Daily Archives: Feb. 25, 2009

Sebelius says coal bill is “DOA”

TOPEKA – A coal bill that the House of Representatives could debate Thursday doesn’t stand a chance with the governor.

“The coal bill is DOA with me,” Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, told reporters Wednesday.

The proposal House Bill 2014, would allow the construction of two coal-fired power plants in Holcomb and block the state’s top regulator, Health and Environment Secretary Rod Bremby, of the authority to regulate carbon dioxide.

In 2007, Bremby blocked permits the 1,400 megawatts expansions by Sunflower Electric Power Corp. citing concerns over the carbon dioxide the plants would release.

“We don’t want to go back to the want, we want to be leaders in the future,” she said.

Sebelius vetoed three similar bills in the 2008 session. She said the current effort would be a “step backwards” especially with the federal stimulus package which includes $30 billion for green initiatives and energy efficiency.

Brewer optimistic about Layton

Robert LaytonMayor Carl Brewer said he’s spending at least an hour a day with Robert Layton, the new city manager. Trips to Topeka, hallway chatter and hour-long update meetings — the two seem to be getting along well.

Brewer, who strongly backed Sedgwick County Manager William Buchanan as the next manager, complimented Layton for being “very candid” about city issues and that the two seem to agree on things 90 percent of the time (Brewer didn’t say what the other 10 percent involves). But, as he chatted with a reporter Tuesday, Brewer said he’s still watching carefully to ensure Layton’s transition is smooth, especially considering ongoing budget problems, state cuts and the influx of federal stimulus money.

Layton will get another little test Thursday when he speaks to the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. Though most businesspeople stayed clear of the manager search, there was a strong battle among others — mostly in strong support or opposition of Buchanan. It will be interesting to see in the next few months what impressions the biz community forms of Layton, a man who got nearly flawless reviews from business people in his former city, Urbandale, Iowa.