The radical environmentalist group Earthjustice is again meddling in Kansas energy policy. They’ve sent a “warning letter” to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. You can read it at Proposed Kansas Coal Plant Draws Warning Letter.
Earthjustice opposes the building of a coal-fired power plant in Kansas. Our former governor Kathleen Sebelius, because she opposed the plant, was a darling of Earthjustice. See Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius at Earthjustice.
Earthjustice is simply misinformed in many ways. For example, the press release states: “The truth is building a new, dirty coal plant really only serves the interest of a few while overlooking the virtually free wind energy resources of Western Kansas.”
Consider that the “virtually free” wind energy is supported by a federal subsidy with each spin of the turbine blades.
Consider that Westar’s investment in wind power plus the natural gas plants necessary to back up the unreliable wind has caused the utility to ask for several rate increases in the past few years.
What was that about “virtually free” again? The inexpensive energy a coal plant would produce is a benefit to all Kansans, especially low-income Kansans, as they can least afford the expensive energy produced by alternative sources.
Then, the press release states “The Holcomb coal plant will send most of its power out of state while leaving pollution all over Kansas.”
The writer doesn’t state specifically what type of pollution she means. But the plant was not refused a permit because of what we traditionally consider pollution: sulfur dioxide, mercury, etc. That’s because coal plants now are quite clean with regard to these pollutants.
So that leaves carbon dioxide as the “pollutant” in question. Which, of course, isn’t a pollutant at all. And if it’s a problem, it’s a problem on a global scale, not just “all over Kansas.”
Hopefully our governor will disregard the call of the leftists at Earthjustice and let Kansas get on with its business.