Environmental Protection Agency

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."

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says proposed federal regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants provide the state with some “flexibility” in meeting government targets.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced this month that the nation must reduce carbon emissions created by burning coal by 30 percent.

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky introduced legislation that would block pollution regulations on existing coal power plants.

It's dubbed the "Coal Country Protection Action" and would require the U.S. Labor Department to prove that any restrictions by the Environmental Protection Agency will not eliminate jobs, raise utility bills or reduce electricity reliability.

TVA / tva.com

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s CEO says the power giant will study the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new carbon dioxide pollution guidelines to see what impact they will have on its remaining coal-burning power plants.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday about the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for the biggest polluting facilities.

The case focuses on a 3-year-old requirement that companies get permits anytime they construct new plants or modify existing ones that will emit a lot of greenhouse gases.

EPA's supporters and most of its challengers agree this case is narrow in scope; the court's ruling is not expected to threaten EPA's broader strategy to fight global warming.

Arnold Paul, via Wikimedia Commons

Legislation seeking to end what some call strict Environmental Protection Agency regulations on coal-fired power plant emissions has passed the house Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

Kentucky's first district Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield chairs the subcommittee and co-sponsored the bill with Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Erica Peterson, WFPL News

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions—like carbon dioxide –from existing power plants next June. But Kentucky regulators are preemptively trying to influence the agency’s decision-making.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

The Secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said he’s a strong supporter of natural gas development as a source of energy in Kentucky and elsewhere. However, Len Peters said the country will be a lot better off with a blend of options.

“If all we do is move coal-dominated electricity generation to a natural gas electricity generation is not a good way to go," said Peters. "There’s no diversification in that. We have to be able to build coal. We have to be able to build natural gas. Nobody wants to build nuclear these days so we’re moving away from a more balanced set of opportunities.”

Wikimedia Commons

A U.S. District Court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to determine whether to set new limitations on pollution that is fueling dangerous algae growth in many waterways across the nation.

The court’s decision comes after a suit was filed against the EPA by several conservation groups, including the Kentucky Waterways Alliance.

Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

Democratic US Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is attacking the Obama administration for an Environmental Protection Agency ruling that she said will cost coal mining jobs in Kentucky.

Grimes, who’s seeking to replace Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, said she was deeply disappointed by the EPA’s decision to impose stricter limits on carbon pollution from new coal-fired power plants. 

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