Erica Peterson (KPR)

Kentucky Public Radio Correspondent

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

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Environment
11:21 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Facing Federal Action, Kentucky Moves to Increase Reclamation Bonds for Surface Mines

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.

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Environment
3:05 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Derby-Themed Demonstration Aims to Draw Attention to Climate Change

350.org

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

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Coal
7:32 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Kentucky Power Makes Case for Continued Coal Use

wikipedia.org

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.

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Environment
3:18 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Coal Lawsuit Intervention

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled environmental groups can intervene in a court case involving a coal company and water pollution. Thursday’s ruling upholds a lower court decision that the groups can participate in a lawsuit filed by the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet against Frasure Creek Mining. The state filed a lawsuit against the mining company for violations of the Clean Water Act in eastern Kentucky. A settlement was reached, but the environmental groups say it is inadequate.

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Nuclear Power
6:50 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Loophole Opens Nuclear Window for Kentucky

Department of Energy

A new state law will make it legal to re-enrich depleted uranium tails in Kentucky. But the legislation doesn’t go very far to help the facility that’s been waiting for federal approval to do just that. Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant spokesperson Georgann Lookofsky says without federal permission to re-enrich the spent tails, as well as a better utility contract, the plant could shut down by the end of next month. But Lookofsky says the legislation wasn’t passed with the current incarnation of the Paducah plant in mind.

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Kentucky Authors
9:00 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Kentucky Author Named 41st Jefferson Lecturer

Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky poet, farmer and activist Wendell Berry will be honored in Washington D.C. tonight as the 41st Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities. The honor is the highest one the government bestows in the humanities. Over his long career, Berry has written fiction, non-fiction and poetry. He’s also a farmer and environmentalist, and most recently has channeled his activism into protesting mountaintop removal coal mining. National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach says besides being a wonderful poet and prose writer, Berry’s lifestyle makes him a modern-day Henry David Thoreau.

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Whiskey Making
8:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Genetically-Modified Corn Nearly Unavoidable in Bourbon Distilling

Nearly 90 percent of the corn in this country is genetically-modified. And as using genetically-modified—or GM—corn becomes increasingly popular in everyday foods, more people are becoming concerned about potential ill effects on human health and the environment.

Besides being used in food, that corn is also finding its way into Kentucky’s signature spirit: bourbon.

In the grain room at the Four Roses Distillery, master distiller Jim Rutledge is pours corn kernels into a small glass.

“I’m just going to heat this up,” he says.

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2012 General Assembly
3:18 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

House Hearing Scheduled for Clean Energy Legislation Thursday

A bill that would require a certain percentage of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources is scheduled for a hearing in the Kentucky House of Representatives tomorrow. The bill has little chance of passage this late in the session, but its advocates are hoping to set the stage for next year.

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Government
2:56 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Report Urges Policymakers to Consider Long-Term Sustainability of Coal Severance Fund

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would designate some coal severance tax money to scholarships for coalfields residents; the measure has already passed the House. But a report by a non-profit group warns that Kentucky needs to think about the long-term future of the state’s coal severance fund. Coal producers pay a tax of four and a half percent value of coal that’s sold into the state’s coal severance fund. Half of that money goes to Kentucky’s general fund, and the other half goes to various programs in coal-producing counties.

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Severe Weather
4:43 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Doctor Describes Aftermath of Tornadoes in West Liberty

There have been twenty-one confirmed deaths in Kentucky after tornadoes tore through the state on Friday. Seven of those deaths were in Morgan County, where the county seat, West Liberty, was leveled by the storms. Louisville resident Alex Wright is a doctor with Norton Healthcare Systems. West Liberty is his hometown, and his extended family still lives there. He headed to the town Saturday morning to see how he could help, and described the scene he saw driving through downtown to Kentucky Public Radio’s Erica Peterson.

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