Governor Disbands Energy Council

Gov. Sebelius says its work has been done.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has issued an executive order disbanding the Kansas Energy Council, a group that she put together four year ago to provide her administration with information and advice on energy issues.

The group has grown over time, starting out with 15 members and eventually growing to 34 as it became more inclusive of all segments of Kansas industry with a stake in energy policy.

Critics complained that the size of the board made it unwieldy and said that it could get little done because different segments clung to protecting their own interests.

In disbanding the group, Sebelius said that its work has been done.

"We have an in-depth understanding of future base load power needs for Kansas, and an analysis of the effective strategies for energy efficiency and conservation measures to reduce the demand for new energy," she said in a statement released last Wednesday.

The state is not without ongoing energy policy controversy, however.

Proponents of two new coal-fired power plants near Holcomb are continuing court challenges to the denial of an air permit by Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Rod Bremby and the issue could well arise in the 2009 legislative session as well.

Two companies, Prairie Wind and Great Plains ITC are competing to build high-voltage transmission lines and proponents of wind and solar energy continue to fight to prevent any new power plant construction based on established technology.

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