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E-M:/ KS Administrative Law Judge rejects Sunflower's appeal and affirms state authority to consider global warming



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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <Anne.Woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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In Kansas, the bold action of the Governor to stop a planned coal fired
power plant has been upheld through an Administrative Law Judge decision --
a great signal to Michigan if there is a will to act. 

Anne Woiwode, State Director
Sierra Club Michigan Chapter
(517) 484-2372
 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12/11/2008

Contact:
Nick Persampieri, Earthjustice, 303-996-9617
Stephanie Cole, Sierra Club, 402-984-1122

       Hearing Officer Upholds Rejection of Kansas Coal Power Plant
 Ruling is a major step towards ensuring a clean energy future, groups say

Topeka, KA - The secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and
Environment acted properly last year when he rejected the a construction
permit for the massive Sunflower coal-fired power plant expansion in
western Kansas, a state hearing officer has concluded.

Agreeing with conservation groups, the officer said KDHE Secretary Rod
Bremby has the authority to deny the permit because the plant's global
warming pollution poses a threat to public health and the environment.
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation had urged the officer to overturn
Bremby's decision.

"The people of Kansas are a step closer to avoiding the harm that would
result from Sunflower's massive, polluting coal-plant expansion," said
Stephanie Cole of the Sierra Club, a conservation group that intervened in
support of Bremby.

The proposed Sunflower expansion would have emitted 11 million tons each
year of CO2 - a gas which is the single biggest contributor to global
warming - and it would have blanketed the region with unhealthy particulate
matter, Cole said.

The parties involved now have 15 days to petition Bremby to review the
hearing officer's decision.

Following any requests for review, Sunflower's appeal will likely be heard
by the Kansas Supreme Court, said Nick Persampieri, the Earthjustice
attorney who represented the Sierra Club. The court previously refused
Sunflower's request for appeal until after it had gone through the
administrative hearing process.

"The Kansas Supreme Court will have the final word, and we plan to ask the
court to reach the same conclusion as the administrative officer,"
Persampieri said.

The Bremby decision created a political firestorm that pitted Gov. Kathleen
Sebelius against the state Legislature. She successfully vetoed three bills
that would have granted the plant permit.

"The heroic fight by Sec. Bremby and Gov. Sebelius drew national attention
and made Kansas this country's symbolic battleground over the future of
clean energy," Persampieri said.





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