Appeals court won’t ease way for Kansas coal plant

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A federal appeals court in Washington has refused to clear a potential obstacle to construction of a coal-fired power plant in southwest Kansas.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected a request from Hays-based Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to overturn a federal judge’s ruling that put the construction plans on hold.

Sunflower wants to build an 895-megawatt plant outside Holcomb.

But U.S. District Judge Emmett Sullivan last year ordered the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service to complete an environmental study before granting any approvals for the $2.8 billion project.

The appeals panel on Tuesday rejected Sunflower’s request on technical grounds. The company says it’s reviewing the decision.

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