Land owners and environmentalists are gathering in Frankfort Wednesday to protest a proposed pipeline that would carry flammable liquids through several counties in northern Kentucky. A partnership of two energy companies announced a plan earlier this year to build the underground pipeline.
The Bluegrass Pipeline would carry natural gas liquids from sources in the northeast to a connection in Breckinridge County. A proposed route for the pipeline would also go through other counties in our listening area, including Hardin, Nelson, Meade, and Larue.
Environmental groups, including Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, are planning to take a petition to Gov. Steve Beshear's office Wednesday afternoon. In a statement, the groups say they are concerned the pipeline project will use eminent domain laws to cut a pathway through privately owned lands.
Several landowners have voiced opposition to the project, and local governments in Franklin, Scott and Marion counties have passed resolutions opposing the pipeline.
The wife of Tennessee’s Senate Minority Leader says she is considering a run for governor next year.
Sara Kyle, wife of Memphis Senator Jim Kyle, told The Tennessean she wants to help Democrats in the Volunteer State “move forward.” Sara Kyle resigned from the Tennessee Regulatory Authority in March after serving as director for 19 years.
Kyle says she doesn’t have a set timeframe on deciding whether or not to run for governor in 2014. With primaries still one year away, Democrats are seeking out potential challengers to Republican Governor Bill Haslam. Two Democratic state lawmakers—House Leader Craig Fitzhugh and Senator Lowe Finney—have taken their names out of consideration.
Kyle is the last woman to win a statewide office in Tennessee. In 1994, she won a spot on the three-person Public Service Commission, which later became the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.
She’s also the most recent Democrat to win statewide office in Tennessee, along with former Governor Phil Bredesen.
General Motors says it is investing $350 million and will create and retain at least 1,800 jobs at its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
While the automaker isn’t saying what new vehicles will be made at the plant, GM announced Tuesday that it will add two midsize vehicle programs to the facility, making good on a promise to the United Auto Workers union during negotiations in 2011.
The Tennessean reports that some analysts have suggested the vehicles might be the Cadillac SRX, which is currently made in Mexico, and the Buick Anthem, which GM has in development. The Spring Hill plant served as the headquarters and main assembly facility for GM’s now-defunct Saturn brand before production was halted in 2009.
The UAW says the jobs generated by the new auto production will be filled mainly by local hires, as opposed to the union’s normal practice of transferring displaced workers from other areas.
The news comes on the heels of a recent report showing Tennessee is, for a fourth consecutive year, ranked No. 1 in automotive manufacturing strength in the nation.
Political observers are keeping a close eye on Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor this week. Jerry Abramson has said he would announce whether or not he plans to run for governor shortly after the Fancy Farm political picnic.
Abramson is addressing the Elizabethtown Rotary Club Tuesday, and every public event he makes this week will likely draw extra attention.
Abramson has made no secret of the fact that he’s been considering a run for the governor’s mansion in 2015. His boss, Governor Steve Beshear will be finishing up his second term and by law has to step aside.
Abramson, a former Louisville mayor, has been often mentioned as a potential Democratic candidate for governor, along with Attorney General Jack Conway, Auditor Adam Edelen, and former auditor Crit Luallen.
Abramson’s Tuesday speech to the Elizabethtown Rotary Club begins at noon eastern time at Stone Hearth Restaurant.
The Speaker of the Kentucky House and a bipartisan group of 50 House members have penned a letter to President Obama, expressing their concern over what they call the administration’s “unfair attack on coal.”
The letter—written by House Speaker Greg Stumbo—says the lawmakers are concerned about the President’s recent speeches about further limits to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. The letter says coal in Kentucky “is a way of life”, and that coal had a $10 billion economic impact in the state in 2010.
The lawmakers write that “promising initiatives that should satisfy both sides of the climate debate are essentially left in the research lab, while the environmental impact of other major energy sources is minimized by comparison.”
Environmental advocates, on the other hand, want the President to take a tougher stance on coal, and hope the E.P.A will soon enforce tough new carbon pollution limits on coal plants.
The pro-coal letter was signed by 50 Kentucky House members, including Owensboro Democrats Tommy Thompson and Jim Glenn, Butler County Republican C.B. Embry, and Bowling Green Republican Jim DeCesare.
The Kentucky Department of Highways says the crash scene on the Cumberland Parkway has been cleared, and that all lanes have been reopened.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet sent us the following Friday morning:
A two vehicle (fatality) crash in the Westbound lanes of the Cumberland (Nunn) Parkway near MP 33 (approximately 5 miles East of the US 68/Edmonton interchange) has closed the road in that direction. The duration of the closure is likely 2 plus hours. A detour has been setup for Eastbound traffic to exit the Parkway at KY 61 (Columbia) to KY 80 and reenter the Parkway at Edmonton on US 68/80. Also, traffic the queue is being passed through the crash location utilizing one Eastbound lane. This will be discontinued after the queue has been emptied.
Motorists are advised to use caution in this area of Metcalfe and Adair Counties.
A political action committee supporting Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator has raised $1.2 million since its creation in April.
Major donors to the pro-Mitch McConnell Super PAC called Kentuckians for Strong Leadership include Donald Trump, who has given $50,000, and deceased mega-donor Bob Perry, who gave $100,000. The information was found in the PAC’s most recent filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Perry’s donation is listed as having been made June 3, which is almost two months after he died. The PAC’s treasurer told the website Politico that the wrong date was recorded due to a clerical error in the filings.
Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has so far spent nearly $400,000 in media ads supporting McConnell’s 2014 re-election campaign.
If you've been on I-65 in south-central Kentucky in recent years, you know the road has been undergoing a major facelift. A lawmaker from the region says he and his colleagues are continuing to look at ways to speed up the ongoing interstate lane widening.
Representative Michael Meredith of Brownsville tells WKU Public Radio that many legislators from the region remain interested in a possible public-private partnership that could drastically cut down on what they fear will be a 20-year project.
Meredith said while the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has expressed concerns over such a partnership, the state's Legislative Research Commission believes such a union is legal.
"There have been some offers made by some contractors to partially finance that project," said the Edmonson County Republican. "And as lawmakers in this region, we're especially open to those ideas. And there's some money still set aside in the budget to study some of those issues and see if there's a possibility of moving it along a little faster than what it is now."
Governor Steve Beshear’s son is working on behalf of the developers behind the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline. The project would carry natural gas liquids through Kentucky and down to the Gulf Coast region.
The State Journal in Frankfort reports that attorney Andrew Beshear works for a law firm that has performed services for a subsidiary of Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, one of the two companies developing the Bluegrass Pipeline. The younger Beshear told the paper his firm was hired through a long-time client and that services are provided by more than a dozen attorneys.
The news comes as critics of the pipeline have been asking Governor Beshear to consider adding the issue to the agenda of a special legislative session coming up later this month—something Beshear says is unnecessary.
A spokesman for the Bluegrass Pipeline project says Andrew Beshear was not hired because of his relationship to the governor.
The pipeline would cut through northern Kentucky and into Hardin, Larue, Meade, Nelson, and Breckinridge counties.