Kansas' health department yesterday became the nation's first government agency to block a proposed coal-burning power plant on environmental grounds, saying it would be "irresponsible to ignore the contribution of carbon dioxide to climate change." The decision, particularly in a red state, cheered environmental groups, and it may not be the last, the Washington Post reports.
Critics of the decision note Kansas has a popular Democratic governor with an eye on national office. Health departments have previously blocked power plant construction for spewing mercury or sulfur dioxide, but in April the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases are pollutants and thus subject to the Clean Air Act. Other states may follow suit.