After a leveraged buyout of a Texas utility put it on a greener path, the unanimous agreement of world governments that global warming is already changing ecosystems and affecting business, and reports that a new Dust Bowl may be forming, opposition to the construction of a new coal-fired plant in western Kansas, the largest west of the Mississippi, is growing. Just months ago, the company building it (to supply Colorado’s energy needs) insisted they were full-speed ahead, but now they tell a different story:
The Colorado power company planning the construction of two coal-fired power plants in Finney County is backing away from its original timeline.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. announced Thursday that it will delay construction of the second of two units it plans to build south of Holcomb. …
After re-evaluating its 44-member cooperatives’ short-term power needs, Tri-State has decided to pursue additional natural gas and renewable energy plants,
That decision also followed a decision by the Sierra Club to file suit and block the new plant.
Natural gas isn’t an ideal choice, but it produces less carbon dioxide for the same amount of energy. It will probably also be easier to put wind farms in western Kansas than in eastern Kansas. Since population density is so low, there are fewer people whose sightlines will be affected. Kansas could feed more energy into the grid than the state uses, selling the excess and letting polluting plants sit idle for longer. That would benefit everyone.