An article, “Climate-denying House committee chair wants Kentucky to be a fossil fuel sanctuary state,” posted by Louisville Public Media on March 21 touched on two topics. 

One was misleading criticism of Senate Bill 349.  This bill is based on warnings by energy experts that the nation’s electricity system, or grid, is changing too fast and thus increasing the risk of electricity shortages. One member of the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission which oversees the nation’s grid warned that the country is facing an “electricity crisis” unless things change quickly.

Electricity production in Kentucky has continued to shift away from our most reliable sources of electricity, and that shift has largely happened without enough thought given to what that might do to the reliability of Kentucky’s own grid.  SB 349 will help our state’s utilities and the Public Service Commission (PSC) make better decisions on behalf of Kentucky ratepayers by establishing an energy planning commission whose members would be made up of a diverse group of stakeholders and experts appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. The new commission is tasked with developing information, analysis, and recommendations about such issues as the adequacy of Kentucky’s electricity supply, future electricity demand, new and emerging technologies, and the consequences of retiring existing sources of electricity.  Ultimately, SB 349 will help protect Kentucky’s electricity supply.

The posting also criticized House Joint Resolution 121 which was introduced by Representative Jim Gooch who chairs the House Natural Resources & Energy Committee.  Resolutions like this one often express opposition to certain policies.  This particular resolution expresses opposition to overreaching regulations issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Opposing EPA overreach is not a bad or revolutionary idea.  For example, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Obama administration’s so-called “Clean Power Plan” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because its overreach would have taken control away from state officials and given it to EPA bureaucrats.  Twenty-five (25) states, including Kentucky, sued successfully to overturn the Obama regulation.  More recently, federal courts have temporarily stopped EPA from enforcing another bad rule, the so-called “Good Neighbor Plan,” in a dozen states because of the rule’s overreach.  Kentucky is one of those states.  Kentucky and other states should not have to acquiesce to bad EPA rules.  That’s what Joint Resolution 121 really says. 

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