Erica Peterson (KPR)

Kentucky Public Radio Correspondent

Erica Peterson is a reporter and Kentucky Public Radio correspondent based out of WFPL in Louisville, Kentucky.

Natural gas provides an increasingly large share of the country’s electricity. And now, the fuel is growing in popularity as an alternative to gasoline. A new Louisville plant is betting that natural gas as a vehicle fuel is a technology that will be around for decades or longer.

A new study shows black lung disease isn’t limited to just coal miners who work underground.  Studies for coal workers’ pneumoconiosis—or black lung disease—haven’t been done on surface miners in a decade, and the miners were commonly thought to be less at risk for the disease than underground workers. 

A common misconception about coal in America is that it accounts for most of the nation’s electricity generation. Coal’s importance to the nation’s energy mix is indisputable, but that influence is on the decline, and is dropping fast. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is in Kentucky this week taking testimony on the federal government’s objection to 36 coal mining permits in Eastern Kentucky. 

A lawsuit filed today in federal court alleges a black substance coating the homes of residents in some areas of Louisville is caused by whiskey distilling.

The past two years of mild winters have led to an outbreak of pests in the Ohio River Valley. Tulip Poplar trees in the region are being threatened by usually large numbers of the tulip scale insect- which attaches to twigs on tulip poplar trees, sucks sap out of the bark and releases a clear, sticky sugary substance that’s commonly called “honeydew.”

Despite having no official challenger in Kentucky’s Democratic primary, President Obama won less than 60 percent of the vote. The rest of the votes went to…no one.

Gabe Bullard

Coal companies will have to pay more to mine coal in Kentucky under new regulations issued by the Energy and Environment cabinet. The state took action after the federal government threatened to take over the state’s surface mining program.

Environmental activists are planning an event in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby to raise awareness about the effects of climate change.

Arnold Paul, via Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Public Service Commission is set to decide soon whether American Electric Power can keep burning coal at an eastern Kentucky power plant.

Kentucky Power’s Big Sandy Power Plant in Lawrence County burns coal, and the company, which is owned by American Electric Power, is asking for PSC approval to install pollution controls to comply with federal regulations and continue burning coal.

But several entities intervening in the case argue that coal isn’t the least-cost option, considering that federal carbon regulations may be in store in the next few decades.