Tiahrt hired to head Colorado Springs energy company

Former Kansas congressman Todd Tiahrt has been named the CEO of a Colorado Springs-based company that designs and builds emissions control systems for power plants.

Tiahrt, who served eight terms from 1995 to 2011 as the 4th District representative, was hired by Neumann Systems Group. The company was a client of Todd Tiahrt LLC, a consulting firm in Wichita. Neumann Systems has 52 employees.

For now at least, Tiahrt said Tuesday that he will keep his home in Goddard and will commute to Colorado Springs. He said he also will continue to operate his consulting firm for now.

He will replace the company’s founder, David Neumann, as the CEO, but Neumann will remain as chairman, president and majority owner.

“Todd has a national reputation,” Neumann said. “He understands energy issues and the culture surrounding that.”

Tiahrt will have the immediate challenge of working with the city of Colorado Springs. A coal plant is located downtown and includes $100 million worth of Neumann’s equipment.

“There’s a big battle here over closing the plant,” Neumann said.

The company has developed a system that creates “green coal technology,” Tiahrt said. “It turns pollutants into products.”

Coal plants using the technology eventually will have cleaner emissions than natural gas, he said.

Some of those products are for fertilizer, wallboard and keeping harmful algae blooms from growing in water, he said.

“I’m excited about all the possibilities,” he added.

Tiahrt has known the Neumann family for a number of years. He and Mark Neumann became congressmen the same year after Mark, David’s brother, was elected as a Wisconsin representative.

Tiahrt decided not to run for re-election in 2010 and lost a senatorial bid to Jerry Moran.