How Much More Will Kansas Electricity Cost In Your Future?

From Karl Peterjohn of the Kansas Taxpayers Network.

How Much More Will Electricity Cost In Your Future?
Karl Peterjohn, Kansas Taxpayers Network

Governor Sebelius and her bankrupt Secretary of Health and Environment Rod Bremby (Bremby filed for personal bankruptcy over a year ago) now appear to have stopped the Kansas house from joining the Kansas senate in overriding her veto of the coal power plant expansion in western Kansas. The legislature’s final attempt at legislating a solution that would expand electrical power generation in the western half of Kansas is headed for another gubernatorial veto. The Kansas House of Representatives appears to be well short of the 84 votes needed to override her veto.

A number of legislators from northeast Kansas as well as mainly Wichita Democrats have mustered up enough house votes to kill this $3.6 billion power plant project. The May 13th death of Rep. Ted Powers, R-Mulvane, who voted to override this veto, makes a sine die override even more unlikely.

Eastern Kansans who seldom venture into western Kansas unless they are driving on I-70 to Colorado felt little direct concern on this 2008 legislative issue. That allowed the well-organized urban-based environmentalists to convince enough big city legislators from both parties to sustain Sebelius’ veto in the house.

Eastern Kansans’ power generation was not at immediate risk. Neither were their utility rates. That will change and this unpleasant and very expensive change is coming soon.

If you want details on the national plan and how this is becoming Kansas’ environmental policy the Capital Research Center (CRC) has provided the details. There is a national plan established by ultra-left wing environmental groups and CRC’s April, 20008 report (see www.capitalresearch.org/pubs/pdf/v1207000450.pdf) details this effort. The liberal environmental foundations are funding this state level plan to impose Kyoto Treaty like cuts in carbon energy emissions.

This will result in a huge rise in electricity costs as well as making other power sources more expensive. It will help push gasoline and other petroleum prices higher. This will be accomplished through entities like the Pennsylvania based Center for Climate Strategies that is helping establish new carbon controls by administrative edict over Kansas state policy.

Soaring utility costs will limit economic growth in a way that will restrict the economy while dramatically raising prices across the board. Here’s how it will happen.

What Governor Sebelius is trying to do at the state level in the 21st century with new restrictions on carbon based energy will soon lead to new carbon taxes. It is possible that new carbon taxes will appear at both the state and federal levels. Along with the tax hikes will be emission restrictions. Don’t forget that whenever you exhale or burn a log in the fireplace, you are emitting carbon.

Bremby’s edict is similar in impact to what former President Clinton achieved when he vetoed oil drilling in Alaska in 1995. It took roughly a decade for the lack of oil drilling to impact the U.S. oil prices. In contrast, today the demand for electrical power is growing. There is pressure on prices but major increases have not occurred. You can expect the rising demand for electricity to hit much more quickly than oil prices did a decade ago. Don’t forget that oil fell to record lows in the late 1990’s a couple of years after Clinton’s anti-energy veto.

The demise of the Holcomb power plant expansion when combined with new “carbon emissions” edicts from regulators like Bremby will negatively impact the Kansas economy in the future. This is a continuation of Democratic Party energy policies. At the beginning of the Clinton presidency, the Congress narrowly rejected the Clinton administration’s new carbon tax. This is likely to reappear in Washington next year.

The Holcomb power plant battle was not an aberration or isolated event. It is the energy tip of the “man made global warming” hoax (ironically occurring while parts of Kansas have been at or near freeze warnings well into May) that is centralizing all economic power and authority with state or federal levels of government in our state. The governor’s new energy council will include industry leaders who need to be worried about their carbon emissions.

Several established Kansas businesses are already expanding elsewhere like Bombardier and Spirit AeroSystems going to North Carolina. Cessna, whose President Jack Pelton will head up the governor’s new energy panel from the private sector, will now expand in Kansas after the state agreed to subsidize this expansion. So now, the state will be picking “winners and losers” in our economy.

Westar Energy, the electrical power company that owns a number of Kansas coal fired power plants, is now seeking higher electrical rates to pay for new pollution equipment costs from the KCC. They need to do this since their existing coal fired power plants are not nearly as low pollution as the Holcomb expansion would have been. Westar now needs Bremby to renew their existing permits to continue operations. Bureaucratic coercion is now codified in Kansas under Queen Sebelius.

House Speaker Rep. Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, has campaigned for the Holcomb plant expansion and against this arbitrary power grab by Bremby and his boss. This is a problem in Neufeld’s southwest Kansas district where the nearby Hugoton gas field slowly declines in production. Neufeld has warned that Bremby’s bureaucratic edict against Holcomb has pushed a possible oil refinery, a $10 billion project with 1,500 new full time jobs, out of state too. Neufeld has copies of documents concerning the permitting process from Bremby’s office concerning this project. Naturally, liberal newspapers like the Wichita Eagle criticized Neufeld for pointing out this loss.

Another irony about power generation and carbon emissions was the fact that both houses of the legislature overwhelmingly passed state legislation to try and locate a new agricultural-terror research facility in Manhattan this year. This new federal facility would need a special electrical power plant to be allowed to operate. Since this was a government facility, unlike the private co-op, the carbon dioxide being generated from this proposed new back-up electrical power plant was not a problem. The carbon it emits comes from natural gas and not the politically incorrect coal too.

Governor Sebelius quickly signed this authorizing legislation into law. If it is government, it is good. If it is private, let’s stop it. Here is another example of government economic hypocrisy.

Kansas has started a new era. The price of living in Kansas is going to soar while you will be facing stagnant incomes as politicians in Topeka and their out-of-state environmental foundations control economic activity by regulatory edict.

While the rest of the world grows, China alone has built or is building hundreds of new power plants, many of which will be coal fired. Jobs will continue to flow out of the U.S. Kansas and the other 49 states will increasingly find themselves and our economy in green handcuffs. That will result in a lot of Kansans eventually finding themselves in the same bankruptcy line behind the already bankrupt Rod Bremby while Governor Sebelius makes plans for her next job in Washington.

3 Comments

  • Showalter -

    1/2 price power in Greensburg could bring it back to life faster. SMP could do it for around 5.97 million for a 10.2 meg natural gas plant. The plant could run for 26 years with mild increases due to fuel supply only.

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