At a just concluded press conference, Governor Mark Parkinson announced he has reached an agreement with Sunflower Electric Power Corporation that will allow for the construction of a brand new massive coal-fired power plant in Holcomb, Kansas.
Parkinson will allow air quality permit that had been blocked by Kansas Department of Heath and Human Services Secretary Rob Bremby to be issued and pave the way for the construction of one one 895 megawatt plant provided the Kansas Legislature passes a bill that provides for a laundry list of green energy law, including, but not limited to, workable net metering, revised renewable energy standards, and new energy efficiency standards.
For Sunflower’s part, they only require the Legislature include in their legislation stipulations that make sure the Secretary of the Department of Health and Environment must be stripped of his power to ever again act as he did when he blocked the construction of the Holcomb plants in the first place.
Governor Sebelius blocked the construction of plants near Holcomb, citing their environmental effect, especially their impact on global warming. Most of the power from the plants would not go to Kansas, but to Colorado.
Parkinson is the former chairman of the Kansas Republican party, and switched parties to become Lieutenant Governor to Sebelius, who is now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. It isn’t clear that Parkinson has really moved as far into the Democratic fold as I might like.
Coal is the past, and Kansas needs to prepare for the future. Governor Sebelius blazed the trail, and dragged the state toward a brighter, cleaner future. When Montana’s Brian Schweitzer spoke at Washington Days shortly after Sebelius’ nomination was announced, he quoted President Obama’s observation that “change will not be easy. He said all will have to give something. In Kansas, you’ll have to give your governor.”
I just hope her replacement leaves something for her to come back to.