Regardless of how people view the scientific evidence or political motivations behind it, President Obama’s proposal to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 will negatively impact Kentuckians, perhaps more than any other state in the country. There is no question the impact will be felt drastically and personally by Kentuckians employed in the coal industry – an industry already pummeled in the past few years. However, employees in power-intensive industries like the auto and aluminum industries will also be negatively impacted.
More broadly, all Kentuckians – from small business owners to retirees on fixed incomes – will see a dramatic increase in their electric rates because Kentucky is more dependent on coal for its electricity than virtually any other state. Meanwhile, 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 Kentucky Chamber recognizes that affordable, reliable energy provides a critical operating advantage for Kentucky in an increasingly competitive global economy. We are very concerned that this proposal will do tremendous harm to Kentucky’s economy without significantly changing global carbon emissions. We will continue to monitor the implementation of this and work to advocate and support efforts to mitigate the impact on Kentucky employers and families.