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."