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State's Highest Court Clears Way for New Coal-Fired Power Plant in Southwest Kansas

Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, of Hays, hopes to build a new power plant in Holcomb, in addition to its existing facility in southwest Kansas.  .

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has removed a major obstacle to the long-delayed construction of a big, new coal-fired power plant. The state Supreme Court on Friday rejected an effort by an environment group to force the state to regulate emissions linked to climate change. The justices upheld a 2014 decision by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to give Sunflower Electric Power Corporation the go-ahead for its project. The utility wants to build an 895-megawatt plant adjacent to an existing one outside Holcomb, in southwestern Kansas and estimates the cost at $2.2 billion. The company and the state's attorney general said they were pleased by the decision. But an attorney representing the Sierra Club said the ruling "opens the door for a lot of pollution in Kansas."

 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued a statement in response to the high court's ruling, saying the decision "should clear the final state-law impediment to construction of the Holcomb 2 power plant in Finney County."  He said he was "hopeful the change in administration in Washington, D.C., also will make possible federal approval for the project."

The court's decision in Sierra Club v. Mosier can be read here.

 

 

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