Veto override fails in Kansas; embattled coal plants remain dead
Two new coal-fired power plants will not be built in western Kansas due to a failed attempt to override the governor’s veto. The coal-plant saga began when a state environment official last year rejected Sunflower Energy’s permit to build the new plants — the first such rejection in the U.S. on the basis of carbon dioxide emissions. State legislators who had backed the plants responded by passing two different bills that would have allowed the coal plants to proceed and would have stripped state environment officials of the authority to deny such permits. But the state’s governor, Kathleen Sebelius (D), vetoed the bills and the legislature failed to override her vetoes. The veto override vote in the Kansas House on Thursday evening was just four votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed. It’s unlikely Kansas legislators will be able to pass any more pro-coal-plant bills this session as the legislature has already gone into overtime.
Get Grist in your inbox