New Energy Plan Allows One Coal Plant

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A deal between Kansas' new governor and a utility would allow one coal-fired power plant to be built in western Kansas.

The deal between Gov. Mark Parkinson and Sunflower Electric Power Corp. President Earl Watkins is contingent upon the Legislature passing a comprehensive energy package that would include incentives to use renewable energy sources.

Parkinson told reporters about the agreement at a news conference Monday.

Hays-based Sunflower had wanted to build two plants in Holcomb. Parkinson said the agreement allows one 895-megawatt plant with an unprecedented level of measures to offset carbon-dioxide emissions.

Parkinson's predecessor, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, last month vetoed energy legislation that included the two Sunflower plants. Sebelius resigned to become U.S. health and human services secretary.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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House Leadership Responds to Approval of Coal Plant

“It is good news that Sunflower and KDHE have crafted an agreement that moves the Holcomb project forward. We are pleased that Governor Parkinson realizes that these plants and the resulting regulatory certainty were critical to the Kansas economy and energy infrastructure.

This state-of-the-art facility will create jobs and promote technological advancements to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.
Energy rates will remain stable and Kansas will have another product to export.

This is a real victory for the House as many of the provisions initially set forth were included in the final settlement. After a very successful rally at the Capitol Friday, we appreciate the Governor coming to the table and creating a compromise that benefits all Kansans.

We thank all of the hard working men and women of Kansas who have repeatedly raised their voices in support of this critical issue.

The administration and Sunflower have worked hard to develop this agreement. Now the legislature will do our part to pass the comprehensive energy bill to complete the process, with the Governor’s full support.”

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Huelskamp Applauds Coal Plant Agreement

Topeka (KS) – In a joint announcement today by new-Governor Mark Parkinson of Kansas and Earl Watkins, Chairman of Sunflower Electric, an agreement has been reached to build a new coal-fired power plant in western Kansas.

State Senator Tim Huelskamp (R-Fowler) applauds the agreement: “There is no doubt that we need more base load electrical generation in our state, particularly in western Kansas. I am excited by the voluntary agreement that has been announced today.” Senator Huelskamp, along with many other political leaders across Kansas, has been pushing for more than a year to overturn the arbitrary decision of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to reject a permit application from Sunflower Electric.

The particulars of the agreement were released just minutes ago and Huelskamp commented: “One of the original proposals to deal with this KDHE decision was the implementation of a carbon tax,” noted Huelskamp. “That would have been a horrible precedent for Kansas and the nation. So I am thrilled that no such requirements are part of this agreement.”

The provisions of this agreement require legislative approval. In the next few days, the Legislature will work hard to assemble a bill and send it to the Governor for final approval into law.


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