The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has come out strongly against new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. In a written statement released Tuesday the Chamber says Kentucky residents may be affected more than any other state in the nation by the new standards which seek to reduce carbon emissions 30 percent by the year 2030.
The Chamber says the new regulations will cost jobs, drive up utility rates for homeowners and eliminate Kentucky’s competitive advantage when it comes to attracting industries with the promise of low energy prices.
“Kentucky's long-standing advantage of offering low electric rates has allowed our state to recruit tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs that now support Kentucky families. Under this energy proposal, that advantage would be wiped off the board and Kentucky would suffer the consequences for generations to come,” the release stated.
The EPA along with the White House and many environmental groups defend the standards, citing carbon’s effect on climate change and respiratory health.
Another change in Kentucky’s financial outlook has the state’s business leaders calling on the General Assembly for immediate pension reforms.
Standard and Poor’s has changed Kentucky’s outlook to negative, citing the state's large unfunded pension obligations as the main reason.
In response, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, as well as 50 other business groups, held a news conference to demand that lawmakers pass the recommendations from last year’s pension task force as they were presented.
Chamber President and former Owensboro mayor David Adkission said the change is the best reason for why reforms need to happen soon.
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the State Department of Education, is promoting dialogue about the future of education in the Commonwealth. The business organization says the goal of creating a more highly-skilled workforce will depend upon the success of new education initiatives in the state.
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is taking a firmer stand on conservative issues. Republican legislators have criticized the chamber in the past for supporting Democratic-led proposals like expanded gambling and a higher dropout age while staying quiet on so-called right to work and prevailing wage laws.