WKU Public Radio News Staff
Thu June 5, 2014
McConnell Invites EPA to Visit Eastern Kentucky
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is inviting the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to his home state.
He wants the EPA to hold a hearing in eastern Kentucky to discuss its plan to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
The EPA held 11 listening sessions around the country before issuing proposed regulations this week that call for reducing carbon emissions from power plants by one-third by 2030.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, McConnell chides the agency for turning down his request to hold one of those meetings in Pikeville, the heart of coal country.
Now, the EPA has announced it will hold four additional meetings, and again, Kentucky was not on the list.
"Once again, I was disappointed when neither Pikeville, nor any other location within 5 hours of Eastern Kentucky, appeared on this list," McConnell writes. Sadly, the locations you chose for these hearings are too distant and costly for most Kentuckians to easily attend.”
With the coal industry employing 7,000 Kentuckians and accounting for 90% of the state’s electricity, McConnell renewed his call for the commonwealth to be included on the listening tour.
"As some of the people most affected by this proposed rule, my constituents deserve to be looked in the eye and told how the proposed rule will affect them," he adds.
The EPA's proposal has been blasted among Kentucky Republicans and Democrats, including McConnell's U.S. Senate challenger Allison Lundergan Grimes.