Lobbyist Spending in Kansas Doubles Amid Coal Fight

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ Spending by Kansas lobbyists has doubled in the last year due to the dispute over a proposal for two coal-fired power plants.

A report from the state ethics commission says lobbyist spending totaled more than $1.2 million from January through August. During the same period in 2007, lobbyist expenditures were $570,000.

The added money was largely spent on efforts to get Kansas residents to pressure lawmakers over Sunflower Electric Power Corp.'s plan to build coal-fired plants in Finney County.

Last year, Department of Health and Environment Secretary Rod Bremby denied the utility an air-quality permit. The Legislature passed three bills allowing the plants, but Gov. Kathleen Sebelius each one.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)