Kansas readies for coal plant showdown

TOPEKA, Kan. — Will Kansas join other states that scrapped plans for coal-burning power plants because of rising costs and climate change? Or will the state return to a tried-and-true, if controversial, energy source that already provides about 70 percent of Kansas’ energy?

Lawmakers return to Topeka on Wednesday to complete a legislative session that has focused on the fate of Sunflower Electric Power Corp.’s proposal to build two new coal-fired plants at its Holcomb, Kan., power station. Both sides say it is the most intensely fought political battle in recent memory.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has vetoed two bills that authorized the project. Now supporters of the plan are working to overturn the vetoes. The Kansas senate has already done so. The House is just a few votes shy of the required two-thirds majority to do so.

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