King Coal Resorts to Bribery

King Coal, having fallen out of favour in the U.S., is now stooping to bribery in his bid to get plans for new coal-fired plants in Kansas approved:

... the plant’s developers, Sunflower Electric Power Corp., have entered into a memorandum of understanding to pay $2.5 million to Kansas State University over 10 years for energy research if the plants get built.

If Sunflower Electric doesn’t get state permits to build by June 1, there’s no deal with KSU, according to the memorandum of understanding, which was distributed to all House members for their perusal. -- LJWorld

Sorry, actually, they don't call it a bribe, it's a "memorandum of understanding". My mistake.

Also, I'm possibly reading too much into this, as it appears the payment is really a benevolent gift that King Coal would dearly like to make, for all the right reasons, but their ability to do so is dependent on the plant getting built, otherwise they just won't have the funds to do so:

But Steve Miller, a spokesman for Sunflower Electric, said there was nothing inappropriate about the memorandum of understanding.

Miller said if legislation allowing the plants to be built weren’t passed, then Sunflower would not have the money to invest in the bioenergy center.

“If we don’t have a deal, we can’t proceed. It’s that simple,” he said. -- LJWorld

This is in addition to other forms of bribery (oops, I did it again) -- like being the sponsor for a New York Times advert for a presidential debate. Indeed, the coal industry has been all over this presidential race, a race where questions on climate change issues have been conspicuous by their absence.

 

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  • Posted on Feb. 22, 2008. Listed in:

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