What's next for Eastern Kentucky? Energy secretary says bio fuel, mini nuclear plants possible

03/20/2013 10:35 AM

If Eastern Kentucky is seeing a permanent decline in coal , the region could turn to other energy sources to create jobs and industries — and to diversify the nation’s power portfolio, Kentucky’s energy cabinet secretary said.

Len Peters, the secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, told Pure Politics the technology for smaller nuclear reactors means that Eastern Kentucky could become a source of a different kind of power. He discussed what he sees as the opportunity — and the chief challenge — for a resurgence of nuclear power from 6:45 to the end of the 7:50 interview below.

“There are counties in Eastern Kentucky where there are really primarily two industries: coal and the school system,” Peters said (0:30). “So when coal goes away, it is a primary employer.”

Find out what he says about where Eastern Kentucky can fit in the national energy picture beyond coal (1:30 – 3:30) and how changes in the energy industry could affect electricity prices in Kentucky and, thus, high-use electric industries that have settled in Kentucky (4:30).

“We look very, very carefully at what alternatives there are” for electricity generation, Peters said.

“If we are not going to permit a coal burning power plant, I think we’re going to begin to restrict our options … If we start narrowing those down, as a nation that’s not good, as a state that’s not good,” Peters said.


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