A few points worth mentioning here:
1.) The coal industry and their lobbyists at
“Why are these men smiling?” the full-page ad asks below photos of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
See the bait and switch there? Every is nervous about oil supplies (rightly so). But oil is used to power our cars and has nothing to do with the electricity used to power our homes (which can be supplied by natural gas, solar, wind, and geothermal). But the coal thugs thought they could play on our fears about oil and terrorism and the Middle East and confuse voters into thinking that oil has something to do with electricity supplies here in the U.S. (which is doesn't).
Put money in their pockets and they are your best buds, stop the money flowing and the coal guys start running full page ads calling you a friend of terrorism. Classy guys these coal lobbyists.
2.) One of the most galling aspects of the proposed plants in Kansas is that the people of Kansas weren't even going to benefit from them. "Nearly 85 percent of the electricity [from the proposed plants] would have gone to out-of-state consumers." So Kansas would have gotten all of the pollution and none of the power -- no wonder they turned it down.
3.) 2 out of 3 Kansans opposed the coal-fired power plants and 3 out of 4 Kansans want the state to increase its investment in wind energy. If we live in a democracy, don't you think the state should act on those wishes? Kansas is the third windiest state in the nation -- yet the coal guys wanted to dig a hole and set rocks on fire rather than harnessing the free, abundant, renewable energy all around them.
4.) In the fight against coal-fired power plants, I think real estate agents could become an unlikely ally. Coal-fired power plants are kryptonite to real estate values downwind from the plant. It's interesting to note that in the vote in Kansas even some Republican members downwind of the proposed plants voted against them.
So congratulations to Governor Sebelius. I imagine she moved further up Obama's short list for VP today. And congratulations to the Sierra Club and a huge coalition of environmental groups in Kansas for their great work. I'll leave you with this quote from a Republican member of the House who voted against the coal fired power plants: