Posts Tagged ‘coal’

Coal vote 10 votes short of veto-proof House margin

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

David Klepper:

Sebelius, a Democrat, has promised to veto the measure.The vote is significant in that it’s 10 less than the 84 votes needed to override a veto.

Supporters of the project say they’ll use the Legislature’s three week spring break (likely starting tonight) to win over more votes ahead of a veto override attempt.

It appears supporters are actually losing votes, however. When the House originally passed the legislation in February, the vote was 79-44.

Artur Bagyants looks at recent KS Chamber poll

Monday, March 30th, 2009

In this lesson we’ll look at a poll sponsored by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. The poll’s objective was to gauge support for the construction of the Holcomb coal plant expansion. Let’s look at a few of the questions:

1. What is the most important issue facing Kansas today?

• Economy, 30 percent
• Jobs/Industry, 18 percent
• Budget, 10 percent
• Moral issues, 5 percent
• Health care/Insurance, 5 percent
• Leadership, 4 percent.

For the sake of argument, let’s accept the notion that the chamber wants the coal plants to be built (crazy, I know). What does this question accomplish? Well, it shows that most respondents care more about the economy than anything else. This fits nicely with the argument that the coal plant expansion will create jobs. But wait a second. Do you see anything significant missing from the list? Perhaps the issue that nearly all Americans rank as the most important by far, on every poll since the beginning of time? Education. These results may have been very different, had it been part of the equation.

Klepper — Tiahrt to Parkinson: opposition to coal plants has already cost $4 million in lost job training

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

McClatchy’s David Klepper:

U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt wrote to Kansas Lt. (for now) Gov. Mark Parkinson today to voice his support for the two western Kansas coal plants that are again at the center of a state political fight.

He tells Parkinson that the rejection of the plants by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ administration has already cost Garden City Community College $4 million in lost job training grants.


Here’s the text of the letter:

March 10, 2009

The Honorable Mark ParkinsonOffice of the Lt. GovernorCapitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Ste. 212STopeka, KS 66612-1590

Dear Lt. Governor Parkinson:

I write to call your attention to recent developments involving further lost economic opportunities in Western Kansas and ask for your assistance in helping address the situation. As you know, Garden City Community College this month was asked to return a $2 million federal grant that was intended to be used to train workers constructing two electrical generating plants near Holcomb. Because of this, the college also lost out on approximately $2 million in private matching dollars for a total economic loss of $4 million.

Because Governor Sebelius has blocked construction of the power plants, the U.S. Department of Labor is demanding that the $2 million grant for job training be returned. We were aware of the thousands of direct Kansas jobs delayed because of the governor’s actions; now we learn that even our colleges are suffering financial consequences. Our state economy has enough economic challenges without further obstructions that will only delay new jobs and educational opportunities.

As I have previously stated, the clean coal power plants proposed for Western Kansas could be constructed entirely with private dollars and operated by a company from Hays. We must work together toward energy independence using an all-of-the-above approach. Wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, hydrogen fuel cell, clean coal, petroleum, and biofuels all need to be a part of the solution.

Should circumstances dictate that you become Governor of Kansas, I ask you to permit the electrical generating plants to be constructed in a timely manner. More delays will only lead to higher construction costs, further hardships for Kansans seeking a job, and negative financial consequences to institutions like Garden City Community College.

By permitting the private sector to move forward with construction of the electrical generating plants, you can send a strong message that Kansas is open for business. Jobs will be created, state revenue will increase, and educational institutions like Garden City Community College will be able to play an expanded role helping educate workers.

Thank you for your attention to this critical energy, jobs, and now educational issue facing our state.

Best regards,

Todd Tiahrt

Member of Congress

AP: Senate passes coal plants bill

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

The AP:


The Senate has pushed a proposal for two coal-fired power plants in western Kansas a step closer to a promised veto by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

Senators approved the measure Thursday on a 31-9 vote. It would allow Sunflower Electric Power Corp., based in Hays, to build the two plants near Holcomb in Finney County.

The House has already approved a version of the bill, and the final version will be worked out by House and Senate negotiators.

Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican whose district includes Finney County, said a bill could be ready to send to the governor next week.

This is the second year of jousting between the Republican-controlled Legislature and the Democratic governor over the power plants. Last year, she vetoed three similar bills.