Friday, May 02, 2008

Sierra Club 1, Coal-Fired Power 0 -- Yea Kansas!

The Sierra Club and their allies scored a HUGE victory in Kansas today as the Kansas House sustained Governor Sebelius' veto of plans for two coal fired power plants. (Hat tip to Kos for the link).

A few points worth mentioning here:

1.) The coal industry and their lobbyists at Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ahem!) American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity act like they are just misunderstood. When profits are going their way they are polite and earnest and act like they'd walk your grandmother across the street if she needed help. But then, when Kansas turned down plans for two coal-fired plants in the state -- the coal industry started running full page ads in the newspaper accusing Governor Sebelius of helping Iran, Venezuela and Russia.

“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:

“I’m amazed at how well-educated many Kansans are on issues about the environment and energy,” she said.


Anonymous said...

One day closer to rolling lights and $500 electricity bills.

Way to go.

RFK Action Front said...
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Anonymous said...

toby - evidentally you need a lesson in peaking power versus baseload power.


How would, say for instance, upstate New York, which is cloudy umpteenth months out of the year live off solar?????

You are such a joke....

Get a life.

RFK Action Front said...
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Anonymous said...
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RFK Action Front said...
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RFK Action Front said...

Nice! Coal supporters are funny. If they're not busy calling other people terrorists they're fear mongering with hysterical tales of rolling blackouts and no lights. No matter the situation, "be very afraid" is their favorite mantra.

Did you read the post? The whole post? KANSAS WASN'T EVEN GOING TO BE USING THE ELECTRICITY! They were going to sell it to neighboring states like Colorado. But they probably couldn't have gotten the plants constructed in Colorado so they tried to hoodwink the Kansas legislature to accept all of the pollution and none of the benefits.

The craziest thing about this whole debate is that really good solutions are at our fingertips -- wind, solar, and geothermal. Investing in these energy sources would lead to massive job creation, clean abundant energy, and healthier communities.

RFK Action Front said...

Dude, is this Mister Global Cooling writing again?

Were we talking about New York? No. We were talking about Kansas. Was any of the energy from the proposed Kansas plants going to NY? No. What's the deal with you coal weasels always trying to change the subject -- ooh look over there a terrorist! a rolling blackout! a NY baseload power argument! If you're gonna change the subject would you at least admit you lost the last round of the argument? Thanks.

Regarding NY and baseload power, a couple points: Is NY on the ocean? Is it windy there? Did the proposed new design for the World Trade Center include wind turbines built into the top of the building? Yes, yes, and yes. Why are you making an argument about solar when there are so many other renewable energy sources that would work there? Why do you people always try to present it as a choice between coal or the end of the world? Isn't it possible that there are LOTS of options and coal is just one of them (and not a very good one at that)?

Regarding baseload power -- it's an interesting point but your argument is WAY overstated. From the wikipedia entry on baseload power:

"The argument presumes that renewable energy is predominantly intermittent, whereas most of the renewable energy in use today is in the form of fuel which can be burned on demand, and base-load capable renewable electric generators are common, including biomass, geothermal, and hydroelectric power. Promising emerging technologies include solar thermal power plants which store the sun's daytime heat for overnight electric generation."

So actually, your statement (in all caps no less!) that "renewables cannot provide baseload power" is factually untrue.

Stop trying to destroy the planet and acting like you're doing the rest of us a favor.