Beshear says power plant emissions 'not good for any of us' but wants middle ground on EPA rules

06/12/2014 04:52 PM

Gov. Steve Beshear said he understands power plant emissions are “not good for any of us” but says he’s going to continue to work to keep coal fired power plants open in Kentucky.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to reduce carbon dioxide calls for Kentucky to reduce emissions 18 percent by the year 2030. One of the goals behind the proposed rules is to improve health by reducing respiratory illnesses attributed to pollutants as well as to combat climate change.

“I have seen arguments pros and cons about illnesses that may result in that. But I certainly don’t dispute that CO2 emissions and those kinds of emissions into the atmosphere is not good for any of us. I think everybody agrees we ought to try cut down on that as much as we can,” Beshear said.

“What we’re going to do in working with these regulations is try to strike a balance if we can to meet standards as we go along, but at the same time have the time to develop the kinds of technology that will allow us to continue to burn coal in the future.”

The new carbon emission standard will take one year to finalize. And Kentucky officials have indicated they will participate in listening sessions with the agency.

Beshear met with EPA officials before the ruling came out and asked the agency to allow states the flexibility to reduce carbon dioxide through a variety of methods and offsets, such as reducing electricity demands and reforestation.

The EPA did include a wide range of options for states and will allow Kentucky to draw up its own plan to meet the goals. But Beshear said he’s still concerned with just how flexible the agency will be.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.