Archive for Thursday, February 14, 2008

Emissions inventory step to CO2 control

February 14, 2008

Kansas' top environmental official told lawmakers Tuesday his agency is preparing an inventory of carbon dioxide emissions statewide with the goal of reducing pollution.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Roderick Bremby said the inventory could lead to CO2 regulations that would affect currently operating coal-burning power plants.

Bremby's comments came during a meeting of the Senate Utilities Committee, which on Monday endorsed legislation allowing two 700-megawatt coal-burning plants in western Kansas.

Last year, Bremby rejected the plants citing concerns about carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Legislative supporters of the plants have vowed to reverse that decision.

Under questioning today from legislators, Bremby said his agency will have ready in two months a catalog of CO2 emissions by business sector, such as transportation, agriculture and energy.

With that in hand, KDHE would start a public process aimed at limits of CO2, he said.

Bremby said "the stick" of those limits would be used in the process of considering permits to modify equipment at existing coal-fired plants.

When lawmakers expressed displeasure with that approach, Bremby said federal legislation was on the way that would likely force the issue.

"There are bigger sticks that are out there," he said

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