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Kansas Lawmakers Consider Options for Fighting Federal Carbon Emission Regulations

State Representative Dennis Hedke speaks to a legislative staff member. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)
State Representative Dennis Hedke speaks to a legislative staff member. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Some Kansas lawmakers are considering their options for fighting federal regulations on carbon emissions while at the same time allowing the state to develop a plan to meet those rules.


Legislators earlier this year decided the state should develop its own plan to meet the goals, even though many of them oppose the regulations. Republican Representative Dennis Hedke, who chairs the House Energy Committee, says they might consider revising that strategy.

“Move to something that’s significantly different. I’m not going to give you all the details because I don’t know them right now. We don’t have to submit a plan if we choose not to, that’s one thing I can say,” says Hedke.

Republican Senator Forrest Knox says the best option for lawmakers to oppose the regulations may be to simply support the state’s ongoing lawsuit over the plan.

“There are many issues where the feds are overreaching their authority, and probably it’s in court that we have to come against that,” says Knox.

Environmental advocate Rabbi Moti Rieber says lawmakers are in a tough spot because if Kansas doesn’t develop its own emissions proposal, then the state could be forced to accept a federal plan.

“A federal plan apparently has one exit, which is a regional cap-and-trade plan. If they don’t want that plan, then they have to come up with their own plan,” says Rieber.

Rieber says there are tangible health benefits to cutting carbon emissions and a regional option may be the cheapest way to do that.


Stephen Koranda is KPR's Statehouse reporter.