Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kansas coal plants see new life -- with the help of bills written in secret

By Diane Silver

Kansas' controversial Holcomb coal plants appear to be on the verge of resurrection with the help of two bills written in secret. The bills -- House Bill 2177 and Senate Bill 515 -- were introduced yesterday.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the plants’ developer, Sunflower Electric Power Corp. "had input into the legislation." The bills were crafted by the Republican chairs of the House and Senate committees that deal with energy legislation and the ranking Democratic members on the committees.

I've made a few calls and have learned that as of last week, even pro-coal lawmakers who normally participate in energy discussions were kept out of these talks.

The Journal-World reports:

Tom Thompson, a lobbyist with the Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club, which opposes the plants, said he didn’t think that was right.

“Obviously, it was not an open process,” Thompson said.

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