Group says farm bill eases rules for coal plant

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – The U.S. House-approved farm bill contains a provision that environmentalists say would ease rules for building a coal-burning power plant in southwest Kansas.

Environmentalists have won federal court decisions requiring an environmental review before Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp. can build a $2.8 billion, 895-megawatt plant near Holcomb.

Bill Griffith, energy chair of the Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club, told that a section of the House’s farm bill would essentially negate that requirement. Griffith says he isn’t sure how the provision got into the the farm bill.

Sunflower Electric spokeswoman Cindy Hertel says she had no knowledge of the provision.

The House-approved farm bill moved to the Senate, which has a separate farm bill. A conference committee is expected to consider differences between the versions.

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