Environmental advocates breathing easier as energy secretary plans to fund quality commission

05/06/2014 10:02 AM

Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Len Peters says he’s “pretty confident” he will be able to find the funds within the cabinet’s budget to fund a citizen based environmental commission.

When Gov. Steve Beshear signed the $20 billion two-year spending plan, he effectively signed over the future of the 42-year old Environmental Quality Commission to Energy Secretary Len Peters. The General Assembly didn’t include a line item for the commission and, instead, lumped it into the overall budget for the Energy and Environment Cabinet.

When Secretary Peters was in studio last week he “thinks we have found some funds” within the Cabinet to keep the commission running.

The commission is a seven member advisory board which Peters described as a “bellwether for what citizens are thinking about.”

Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council, said the commission has been an “important part of the regulatory function of state government.”

“Over the years, the Environmental Quality Commission has performed an invaluable service to Kentuckians,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald added that he was “pleased” to hear Peters recognized the importance of the commission with the decision to continue funding the agency.

((Watch the interview to see what Peters has to say about U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie’s off-grid living style.))

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