As most readers are probably aware, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius has held off a third attempt to reverse her administration's rejection of two coal-fired plants, with the Kansas House failing to override her veto of industry-backed legislation by four votes (Sebelius' previous vetoes were sustained by a slimmer margin). House leaders have now threatened to sue Sebelius-- a symbolic move admittedly aimed at countering threats that a veto override wouldn't be enough to guarantee the plants' construction-- but they haven't given up the ghost either.
The implications of this fight remain national in scope, so Sunflower Electric's allies in the House are refusing to go down without kicking and screaming, holding open the narrow possiblity of turning the tide (though the exhausted state Senate might pull the plug by ending their legislative session early this week). On Saturday, before adjourning they created "Hail Mary" legislation by attaching their bill to an economic development package for the state's most populous county.
Republican Rep. Judy Morrison, who voted against the plants, calls industry's latest gambit "the worst bill I've ever seen" and simply "blackmail;" meanwhile the Hutchison News reports that at least one previous supporter of the plants is opposed to the new legislation. Sebelius is likely to veto the bill should it ever cross her desk, and tells the Wichita Eagle that the maneuver might not even hold up in court:
Sebelius said attorneys in her administration already have told her that the latest bill would violate the constitution's one-subject rule.
"By calling the building of coal plants economic development doesn't make them economic development," she said. "Just on that basis, we will give it a very close look."
The Land Institute's Climate and Energy Project continues to be your go-to source on this issue, doing an amazing job of live-blogging the legislative session, and catching other legislative maneuvers of note (such as House Speaker Melvin Neufeld also holding hostage budget funding for Wichita-area legislators who voted against the plants). Readers looking for play-by-play updates would do well to check in with them over the next several days.