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Grassroots Kentuckians Hoping for Say in State's Energy Future

Public input on Kentucky's energy future is seen as an important part of the state's request for a two-year extension for coming up with a plan to meet the country's first-ever limits on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. (Greg Stotelmyer)
Public input on Kentucky's energy future is seen as an important part of the state's request for a two-year extension for coming up with a plan to meet the country's first-ever limits on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. (Greg Stotelmyer)
January 25, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Sept. 6 is the cutoff date for states to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s deadline for having a plan in place to comply with the country's first-ever limits on pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Kentucky will seek a two-year extension for coming up with its own plan to meet the Clean Power Plan limits, beginning in 2022.

Dana Beasley Brown, who chairs Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC)), says it's a positive first step toward finding home grown solutions to the state's energy future.

"This just makes sense for us to file and move forward because we really do need a plan that's going to be best for Kentuckians and written, and created, by Kentuckians," she stresses.

Gov. Matt Bevin says the state is requesting the extension to allow legal challenges to progress through the courts. He maintains the Clean Power Plan will increase electricity rates and devastate Kentucky's economy.

One requirement a state has to meet when seeking an extension from the EPA is to demonstrate that it has begun meaningful public engagement.

Bevin says the Energy and Environment Cabinet will conduct listening sessions across the state to gather input.

Beasley Brown says KFTC's message is energy transformation can be good for Kentuckians' health as well as the state's economy. She says it starts with energy efficiency.

"Energy efficiency is a win-win-win approach that can generate good jobs and improve economic security for our families and industries,” she states.

Last fall, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth launched its own effort to develop solutions for transitioning away from coal.

Called Empower Kentucky, the organization hopes to have a people's plan for clean energy in place by June. Currently, coal supplies 92 percent of the state's power.


Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY