Governor Parkinson Shocks Kansas
and Environment by
Approving Sunflower Coal Plant
Kansas was at the brink of stopping the Sunflower coal plants again this year. It appeared that we had the votes needed to uphold the Sebelius veto of the bill which would have allowed the coal plants to be built.
That all has changed. Following Kathleen Sebelius taking the position in the Obama administration of Secretary of Health and Human Services, the new Governor Parkinson has, to say the least, surprised and shocked Kansas. In what could be considered a midnight back room deal, on May 4, Parkinson has set in motion a deal to approve a 895 Megawatt coal plant. The previous bill (destined for defeat) was to establish two 700 MW coal plants.
The Sierra Club was not involved in the negotiations to create this new deal. So, the Sierra Club is now figuring out what all this means. It is studying the positive impacts of the deal. Granted, the deal contains things we had been trying to achieve for years. But the reality is that, in the face of Climate Change and Global Warming, building new coal plants is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem. It is unlikely Sierra Club will find the new proposal acceptable, but until we know all the details, Sierra Club is also unlikely to show its hand.
Below are links to helpful information. More will be provided as we have them to publish in this website.
Collection of Kansas Media Links
Environmentalists condemn coal plant agreement as bad deal for Kansas - Lawrence Journal World
Coal plant agreement fires up critics - KC Star
Citizens speak out against the coal plant agreement - letters to the editor - KC Star
Legislature passes bill for power plant - AP
Editorial: "In Kansas, a Setback for Clean Air"
Bruce Nilles, Sierra Club's Move Beyond Coal Campaign's Director, blogs about the coal deal on Huffington Post
After further review of the agreement Governor Parkinson reached with Sunflower Electric, the Sierra Club is issuing the following statement:
With the settlement Governor Parkinson offered to Sunflower Electric Kansas has given up its place as a national leader on clean energy. Under former Governor Sebelius Kansas was well-positioned to make contributions to slow global warming. This agreement is a significant set back. The concessions made to the coal industry will greatly outweigh any so-called benefits for the state. For instance, the carbon "offsets" cited in the agreement are generally questionable, unenforceable, and won't result in a reduction in global warming pollution.
The new coal plant actually increases Kansas' contributions to global warming. While the country is moving away from polluting fossil fuels, Kansas has opened the door for outdated, dirty technology other states are rejecting. The agreement invites Sunflower Electric to build another coal plant in two years. This is not a compromise, but a giveaway to the coal industry and special interests Kansans have stood up against.
back to top