J500 Media and the Environment

How will Kansas look without Sebelius? by bryand09
Will the Governor be waving goodbye to Kansas soon? Uploaded to flickr.com on January 19, 2009 by Lindsay Beyerstein

Will the Governor be waving goodbye to Kansas soon? Uploaded to flickr.com on January 19, 2009 by Lindsay Beyerstein

“With Sen. Judd Gregg bowing out as commerce secretary, and with President Obama now needing to fill two high-profile Cabinet posts, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is all but outta here, a K-State political scientist said this morning.”
Submitted by Steve Kraske on February 13, 2009, Primebuzz.Kcstar.com

What’s the matter with Kansas? It will be very obvious once Sebelius has left.

For anyone who hasn’t been following, now that Tom Daschle has pulled his name out of the hat of nominees for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Governor Sebelius is at the top of most pundits’ list for the next nominee.

She fought against the two 700-megawatt coal-fired power plants proposed by Sunflower, and vetoed three times legislation that would allow them to be built. On the night before one of the votes, representatives of Sunflower offered to build only two 600-megawatt plants approached her; she stood her ground and vetoed the thinly concealed threat into the ground.

Sunflowers existing coal-fired power plant at Holcomb, Kansas (Photo courtesy Ohio Citizen Action)

Sunflower's existing coal-fired power plant at Holcomb, Kansas (Photo courtesy Ohio Citizen Action)

Well not quite. Sunflower is back and taking Kansas to federal court.

Environmental issues aside, there is another, more important reason that Sebelius should stay. US Senator Sam Brownback has filed his paperwork to run for Kansas Governor in 2010. If Sebelius goes to DC and the Kansas budget faces more problems, it will leave a bad taste in the mouths of Kansans when they consider another democrat for the job. It will all but guarantee a win for the senator.

Here is the best-case scenario: Sebelius stays in Kansas and finished up her second term strongly — strong budget, more wind power, no coal power plants. She decides to run for Brownback’s seat (wins it) while rallying enough democratic support and headlines to push a second democrat into the Governor’s office.

— Bryan Dykman


8 Comments so far
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I’m very interested in this topic as well. I think if Sebelius goes to DC, we are all but assured a Republican senator and governor in 2010. Who do you think are some of the best Democrats to run against Brownback for the governorship (especially with Parkinson not running)?

Comment by jessicasb

I’m very concerned that Sunflower won’t stop until we are all breathing tarnished air. I recently spoke with Kansas Representative Paul Davis and learned that Sunflower has been on the brink of bankruptcy more than once, along with some other disparaging details about the company. For a while I hoped that they would run out of money and would have to stop, but obviously that hasn’t happened. I hope our current economic troubles don’t sway the decision to permit.

Comment by christinaw09

For more on the clean energy/coal fight, you should go to the Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy site (http://www.gpace.org/) and be sure to sign the petition (on the right hand side of the page) they are going to submit to the state legislature about fighting the coal plants and, instead, focusing their energy (no pun intended) on such as wind.

Comment by marybethw

We have one of the windiest states in the nation and yet we are trailing behind less windy states in wind-farms. Katherine Sebelius mentioned, in the State of the State address, that we have already surpassed our 2010 goal for wind energy. We obviously have the potential and the ability to make this energy a reality, so why not further develop a good thing.

Comment by matthewtb

I’m sure Parkinson will veto the plants should they come his way if Sebelius leaves, but the Legislature might have an easier time overturning the veto because they see someone weaker in the governor’s seat.

It’s all still a big mystery, and I wonder if anything will be solved tomorrow, after Sebelius canceled her usual meeting with the Legislature but didn’t tell anyone why…

Comment by Lauren Keith

I’m glad to see that people actually do pay attention to this state and its politics.

I think wind energy is where we need to be investing and I think we should start investing first around smaller towns and schools that are being hit hardest by this recent budget shortage.

Comment by bryand09

Here’s an interview I did with GPACE for Huffington Post. This is such an important issue. I fear the same if Sebelius leaves Kansas.

Comment by j500

[…] A while ago, I was advocating for Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to stay in Kansas and help battle the eminent threat of two coal power plants proposed to be built in Holcomb Kansas. Well, she didn’t listen to me. […]

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