Erica Peterson

Erica reports on environment and energy issues for WFPL, which run the gamut from stories about the regionââââ

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Environment
9:06 am
Thu July 31, 2014

5 Takeaways From The Annual Kentucky Coal Report

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 6:01 am

The Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence released its annual coal report earlier this month. Kentucky Coal Facts 2014 is a huge, comprehensive document of nearly all facets of the coal mined and burned in Kentucky.

In case you don’t want to read all 127 pages, here are five interesting takeaways:

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Environment
3:52 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Members of Kentucky's Congressional Delegation Criticize EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations. Again.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and America's Got Talent contestant Jimmy Rose, who sings a song called "Coal Keeps the Lights On." Rose attended the EPA hearing as a guest of McConnell.

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 3:35 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding hearings this week across the country to collect public comments on its proposed regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Members of Kentucky’s congressional delegation gathered today to address what they call a “war on coal.”

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Environment
11:13 am
Wed July 30, 2014

As U.S. Exports Coal—and Pollution—Where Does That Leave Kentucky?

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 1:31 pm

Here’s what’s not up for debate: Eastern Kentucky coal production has plummeted over the past several years. In 2000, the region mined just over 106 million tons of coal. Last year, production was below 40 million tons.

The reasons for that decline are numerous and complicated.

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Environment
2:08 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Policy Group Asks FTC to Review 'Misleading' Green Claims About Biomass

A concrete slab indicates the site of the proposed ecoPower biomass plant in Hazard, Kentucky.

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 8:33 am

A policy group is asking the Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize advertising claims by biomass plants that the energy produced is environmentally friendly and “green.”

Biomass energy is produced when wood products are burned in a power plant. There aren’t any large-scale biomass plants in Kentucky yet, but a company called ecoPower is building one in Eastern Kentucky.

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Environment
4:31 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Kentuckians From Both Sides Plan Trip To Atlanta For EPA Hearing on Coal

Coal-fired power plant in Drakesboro

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 12:49 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency will hold hearings this week on proposed regulations to limit the carbon dioxide coal-fired power plants can emit. Environmental activists and coal industry supporters are both traveling from Kentucky to Atlanta this week for the federal hearing.

The EPA’s rule would cut carbon dioxide emissions nationwide. The proposal sets emissions goals for each state, and leaves it up to individual states to decide how to achieve those goals.  But before the rule is finalized, there are months of public comment. People can submit comments in writing, or make public statements at one of the four hearings happening this week. But Bill Bissett of the Kentucky Coal Association says it’s worth it to many to make the trek.

“I think the difference is, you can send a letter, you can send an email, but I think it’s important, one, that the people on the other side of this issue hear what we have to say as people who support coal,” said Bissett.  “But I think also, we need to hear what they have to say. To me, it’s a very democratic principle of this country, to be heard publicly."

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Environment
10:46 am
Mon July 21, 2014

New Carbon Capture System at Kentucky Plant Could Be 'Game-Changer'

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:32 am

Kentucky has long been known for coal. But a new project unveiled today has the potential to let the commonwealth also be known for coal technology.

A bevy of scientists and elected officials are in Harrodsburg this morning to cut the ribbon on a new carbon capture pilot project. The project was developed by scientists at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research, and is being installed at Kentucky Utilities’ E.W. Brown power plant.

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Environment
9:25 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Be Advised: Kentucky's Waterways May Carry E.Coli

Signage warns people not to swim, fish or wade in Beargrass Creek near Beargrass Road and Alta Vista.

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 am

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is warning swimmers and boaters to stay away from several streams and tributaries in Eastern Kentucky.

The waterways are contaminated with E.coli bacteria, which comes from human and animal waste.

The problem is so extensive that the swimming advisories have been expanded to include all of Kentucky’s lakes and rivers after heavy rainfall.

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Politics
9:48 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Does McConnell and Grimes' Focus on Coal Distract From Economic Diversification?

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 7:02 am

 Despite the fact that Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes made clear their unqualified support of Kentucky's coal industry, coal continues to play a role in this year's Senate election.

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Environment
10:26 am
Tue April 15, 2014

What Kentucky's New Law on Carbon Dioxide Emissions Actually Means

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:47 pm

Ignoring words of caution from his own administration, Governor Steve Beshear signed a bill directing the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet to create a Kentucky-specific plan for regulating carbon dioxide emissions into law earlier this month.

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Environment
7:51 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Middle Mississippi River Makes List of 'Most Endangered Rivers' for Flood Control Project

A paddler on the Mississippi River
Ted Heisel American Rivers

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 11:02 pm

The stretch of the Mississippi River that touches Kentucky and Missouri is on one environmental group’s list of the most endangered rivers in the country. American Rivers says the wildlife of the Middle Mississippi River is threatened by a proposed flood control project.

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