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Energy and Environment

Another Snag In Plans To Expand Kansas Power Plant

Plans to expand a coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas have run into another snag.

An appellate court in Washington, DC, says a federal agency violated the law by clearing the way for expansion of Sunflower Electric’s power plant in Holcomb without first reviewing its impact on the environment.

Attorney Amanda Goodin represents the Sierra Club, which filed suit to stop the expansion.

“This decision makes clear they need this environmental review from the federal government," she says. "And at the end of that environmental review the federal government has to decide whether they’re going to continue to allow this project, or not. They might say no, and that would be the end of the story.”

But even if the expansion gets the go-ahead, there are other obstacles. Goodin says the plant would have to meet new—and stricter—environmental standards.

What’s more, she says Sunflower doesn’t have financing for the project, and hasn’t been able to demonstrate a need for the power the plant would produce. Goodin says it will likely take at least a year just to complete the environmental review.