Monday, February 04, 2008

Kansas governor signals veto of bill to circumvent her regulator's rejection of coal-plant expansion

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has signaled that she may veto a bill written to help a large rural electric cooperative in Western Kansas because its provisions aimed at reducing greenhouse gases "are so weak compared to other states that it could lead to rejected plants elsewhere coming to Kansas," report Jim Sullinger and David Klepper of The Kansas City Star.

The bill could make Kansas the nation's “coal capital,” said Sebelius, a Democrat who rarely comments on legislation before it reaches her desk. She said the “very troubling components of this bill (would) put Kansans at risk, and would put our state at odds with the rest of the country … I cannot support these components.” In Kansas, overriding a veto takes a two-thirds vote in both legislative chambers.

The Star reports, "Sunflower Electric Power Corp. had asked the state for permission to expand its Holcomb plant, but the state’s top regulator, appointed by Sebelius, rejected the plans because of the project’s estimated emissions of 11 million tons of carbon dioxide. Lawmakers vowed to get the plant built anyway, and introduced legislation last week to take away the discretion the regulator used." (Read more)

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