A proposal to make the private University of Pikeville a public institution has hit a roadblock in the Kentucky legislature. House Speaker Greg Stumbo conceded Thursday he doesn't think lawmakers will accept a proposal to use millions of dollars from a tax on coal mined in the region to turn the private University of Pikeville into a public school. What started as a seemingly unlikely proposal had gathered momentum early in the legislative session. But that momentum waned in recent weeks, after local officials and public university leaders objected. Former Gov.
Environmental activists are urging state lawmakers to stop supporting mountaintop removal coal mining and throw their weight behind renewable energy legislation. Today is I Love Mountains Day at the state capitol, and more than one thousand are expected to attend a rally. They’re supporting the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, which would mandate a certain percentage of energy in Kentucky come from renewable or efficient sources. Recent studies have linked mountaintop removal to birth defects, cancer and other diseases.
In his inauguration speech, Gov. Steve Beshear spoke about education and the importance of building a generation that can lead Kentucky in the future. But it was a far cry from the pro-coal rhetoric that dominated some of his speeches earlier this year. Beshear’s avoidance of the issue didn’t surprise many observers, who know where the governor stands on coal.