Big King Coal and the "Kansans For Affordable Energy"

After a recent ruling in the State of Kansas to not allow a new coal-fired electric plant, local businesses formed a group called “Kansans for Affordable Energy.” They ran a state-wide print ad campaign that featured photos of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Russian President Vladimir Putin asking, “Why are these men smiling.”

The ad claimed that they were smiling  “Because the recent decision by the Sebelius Administration means Kansas will import more natural gas from countries like Russia, Venezuela and Iran.”

The ads were partially paid for by Peabody Energy, the largest private coal company in the world and Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, a large coal-power electric company in Kansas.  


What proportion of the ads were paid for by these chickens?

But they were clearly involved. Here’s the statement from Peabody when the whole thing started blowing up in their face:

“We are pleased to support the message behind Kansans for Affordable Energy, which is that we can choose inexpensive U.S. energy sources such as clean coal, or we can jeopardize our future from risky foreign sources. Experts agree that increased natural gas use will come from imports. The global energy markets are interconnected. Russia, Iran and Venezuela combined control nearly half of the world’s gas reserves… and do not have Kansas’ best interests at heart. To assume America can repeat the import philosophy on natural gas that it has pursued for decades in oil is to ignore the new political, economic and geologic realities of the world. We need all forms of energy, including America’s most abundant source.”

And for one piece of context…Kansas has the third best land-based wind resource of all the continental US states (