Senate Sends Coal Plant Bill Forward

A bill allowing two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas is on its way to the governor's desk.

Senators passed the measure allowing for the $3.6 billion project near Holcomb Thursday afternoon. The vote was 31 to 7. House members approved it Wednesday, 75 to 47. Their vote falls shy of the two-thirds required to override a governor's veto.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is promising to veto the measure because it limits the power of the KDHE secretary to impose new air quality standards.

However, supporters say it contains provision which put the state on the road toward sound energy policy. Sen. Jim Barnett, R-Emporia, says it creats a long-term planning group on energy policy, calls for an 80-percent reduction in mercury emissions, call for the state to have 10-percent renewable energy by 2012 and 20-percent by 2020, and requires utility companies to have procedures and policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, the bill stops short of setting CO2 emissions limits.

The bill is House substitute for SB 327.

Roll call on coal plant vote:
Of the 30 Republicans, 26 voted yes, two voted no and two didn't vote.
Of the 10 Democrats, five voted yes and five voted no.

Barbara Allen, Overland Park.
Pat Apple, Louisburg.
Jim Barnett, Emporia.
Karin Brownlee, Olathe.
Terry Bruce, Hutchinson.
Pete Brungardt, Salina.
Les Donovan, Wichita.
Jay Scott Emler, Lindsborg.
Tim Huelskamp, Fowler.
Nick Jordan, Shawnee.
Phil Journey, Haysville.
Julia Lynn, Olathe.
Steve Morris, Hugoton.
Ralph Ostmeyer, Grinnell.
Peggy Palmer, Augusta.
Mike Petersen, Wichita.
Roger Pine, Lawrence.
Dennis Pyle, Hiawatha.
Roger Reitz, Manhattan.
Derek Schmidt, Independence.
Vicki Schmidt, Topeka.
Mark Taddiken, Clifton.
Ruth Teichman, Stafford.
Dwayne Umbarger, Thayer.
John Vratil, Leawood.
Dennis Wilson, Overland Park.

Jean Schodorf, Wichita.
David Wysong, Mission Hills.

Carolyn McGinn, Sedgwick.
Susan Wagle, Wichita.

Jim Barone, Frontenac.
Mark Gilstrap, Kansas City.
Greta Goodwin, Winfield.
David Haley, Kansas City.
Janis Lee, Kensington.

Donald Betts, Wichita.
Marci Francisco, Lawrence.
Anthony Hensley, Topeka.
Laura Kelly, Topeka.
Chris Steineger, Kansas City.

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