News Columns & Blogs

State can't ignore environmental rules

As state lawmakers have championed a new coal-fired power plant and tried to strip the Kansas Department of Health and Environment of regulatory powers, they have acted as if Kansas could do whatever it wants and doesn't need to be concerned with federal environmental policy. But federal officials told a legislative committee last week that Kansas will be expected to cut greenhouse-gas emissions as it considers air-quality permits for power plants, large factories and oil refineries. And if it refuses, the Environmental Protection Agency could step in. "I don't like it," complained state Rep. Carl Dean Holmes, R-Liberal. Well, welcome to reality.