THE PLANK OCTOBER 19, 2007
Last month I noted that while Democratic Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is the co-chair of the National Governors Association's clean-energy initiative, the Sunflower State had been conspicuously absent from the list of states that have taken action to cut reliance on fossil fuels, due in large part to the reluctance of its GOP-dominated legislature to get on board. As a result, I was inclined to assume that Sebelius's involvement with the clean-energy initiative was mostly just political posturing (and from the NGA, of all places!).
Well, it turns out Sebelius is actually serious about cutting back on fossil fuels. Yesterday her administration became the first in the country to reject a permit for a coal-fired power plant on the grounds that the greenhouse gas emitted would have a detrimental impact on public health and the environment. The episode also exposed the deepening rift between conservatives and centrists in the Kansas GOP that John Judis highlighted last month: 46 Republican members of the Kansas House of Representatives signed a letter backing construction of the plant, but 31 declined to do so.