Letters (Week of April 23, 2008)

Coal plants still an issue in Legislature


Don Ratzlaff?s editoral last week lamented the use of ?Going Green? as an advertising gimmick to sell SUVs. I too find the use of environmental concerns as a ?sales hook? to be an unfortunate marketing tool.

While it is a good thing that any business constructing a new building use the latest energy saving materials and technologies, we should also pay attention to the products being sold out of the building.

Next week the legislature will return to Topeka to wrap up the 2008 legislative session. One of the main items of business will be the vote to overturn Gov. Sebelius? veto of two bills that would reverse the Kansas Department of Health Environment decision to not permit the construction of two 700-mega-watt coal-fired power plants.

KDHE has cited concerns over the release of an estimated 11 millon tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and the net effect on the environment as the reason for the denial.

The governor has stated that she would be willing to compromise on the size of the plant to around 200 mega-watts, which would cover the projected electrical energy needs for western Kansas ratepayers.

The supporters of the 1,400-mega-watt plants insist the coal-fired plants need to be this large so that 85 percent of the power can be exported out-of-state, even though 100 percent of the coal to fire the plants will be imported from Wyoming.

The governor wants to build an electrical energy export business for western Kansas based on wind energy, a resource that occurs naturally in Kansas.

President Bush has recently reversed his stand on global warming or climate change and now recognizes that it is caused by human activity.

State Rep. Don Dahl seems to still be a doubter as indicated by a handout at the Legislative Coffee in March, that basically denied the increase of CO2 emissions as an environmental problem.

State Sen. Jim Barnett believes the science on greenhouse gases and atmospheric layering and also has concerns about the mercury particulate that is released by coal fired plants.

Both of our legislators voted for the bills to overturn the KDHE decision and one would assume that both will vote to overturn the veto.

There is still time to contact State Rep. Dahl and State Sen. Barnett and ask them to reconsider voting to overturn the veto. Ask them to consider the environment and future generations of Kansans that will bear the costs of climate change.

We must all strive to find the best solutions to a growing list of environmental problems and be willing to change position or compromise for the best outcome.

Harry E. Bennett


Hillsboro blood drive collected 56 units


Thanks to everyone who made our April 14 blood drive in Hillsboro a success. We couldn?t have fulfilled our mission without each and every one of you.

Blood donors and volunteers are essential to the success of the ARC.

We had a goal of 60 units and were successful in getting 56 units, with two coming from first-time donors.

Again, we thank all who helped or gave blood. The next drive will be June 26.

Gladys Funk, Shirley Kasper

Hillsboro co-coordinators

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