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Energy and Environment

New EPA Rule Could Threaten Kansas Coal-Fired Plant Expansion

The EPA has proposed new carbon emissions standards for coal and gas-fired power plants built in the future. However, it's unclear whether the rule will apply to the expansion of a coal-fired plant in southwest Kansas.

If the new standards are applied to the expansion of the Sunflower electric generating station, near Holcomb, it could get expensive. The plant would likely have to capture some of the carbon it produces, and store it below ground. Sunflower’s Colorado-based partner has told the EPA the new rule should not apply because they’ve already commenced construction.

Earthjustice attorney Amanda Goodin represents the Sierra Club in its battle against the project.

“They’re kind of trying to have their cake and eat it, too," she says. "They’d like to have commenced construction when that’s convenient on the regulations, but not done it when it’s [going to] require more environmental review."

Region 7 EPA spokesman David Bryan says the Holcomb plant is currently designated as having commenced construction, but EPA is encouraging comments regarding this status.