Watkins' Nuclear Bill Facing Coal Opposition

Feb 17, 2014

Credit http://www.lrc.ky.gov

Representative Gerald Watkins of Paducah is pushing his bill through the house to lift the moratorium on nuclear power in Kentucky.

Watkins’ bill is a companion to Senator Bob Leeper’s bill that passed the senate in early February. Watkins is meeting with the state energy secretary Tuesday to get traction on the bill.

He says some of his chief opponents are supporters of the coal industry.

“So we’re trying to right in an amendment that would make the bill acceptable to the coal industry, and help their industry grow rather than continue to shrink," he said.

"And if we can demonstrate that then I feel like they will be on board and support the bill. They’re support is critical and once we get that support I believe the bill will move forward.”

The bill would lift requirements for nuclear power plants to have plan for permanent disposal of radioactive waste and instead require plants to have a storage plan.  The bill is awaiting a house committee hearing.