Editorials

Kansas City Power & Light’s right move on coal helps customers and the environment

Kansas City Power & Light will use less coal to provide electricity to local customers.
Kansas City Power & Light will use less coal to provide electricity to local customers. The Associated Press

Kansas City Power & Light has made a bold decision that’s good for the environment, the future of renewable energy and its customers’ bills.

The utility announced this week that it would stop using coal to generate power at three plants. KCP&L decided it was not financially responsible to meet tough environmental rules by making costly upgrades to the small facilities.

This is an excellent example of how the federal government’s oversight of air polluting industries can protect the public. Also, it allowed a private company to make a market-based decision that will benefit almost everyone.

As CEO Terry Bassham said, “ending coal use at these plants is the most cost-effective and cleanest option for our customers.”

Environmental groups that have long fought with KCP&L embraced the deal.

To its credit, the utility has been a leader in the Midwest of building wind energy farms, which supply significant amounts of electricity to its customers. And more wind power is on the way.

Burning less coal will create less harmful pollution. Using more renewables will create new jobs in that field. Not upgrading coal-fired plants will save money that can be passed along to customers. Kudos to KCP&L on this move.

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