Letter: Don't sell out to coal mine owners
To the Editor:
Last week the Kansas Legislature introduced bills in both houses that if passed will make Kansas the most coal friendly state in the union. The bill is the reaction to KDHE's denial of a permit to build two 700 mega-watt coal fired power plants in Holcomb. The bill will permit the release of several million tons of new emissions in Kansas if the plants are built by Sunflower and co-investors. This project will degrade the air quality for all of Kansas and also will use up billions of gallons of precious ground water while 85 percent of the power is for out-of-state use. The obvious benefactors of this project are the coal mine operators in Wyoming, the "clean-air" and "water short" state of Colorado that will buy most of the exported power.
The bills are being bum-rushed through the legislature without the normal scrutiny that an issue of this stature should have. The backers of this bill know that public interest in clean renewable energy is growing and federal regulation of carbon dioxide is imminent so we have this heavy-handed effort to tie Kansas to 50 more years of coal.
Call or e-mail Representative Dahl and Senator Jim Barnett and let them know that their job is to represent the best interests of Kansas, not the coal mine owners. It might help to remind them of what Dwight D. Eisenhower said in his farewell address to the nation:
"As we peer into society's future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We can not mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."
Contact Senator Jim Barnett, 785-296-0111, firstname.lastname@example.org and State Representative Donald Dahl, 785-296-0111, email@example.com.
Harry E. Bennett