The current Sunflower Electric Power Plant, Holcomb, Kansas. A permit for two additional coal-fired generators was denied by Kansas state authorities. (Photo: DOE.)
A National First
Angry business and political leaders vowed legal revenge after Kansas -- in October 2007 -- became the first state to reject a coal-fired power plant on the basis of global warming emissions. Earthjustice helped secure the victory against the Sunflower generating plant with a mix of public pressure and legal tactics, and is girding for the backlash.
The head of Kansas Department of Health and Environment denied the air quality permit, saying it would be "irresponsible" to ignore the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment. The proposed plant would spew millions of tons of CO2 every year.
Speaking Out Pays Dividends
Prior to the announcement, Earthjustice activists bombarded state legislators with appeals to deny the permit. Earthjustice attorney Nick Persampieri commented on the plant's emissions impacts and helped orchestrate public opposition. Attorneys general from eight other states joined that opposition.