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unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Kansas Coal Plant Reemerges Like B-Movie Zombie

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
20 January 2010, 5:07 PM
Solar and wind options ignored
The current coal-fired plant in Holcomb, Kansas. Photo: DOE

Proponents of an 895-megawatt coal-fired power plant expansion project in Holcomb, Kansas have resubmitted an application for an air permit. The first application was rejected by the state environmental agency in 2007 due to concerns over air and global warming pollution. This was the first coal plant air permit rejected on those grounds in the United States.

With the new filing, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation will try again, with the backing of climate change denialists in the state legislature.

But the project still faces a number of obstacles.

Among them:

Sunflower still owes hundreds of millions of dollars to the U.S. taxpayer for its previous coal plant funded by the Rural Utilities Service. This debt led to a legal challenge by Earthjustice because the federal government cannot lawfully allow Sunflower to expand without examining its environmental impacts.

Sunflower has also not proven the need for this electricity in Kansas. Activists are concerned that the power would largely be exported to suburban development interests in Colorado. Kansas gets the pollution, Colorado gets the power.

Finally, Sunflower still has to obtain a new air permit from the state before it can start building, and the state agency is legally required to take and respond to comments from the public and the U.S. EPA on the harm the plant's pollution will cause before making a final decision on the permit.

Our clients are near exasperation fighting this zombie polluter when clean energy options are so obvious. "Our state is perfectly positioned to develop its abundant clean energy resources that can help solve global warming and create thousands of new family-supporting jobs," said Stephanie Cole of Sierra Club, Kansas.

Very informative and trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading
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I agree with the environment guys, as its has become very critical now a days to stop the pollution and actually focus on the saving the Globe ii hope that they do some engg in the plant and minimize the emission so that every body is happy.............

The unbelievable greed and stupidity of people who are pursuing 19th century technology instead of 21st century technology is mind-boggling. Kansas should be setting itself up as a leader of alternative energy, not the last dinosaur-shaped rat on a sinking energy ship. Clean and renewable energy will create jobs and move us into the future. Coal will create wealth for a few individuals and keep intelligent people from moving to Kansas.

I understand the need for electrical power at affordable rates. The problem is that the damage coal causes makes coal very expensive. The failure to make the decisions to stop damaging human populations and global climate with coal plants is exactly the same as a decision to continue damaging human populations and global climate with coal plants. Such a decision embodies a recklessness we must not tolerate.

STOP COAL NOW. Unclean coal and fossil fuel power plants are the agent of EVIL, just as the automobile is the agent of CHAOS. We can do better. I urge everyone to write the U.S. Congress & the State of Kansas and stop this coal plant now. Unless the intention is to sequester the CO2 and other pollution, the answer should be NO.

The technology to clean the product of coal combustion is not feasible or adequately demonstrated at this time. They say they can do it, but it has not yet been done as near as I can determine. Even if it is done in the future it is still a problematic energy alternative compared to better choices. If it can be done, as the inventor of CO2 energy storage, there is hope because we can store power in supercritical CO2.

The post's here about global warming are too often examples of selective ignorance and bias. There is no global hoax by the worlds climate scientists. Such statements reveal traitors to reason and strangers to the truth. Many clearly have an agenda, a brand of politics shared by many, to exploit the environment in the interest of profits, they will not give up, they will continue to deny that global warming is a true threat to civilization that is caused by man. They will continue to deny or postpone the conclusion that it requires corrective action. This agenda of denial can not be overcome by reason since it obviously exists by choice and serves a polarized political purpose coupled with a dogma divorced from physical fact & science and designed to serve special interests.

I would direct each reader of my post to simply use your computer and internet connections to read the information already in front of you. You have this power. If you want to dwell in the shadows and proclaim that some global liberal conspiracy exists, go ahead and live that way.

There is however, no debate that endures in the scientific community, except among fringe elements. The vast majority of scientists’, having examined the facts, agree that global warming exists and is caused by human beings. There is no conspiracy of scientists to perpetuate a global warming hoax.

Since just about every nation. and every scientist of every nation in the world, through the organizations and governments they work for, have already placed all the information and science on the internet, and in a massive amount of white paper in the journals, in much more quantity than anyone could ever ask for, regarding global warming and components of that phenomena; it is both pointless and redundant for persons to keep posting that ask this author and other authors to establish the credibility of the argument. It has already been done, there is no debate, human beings are the primary cause of global warming.

The credibility of Mr. Mazria and Mr. Gores facts and the science, has been established. The errors are minor. There is no point to challenging their credibility. Like many others, I have read extensively the underlying white paper and I personally examined each fact. I am a conservative person. I know that Mr. Mazria is accurately presenting facts and Mr. Gore, despite the fact that he is a politician, has accurately covered the material and presented the truth about global warming. The science has been validated by the worlds most credible scientists and many architects like myself. The Nobel peace prize has been awarded to the UN panel on global warming (IPCC) and Al Gore, it is not awarded for "Best Propaganda of the Year", the content is closely examined, the facts are well established and the award is justly deserved.

The too frequent suggestion by agents denying that global warming is caused by human activity, accuses everyone that has not traded their SUV for a Smart Car or remodeled with solar panels of hypocracy & has therefore no right to advocate sound environmental policy and practice. This is a brand of rhetorical obfuscation aimed at damaging the credibility of others, to use tactic in place of fact and reasoned argument. I just can not respect that kind of rhetoric. It is simply vile.

The truth in physical terms is that Coal Power is dirty. It always has been. It will contribute to global warming. Coal can not economically be cleaned up. The co2 and other carbon based products of burning the coal, can not be scrubbed or separated and then stored somewhere on earth for the next 250,000 years. It will not work unless we also build CO2 energy storage to carry the financial impact of such a venue. The damage from such COAL power plants is beyond the scale of our capacity to overcome with good building practices. The efforts of Architecture 2030 are negated by the construction of these power plants. It is beyond our capacity to correct the damage they will add to the existing problem.

Coal plants, built in the context of known established science, are an act of deliberate "war" on the Earth itself and all the life on it and that includes all the human populations that dwell on this planet. In short it is evil, the deliberate destruction of god's harmonious creation for proffit.

The persons promoting coal are doing so with profit motives, and they will use distortion, lies and deciet to achieve their objectives in the context of known science and published facts about the damage this will cause. They know they are damaging the Earth and I want to invite and propose a public debate, between promoters of these coal power plants and a panel composed of credible scientists from around the world. Let us argue the cost impact of "the least expensive alternative" in a public forum. There is a cost paid in human health that is not in their numbers.

For the sake of God's creation and Peace on Earth, please find a clean acceptable alternative to building coal power plants. Or embrace the solutions to clean them up and demonstrate that capacity is financially actionable. Sequester the carbon on the proposed plant in Kansas. Stop the lies and insanity! If you are not building a pollution free plant then STOP right now. If it is going to be built it needs to fully embrace the Clean Air Act. This is not a business as usual situation. Work diligently to STOP COAL NOW.


WOW this walker comment, is the best well written ,on clean air act that I ever read !!!!!!!!
I thing this letter should put on desk Obama desk,repeatedly and sent too
every newspaper, also Kansas get over charged for there electric and gas ,
we should leave this planted too the next generation better ,with all are so called experts !
and stop buying from country that are not obeying the clean act !!,
and quit letting fifty country push are market around !!! , please someone with power stand up !!!!!!!

Is this guy the president of Earthjustice?

No, Not the president of EarthJustice. I am an Architect and Advocate carbon sequestration. We believe in design intelligence as the essential component of an enduring future. As the inventor of CO2 energy storage, I have empowered a more economically feasible, clean, way to use coal for power, that simultaneously enhances and adds a sixth dimension to the electrical power delivery chain. This gives some common ground to conventional fossil fuel sources of electrical power such a coal as well as distributed power generation from renewable energy.

Poor Kansas. Where is Gov. Sibelius when you need her?

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