Filed under: Business + Politics, Local Events + Action, Society + Media | Tags: coal, coal power plants, Dole Center for Politics, hilarious cartoon described in words, Kansas, KDHE, KU, plants, Rod, Roderick Bremby
This ad ran in newspapers all over Kansas the week after Rod Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment, denied permits to two coal-power plants on the basis of excessive carbon emissions.
This ad was funded by Kansans for Affordable Energy, a coal-industry-funded advocacy group. This ad warns that Bremby’s decision will make us all the more dependent on foreign powers for our natural gases.
This ad, Bremby pointed out last night when he spoke at the KU Dole Institute of Politics, forgets to mention that Kansas imports 96 percent of its natural gas from Canada (and absolutely none from Russia, Venezuela or Iran).
And that was just one myth that Bremby dispelled to members of the Lawrence community. He was welcomed with a standing ovation and took his time explaining why he made the decision. Perhaps surprising to some, the list did not include an affinity for standing ovations, hugging trees, or Ahmadinejad.
-A great majority of the plant’s energy would go to Oklahoma and Colorado, not Kansas
-The chances that the denied facility would simply rebuild in another location are slim
-The emission levels would reach unprecedented heights, matching the carbon footprints of 628,000 Americans
-This is not just a decision of today, but a forty- or fifty-year decision
And of course, that pesky issue of global warming. I liked that Bremby approached this point from a sensible, not polarizing, point of view. He didn’t aim to convert global warming skeptics, but instead referred back to the goal of the KDHE: to protect the health and environment of all Kansans.
As a bureaucrat, it would be irresponsible for me to ignore contributions of CO2 to climate change and health.
He went on to speak about global efforts to reduce and conserve, then outlined his hopeful view of a new, sustainable economy that must be in our near future. In my opinion, he threw out some overly optimistic and weakly supported figures, but his heart’s in the right place.
He closed with a cartoon that made my pun-loving boyfriend and I struggle to stifle our laughs as to not interrupt his closing words, but I can’t find it online! Instead of scanning in the pathetic replication I sketched in my notebook last night (what can I say, I was inspired), I’ll just describe it.
Picture in your mind’s eye: a potted flower flexing his muscles and the punchline: “Environmentalism: Kansas’ newest power plant.”
Oh Rod, with that you won my heart.
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