Kansas to C02 Plant: Drop Dead

Back in l935, Variety startled Hollywood with one of the greatest ever of headlines: Sticks Nix Hick Pix. At the time it was a shocker, because movie executives assumed that folks out on the farm wanted to see rural Americana pictures, not swells in black tie. Wrong. They wanted distraction.

Well, times have changed, but today the Washington Post revealed that Kansas is killing the proposed construction of an enormous coal-fired power plant which was intended to supply not just Kansas, but eastern Colorado as well. Roderick Bremy, the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and the Environment, declared:

"It would be irresponsible to ignore emerging information about the
contribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to climate
change and the potential harm to our environment and health if we do
nothing."

This is great news, and the cancellation comes with strong Republican support. Could this be the harbinger of other coal plant cancellations?  For the sake of the planet — yes. Please.

Add yours ↓
  1. Danny Bloom

    That really IS an important news story, hopefully a real harbinger of things to come in terms of other coal plant cancellations. There was also a very good oped piece in the Washington Post the other day by a man who is CEO of a huge energy firm and he also called for things like this. Did you see that oped? Brilliant.

    October 20, 2007
  2. Danny Bloom

    Maria Evans of WGMD posted a comment on this on Sunday: David Crane, CEO of NRG published an op-ed in the Washington Post titled “We’re Carboholics. Make Us Stop.”

    In it he writes:

    I am a carboholic. As Americans, we are all carboholics, but I am more so than most. The company I run, NRG Energy, emits more than 64 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere each year — more than the total man-made greenhouse gas emissions of Norway. And we are only the 10th-largest American power generation company. Imagine the CO2 emissions of Nos. 1 through 9.
    Why do we do it? Why does America’s power industry emit such a stunning amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in this age of climate change?
    We do so because CO2 emissions are free. And in a world where CO2 has no price, removing CO2 before or after the combustion process is vastly more expensive and problematic than just venting it into the atmosphere.
    Congress needs to act now to change our ways. Lawmakers should regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions by introducing a federal cap-and-trade system, which would put a cap and a market price on CO2 emissions.
    Has the chief executive responsible for Delaware’s dirtiest power plant suddenly gotten religion? Has he recognized the error of his ways? I suspect not. Instead I can think of three reasons why an executive in his position would publicly endorse carbon controls.
    First, power plants require enormous capital expenditures. Those putting their money down on big ticket capital items don’t like uncertainty. A recent MIT study put the cost of carbon controls at 20 percent or higher. What investor would want to take on that kind of risk for average returns? GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt made a similar point when he came to Wilmington last year.
    Second, operators of coal plants would like to be able to pass on the cost of carbon controls to their customers, which is what NRG did when it submitted its proposal for “clean coal” as part of the RFP process that led to the decision to build an offshore wind farm in Delaware. NRG’s proposal would have placed the cost of future carbon controls with the ratepayers.
    Third, NRG already knows it will have to clean up the Indian River power plant. It’s in the company’s interest to see to it that every coal power plant be required to do so or pay for expensive carbon offsets. In August, NRG agreed to reduce its emissions in response to a new regulation promulgated by DNREC. It’s in the company’s strategic interest that all of its competitors that operate coal fired plants be held to similar requirements.
    So when David Crane writes, “Please make us stop,” I’m guessing he really means “Make all the other dirty coal power plants clean up their act as well.”

    October 20, 2007
  3. Danny Bloom

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/12/AR2007101202153.html

    We’re Carboholics. Make Us Stop.

    By David Crane
    Sunday, October 14, 2007; Page B07

    I am a carboholic. As Americans, we are all carboholics, but I am more so than most. The company I run, NRG Energy, emits more than 64 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere each year — more than the total man-made greenhouse gas emissions of Norway.

    October 20, 2007