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For Immediate Release:   Contact: Claus Wawrzinek, 816-517-5244

May 3, 2005
Community Groups Challenge KCP&L To Choose Lower Cost, Healthier Option at Annual Meeting

KANSAS CITY: The Sierra Club, Burroughs Audubon Society, and Concerned Citizens of Platte County today urged Kansas City Power & Light at its shareholder meeting to turn away from the expensive, unhealthy path of building huge new power plants which will require a major rate increase. “We call on KCP&L to pursue the cleaner and lower cost options of efficiency and renewable energy,” said Claus Wawrzinek, Sierra Club spokesperson. “With regulation of global warming emissions looming, and regulation of other air pollutants already tightening, the path KCP&L management is advocating of investing in burning approximately 4 million tons more coal per year with associated rate increases is a high risk strategy for the utility, and one which may trap Kansas City with the costs of dinosaur technology for the next 50 years.”

The proposed new coal burning power plant will cost ratepayers $1.3 billion, and is expected to require rate increase of 15 to 20%. It is proposed in the context of rising coal prices, and natural gas prices which have recently doubled. “The choice of efficiency programs which eliminate load growth, supplemented by wind power, are much safer options for the stockholders, and better for the economic health of the Kansas City region, said Wallace McMullen, Sierra Club Energy Chair

“The human health costs of building another outdated coal-burning power plant are enormous," said McMullen. “At greatest risk are children and the elderly. Every water body in Missouri has a health advisory for fish because of mercury pollution, most of which comes from existing coal-fired power plants. The proposed power plant will increase sources of mercury pollution and take Missouri backwards at a time we need to reduce mercury. Kansas City will be locked into unhealthy, expensive, polluting technology for the next 50 years. Both the region and the company will suffer from such an ill-advised choice.”

The new coal-burning power plant, called Iatan II, is projected to emit almost 25 million pounds per year of pollutants into the air, including carbon monoxide, lead, fine particulates, volatile organic compounds, hazardous air pollutants, sulfuric acid mist, smog-forming nitrogen oxides, and acid-rain forming sulfur dioxide.