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quick news updates

11 years ago | Jan 08, 2008
A Johnson County group, the True Blue Women's caucus, announces its intention to mobilize on the coal power issue during this upcoming legislative session (KC Prime Buzz). Upcoming event: The country's leading climate scientist, James Hansen of NASA, will be speaking on Thursday, January 10 at 3:00 Central on the Fresh Air program of many NPR stations. Check yours for local listings. We also have some of Hansen's work in the Library on the CEP website. A shortcut to find it: click that link and it takes you to the front page of the Learn More section, scroll a short distance down to the "Library" section, and Hansen's is the top article featured on the list. Traditional coal technology is even coming under fire in Montana (Billings Gazette). The Montana governor supports coal, but has made a distinction between old and new coal technologies. Quotable:
"We don't want traditional, pulverized coal plants developed in Montana," said Evan Barrett, the governor's chief economic development officer. "There isn't a future in the traditional, 30-year-old technology."
Of course, clean coal technologies are fairly experimental right now, not entirely ready for widespread commercial deployment - and they're all pretty costly (check out NETL's carbon sequestration section). Some forms of carbon sequestration also have enormous implications for water use, and the quality of the run-off is often compromised with sedimentation and/or chemical pollutants. Clean coal might not mean clean and safe drinking water. Also interesting in that last article, if you read closely - Montana's Board of Environmental Review (which I am going to assume is not entirely unlike Kansas's KDHE) is considering regulating carbon dioxide emissions. KDHE Secretary Rod Bremby has of course received a lot of criticism for citing CO2 as the reason for his decision to deny air quality permits for the proposed Holcomb coal-fired plants. Currently, Montana regulates mercury emissions more strictly than the federal government. Finally, check out the new Kansas Wind Working Group (Governor's press release) created by executive order. It is funded in part by Windpowering America, a program of the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

--- Maril Hazlett

Want to know more about climate and energy issues in the Midwest? Visit our main site, climateandenergy.org.

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