A Message from Chapter Chair Frank Drinkwine
Dear Sierra Club Friends and Members,
Governor Parkinson announced on May 4, 2009 that he reached an agreement with Sunflower Electric that will allow them to construct one 895 MW coal plant. Frankly, we were as surprised as everyone else that he broke with former Governor Sebelius’ steadfast opposition to building more coal plants in Kansas. Going into the Veto Session, we felt we had a comfortable margin, and we would have won by upholding the Sebelius Veto.
It appears that Parkinson chose to favor one corporation over the well-being of the entire state. The coal plant is largely a project for out of state utilities and it will only further add to Kansas’ contributions to climate change. The plant will add close to 7 million tons of carbon dioxide to the air annually.
We are shocked and disgusted by this back room deal, but are working around the clock to develop our next move, and to ensure that our voice is heard in the public debate. We will keep you informed of any new information we get, and would encourage you to periodically visit a portion of our website we’ve dedicated to this agreement:
This website will have up to date information about the agreement, the legislation that the agreement is contingent upon, and relevant media.
Sierra Club and its friends have been involved since day one, and we will continue to actively engage in opposing the project. Our voices have made a difference. Several years ago, Sunflower Electric sought to build three coal plants, Kansas had virtually no wind energy development, and there was little public discussion about our energy future and how it relates to climate change, the economy, and public health. Today, this discussion is front-and-center, and there are signs of progress thanks to the impressive efforts of Sierra Club members and friends across the state.
You can rest assured that those wanting to keep Kansas shackled to a fossil fuel dependent past have miscalculated our resolve. This latest turn will not end the Sierra Club’s efforts to stop new coal plants in Kansas. It only reminds us how important our work is and will strengthen our effort to bring Kansas closer to a clean and sustainable renewable energy future—one that supports health and prosperity across the entire state.
Thank you for your continued commitment to a cleaner, healthier Kansas for generations to come!
Frank Drinkwine, Kansas Chapter Chair