Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 19, 2014

Kentucky actually fares well under new EPA regs

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —

FRANKFORT — Kentucky politicians and the coal industry howled about the latest installment of greenhouse gas emission regulations issued last week by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

But Kentucky actually fares pretty well under the regulations that apply to existing power plants because Dr. Len Peters, secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, and his staff worked hard to influence how the regulations were written.

Last fall, Peters sent a white paper to EPA and he and Gov. Steve Beshear subsequently met twice with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to plead for flexibility in meeting the new carbon limits, especially for states like Kentucky that depend on coal-fired electrical generation to serve manufacturing industries.

In addition to Peters' and Beshear's efforts, John Lyons, the cabinet's assistant secretary for climate policy, met often with EPA and, according to Peters, “was invaluable in carrying our message nationally.”

It worked. EPA listened to Kentucky's concerns.

The cumulative national goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. But not every state has to reduce its emissions by that much, including Kentucky. The regulation takes into account special circumstances of individual states and sets different goals for each. 

Kentucky must lower its pounds of carbon per megawatt hour from about 2,166 pounds in 2012 to 1,763 pounds per megawatt hour in 2030. That's only an 18 percent reduction. Kentucky can also average its carbon rate across all forms of electrical generation which means it won't have to meet the 1,763-pound limit at each individual coal plant as the National Resources Defense Council wanted.

“I think we're most happy that EPA recognized the existing electricity generation portfolio of each state because all states are different,” Peters said. “They recognized that manufacturing states have a particular role in the national economy but also have a larger industrial component where electrical rates can impact their economies in a very significant way.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Good deed done: ReStore returns cash to owner

    Staff of Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore recently discovered a large sum of money in a donated piece of furniture.

    July 25, 2014

  • Highway to be named for late airman from Morehead

    State leaders will join Kentucky Adjutant General Edward W. Tonini in Morehead next week to name a Kentucky highway in memory of a Rowan County native and member of the United States Air Force with 12 years of service who died last year while serving in Afghanistan.S

    July 25, 2014

  • Food vendor charged in slaying back to selling

    A Louisville hot dog vendor who is free on bond after being charged with murder in a suspected case of road rage has returned to selling hot dogs at his long-time perch in front of the courthouse.

    July 25, 2014

  • 2 charged with punishing child with hot sauce

    Two people have been charged with criminal abuse after police say they force fed hot sauce and vinegar to a 4-year-old girl on several occasions.

    July 25, 2014

  • Paul blends privacy with civil rights in speech

    U.S. Sen. Rand Paul blended his message of libertarian-fueled privacy policies with civil rights-inspired criminal justice reforms during a speech Friday to the National Urban League’s annual convention in this presidential battleground state.

    July 25, 2014

  • RONNIE ELLIS: Fancy Farm only days away

    We’re just days away from the annual Fancy Farm Picnic and political free-for-all which used to be the “official” beginning of fall campaigns in Kentucky.

    July 25, 2014

  • 07/25/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    July 25, 2014

  • Golden Corral sends children to camp

    Ashland’s Golden Corral teamed with other restaurants across nation this year to raise $1.5 million to send a total of 3,000 children to Camp Corral.
     

    July 24, 2014

  • Burglars steal golf gear

    A couple of golf enthusiasts might not make their tee times Saturday because burglars stole golf equipment from their garages.

    July 24, 2014

  • Music instructor claims age discrimination

    The Russell Independent School District is denying allegations of a former band director who claims in a lawsuit the district discriminated against him because of his age.
     

    July 24, 2014