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Posts Tagged ‘Holcomb’

If Sunflower CEO Wants More Coal Power at Holcomb

Posted by feww on May 10, 2009

Earl Watkins Will Get another Coal-fired Power Plant at Holcomb

How they did it!

First the company hatched an energy bill up and called it renewable energy bill. The kind of renewable deal that allows them to also build a coal-fired power plant!

Then thy pulled a few strings thereby removing the only obstacle to their plan: The former Kansas governor, Kathleen Sebelius. Ms. Sebelius was promoted to the position of  Secretary of Health and Human Services in Obama Admin.

holcomb
The existing 360-megawatt Holcomb Station power plant in Garden City, Kansas (undated photo), burns 1.5 million tons of coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin each year . Its operators sought to sextuple its output. Image and caption: Sierra Club. Image may be subject to copyright.

Sebelius had vetoed four previous bills, opposing even the expansion of Sunflower’s existing Holcomb plant.

[Why did she let go? We can only presume that she let go because they told her that she could do a lot more good [sic] as Secretary of Health and Human Services.]

When the coast was finally clear, the Kansas legislature overwhelmingly passed the renewable energy bill on Friday by 103 to 18 votes.

The Senate had already voted 37 to 2 in favor the previous day.

The new Kansas governor,  Mark Parkinson, is  expected to sign the bill because he was its architect, of course. It was he who proposed a 895-megawatt coal plant at Holcomb. Gov Mark Parkinson, who was sworn in on April 28, wasted no time kowtowing to the  Sunflower CEO Earl Watkins.

“In October 2007, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Rod Bremby rejected plans for two 700-MW coal-fired units in western Kansas at Holcomb. It was the first time a U.S. coal plant was rejected solely on the basis of health risks from carbon dioxide emissions.” Reuters reported.

“The cost of the new plant was not revealed. In early 2007, when three 700-MW units were proposed to be built at the existing 360-MW plant, the cost was near $4 billion.”

“Using an industry estimate of $2,100 per kilowatt, the 895 MW plant would cost about $1.9 billion.”

Coal-fired plant produce about twice as much CO2 as natural gas plants for each megawatt of electricity they generate.

Sunflower’s Watkins expects the new plant to be operation within 5 years.  Most of the power  from the Holcomb plant (about 80 percent) would be exported to Tri-State Generation in Colorado and Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, based in Amarillo, Texas.

Sunflower is expected to be awarded a substantial federal renewable energy stimulus fund for its proposed  Sunflower Integrated Bioenergy center, which will handle  ethanol, biodiesel, and algae energy projects.

Gov Mark Parkinson has achieved all of the above on behalf of Sunflower in little over a week, thereby securing himself powerful clients [yes, he too is a lawyer] after his plitical career has run dry.

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