In an extended and annotated comment, "Thank You, Rod Bremby!" in Everyday Citizen, Lola Wheeler provides background and her perspective on the politics and policy behind the decision of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to deny a permit for a new coal-burning power plant because of its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the threat of such greenhouse gases (GHG) to the global environment.
Secretary Bremby's decision was praised by Governor Sebelius and other public officials, though criticized by others who favored the local economic benefits of building a new coal burning power plant. The controversy over the decision split the local Democrats, some of whom Wheeler described as "coal friendly" and who had supported the plant for the jobs it would bring.
The decision has been described as the first state administrative policy step implementing the recent Mass. v. EPA decision of the U.S. Supreme Court confirming that CO2 is a pollutant under the federal Clean Air Act, which the EPA has the authority to regulate, despite the political preferences of the current administration.
The posting includes quotes from a variety of public figures, including familiar positions by Sam Brownback and Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore. One, from the Book of Ezekiel, was new to me and may be worth repeating here:
"Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?" Ezekiel 34:18-19, New International Edition.