Sunflower Electric plant near Holcomb. Governor Brownback says the EPA is expected to issue guidelines this summer regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.
The Kansas Supreme Court has reversed a state agency's decision to issue a permit to construct a new coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas.
Friday's unanimous decision by the justices is a setback for Sunflower Electric Power Corporation in its plans to build a second plant near Holcomb.
The justices ruled that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment failed to account for new emission standards from the federal Environmental Protection Agency that were in place at the time the permit was issued.
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.
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.