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Kan. governor signs bill to halt Clean Power Plan compliance

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Kan. governor signs bill to halt Clean Power Plan compliance

Kansashas halted all state activities to comply with federal carbon emissions regulationson power plants. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback on May 6 signed into law , which terminates stateaction on the U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan until a stay issued by the U.S. SupremeCourt is lifted.

The KansasHouse voted 98-22 on March17 in favor of the bill. It passed the state Senate 37-2 on Feb. 11. All state agencyactivities, studies and investigations related to the plan will be postponed, butstate agencies will still be permitted to communicate with each other "in furtheranceof any of the agency's statutory obligations."

The billalso defunds the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority, or KETA, by repealing thestatutes under the Kansas Electric Transmission Authority Act. KETA was createdto advance the state's electric transmission infrastructure and reliability andfacilitate the delivery and use of Kansas energy.

Underthe bill, $45,000 will be transferred from KETA to the state general fund, and remainingfunds will go to the Kansas Corporation Commission's public service regulation fund.

The finalversion of the Clean Power Plan establishedstatewide carbon dioxide emissions standards for existing fossil fuel-fired electricgenerating units, with the goal of cutting CO2 emissions 32% as measured from a2005 baseline by 2030.

Kansaswas one of 29 states and state agencies that in January the Supreme Court to suspend the rulewhile it is being litigated after a federal appeals court refused to do so. Thehigh court granted therequest in February even though a lower court had not yet ruled on the merits ofthe underlying challenge to the rule.

Kansashad begun to explore compliance with the EPA's plan. But in June 2015, the statepassed a law requiringthat any plan be limited to alterations that can be made at a power plant and wouldhave to be approved by the attorney general. The law outlined a path to compliance— or noncompliance — and gave permission to the secretary of health and environmentand the Kansas Corporation Commission to submit a compliance plan to the EPA undercertain circumstances.