Kansas allows building of a coal-fired power plant

After a four-year effort, a western Kansas utility won state permission Thursday to construct an 895-megawatt, coal-fired power plant.

Receiving an air-quality permit was a huge victory for Sunflower Electric Power Corp., because it comes just days before federal regulations take effect requiring more expensive technology to control greenhouse gases.

In late 2007, Health and Environment Secretary Rod Bremby denied Sunflower permission to build two generating plants, citing the 11 million tons of greenhouse gases they would release. That drew national acclaim from environmentalists and opposition from Kansas lawmakers. Sunflower later agreed to build one plant, at a cost of $2.2 billion to $3 billion.

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