It’s hard to tell who’s stupider: Sunflower Electric Power’s attorneys or Federal District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan.
Judge Sullivan today enjoined, pending a full environmental review, the 895-megawatt expansion of Sunflower Electric’s coal-fired power plant in Holcomb, KS.
Judge Sullivan wrote:
… Sunflower’s main argument in opposition appears to be that emissions from the planned 894 MW generating unit “will be significantly below those of the average U.S. coal facility[.]”
Sunflower’s Supp. Br. at 20. In support of this assertion, Sunflower has submitted an affidavit of Scott Bloomberg, a consultant with expertise in “the electric sector, including new investment options (generation choice), environmental risk and compliance, climate policy, transmission, renewable portfolio standards and fuel markets.” Bloomberg Aff. ¶ 2. Sunflower also asserts that the Holcomb Expansion Project “has already undergone, and continues to undergo, extensive environmental review of its impact on the air, water, land, endangered species, and human health in order to obtain the various permits and approvals required to operate,” and that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has already evaluated the potential hazardous air pollutant output for the plant. Sunflower’s Supp. Br. at 20.
Even assuming Sunflower’s assertions to be true, neither adequately counters the declaration of Dr. Levy, which contains specific, detailed estimates of various pollutants that would be emitted by the Holcomb site and the resulting harms. Whether or not some other coal facility emits greater quantities of particulate matter or mercury, for example, has no bearing on whether or not there will be irreparable harm here. Although Sunflower does dispute plaintiff’s assertion that one coal facility will create a sufficient quantity of carbon dioxide emissions to have a measurable impact on the climate, Sunflower fails to offer any persuasive evidence that would counter plaintiff’s detailed submissions on other pollutants.7 Upon consideration of these submissions, as well as the other
affidavits and arguments put forward by the parties, the Court concludes that the plaintiff has demonstrated irreparable injury…
There is, of course, no evidence that emissions from any U.S. coal plant has harmed anyone.
This case is all about the Sierra Club’s mindless jihad against coal.
That the judge and lawyers couldn’t figure that out is quite a shame.