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Brownback Signs Kansas Greenhouse Gas Legislation

Bryan Thompson

Governor Sam Brownback has signed a bill that seeks to let Kansas craft its own unique approach to regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The governor held a signing ceremony on Wednesday at a coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas.

The ceremony took place at the Sunflower Electric plant near Holcomb. Governor Brownback says the EPA is expected to issue guidelines this summer regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

“What we’re saying in this bill is let us, the State of Kansas, handle this rather than being dictated by the EPA," Brownback says.

Brownback acknowledges there’s no guarantee that the EPA will go along with the Kansas approach. He says the new restrictions could lead to some power plants shutting down, and he hopes to prevent the price increases that could result.

The bill allows the Secretary of Health and Environment to set separate emission standards for each power plant, taking into account the cost of new controls.

It also would allow averaging of greenhouse gas emissions from all sources of electricity in Kansas, including wind farms, in calculating the state’s carbon impact.