Kansas High Court Rules Against Sierra Club in Coal-Fired Power Plant Fight

The Sierra Club has lost an attempt to stop construction of a $2.8 billion coal-fired power plant to be built in southwest Kansas. The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld a decision by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build the 895-megawatt unit near Holcomb, a small community west of Garden City that for decades was known for the infamous 1959 murders that became Truman Capote’s book, “In Cold Blood.”

There’s already one plant located outside Holcomb and this will be the second. The plant was opposed by the Sierra Club because the State Health Department did not impose limits on greenhouse gas emissions from the new plant and did not have stringent enough standards for other pollutants.

It was a unanimous ruling against the Sierra Club in which justices said the Club failed to show the state’s action was unreasonable or arbitrary.

Earthjustice attorney Amanda Goodin represented the Sierra Club and responded by stating the decision opens the door for a lot of pollution in Kansas.

“Building this plant is a big step backward,” she told the Associated Press.

Sunflower Electric provides electricity to 350,000 residents in central and western Kansas.