Parkinson backs coal-fired power plant

That didn’t take long. Not even a week after the U.S. Senate confirmed Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services, and newly minted Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson has agreed to a deal that will allow Sunflower Electric to build a new coal-fired power plant in Holcomb. I checked in with The Pitch‘s Carolyn Szczepanski, who pays way more attention to power plants and coal than I do. She had a couple of quick, admittedly knee-jerk reactions:

1) [Parkinson] was talking last week about how a federal RES, being debated in

Congress this week, would be a huge boon for Kansas. But if states have

to get, say, 20 percent of their power from renewable sources, this

coal plants is a bad deal for Kansas, because, a) it puts us further in the hole and b)

other states, which might be interested in our wind, are not going to

be interested in our coal (and the huge majority of Holcomb juice will

have to be sold out of state).

2) Parkinson is all about wind

development and building the transmission to support it. Yes, Sunflower

will be building lines in this agreement, but they go the wrong way. As

emphasized in the report I plogged about last week (the press

conference for which Parkinson was a speaker), our power needs to go

EAST, where there are plenty of big cities from Chicago to New Orleans

that are power hungry. Sunflowers lines are going to go WEST.

Meanwhile, Kansas’ leading democratic blogger, Kansas Jackass, feels “betrayed,” although he’s backing off a little. The Jackass recaps the reaction of the Kansas media and quotes Josh Rosenau of Thoughts from Kansas, “I want Sebelius back.”

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