Opponents of Kentucky Senate Bill 349, which would create a commission charged with providing information to guide our state’s energy future, argue that the bill would increase red tape in determining electricity policy. In reality, it would be a rare and important instance of good government winning over big government and empower Kentucky to correct heavy-handed federal policymaking that has pushed the Commonwealth to the brink of an electricity crisis.

For years, regulators in Washington, D.C. have imposed top-down, one-size-fits-all policies on states like Kentucky, leaving residents powerless to determine their own electricity future. This has resulted in significant inefficiencies and risks, especially regarding the affordability and reliability of electricity. For example, federal policies have forced many dependable, baseload power plants to shut down, even without adequate replacements in place and despite the cost to consumers. Consequently, overall power generation is declining even as demand for electricity is growing.

This reckless approach to the energy transition might be tolerable for some states like California, but it is fundamentally incompatible with Kentucky’s economy and electricity supply, both of which depend on affordable and abundant natural resources that the Biden Administration aims to eliminate. However, until now Kentucky has had little ability to stand up for itself. Local electric utilities and grid operators are unable to protect the communities they serve from the actions of unchecked federal regulators. Everyday Kentuckians, in turn, are paying the price in the form of more expensive power bills and greater risk of blackouts.

SB 349 would shift the balance of power back to Kentuckians by empowering a diverse group of local stakeholders to help shape our energy future. The members of this commission – including energy experts, consumer advocates, and representatives of all electricity sources from wind and solar to coal and natural gas – will invariably disagree at times. However, all will share a fundamental interest in the wellbeing of Kentucky families and businesses. This is precisely what is missing in Washington, and what we need to get electricity policy right.

Preserving small government doesn’t mean ceding decision-making to Washington bureaucrats and political appointees. Given the current state of our electric grid and the severe harm that would come from continuing to let coastal elites decide Kentucky’s energy future, SB 349 is as good a solution to returning power to Kentuckians as has been proposed. It would be foolish to dismiss it over misplaced concerns about the size and role of government when the alternative is to forfeit control to people who have no interest in prioritizing Kentucky.

About Us:
Dependable Power First Kentucky is a growing and diverse coalition of businesses, associations, and advocacy groups committed to securing a reliable and affordable energy future for all Kentuckians.

For more information, please visit https://www.dependablepowerky.com/.

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