Deciding whether or not Kentucky will create a state plan to comply with federal carbon dioxide regulations will be the biggest energy issue facing the next governor of the commonwealth, Kentucky Energy Secretary Len Peters says.
In an interview with the Kentucky Chamber, Peters noted the resistance of many to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which sets carbon reduction emissions goals for individual states. If the state does not craft its own plan for compliance, guidelines of a blanket federal plan developed by the EPA will have to be followed.
“It’s going to be a tough decision. But I think for the good of the state, we have to move forward and get beyond this and recognize that greenhouse gas, like CO2, are going to be regulated so how do we do it in a mode that is Kentucky friendly,” Peters said.
As the Kentucky Chamber pointed out in the 2015 primary voter’s guide, most candidates in the race stated they did not want to see Kentucky submit a plan to comply with the EPA regulations, including the two party nominees Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway.
Peters noted that a plan is due to the federal government by May-June 2016 and added that the next governor will just be coming out of the 2016 session of the General Assembly when the time will come to make that decision. And Peters said he hopes the decision is to submit a plan for the state to be in control of the regulations.
“There’s a strong urging to just say ‘stop, it isn’t happening and it’s not going to happen.’ But I trust that when a strong reality hits us and we look at where we are at, we are going to say we don’t want a federally imposed plan, we want a state plan,” Peters said. (The Kentucky Chamber will have more of this interview with Secretary Peters on the blog including what a federal plan could look like.)
See the interview below:
Along with a new administration will come a new Kentucky energy secretary. When asked what advice he had for the person who will fill his role next, Peters joked that he wouldn’t give any advice before saying the most important thing in the job is to stay on top of the issues.
“You have to be ready and stay on top of the issues and be first of all thinking about what is best for Kentucky, what’s best for our citizens and if you’re guided that way it will work out very, very well,” Peters said. “But just recognize that the day that you enter is going to be very, very different from the day six months from now when something hits you between the eyes that you didn’t anticipate.”
For more of the Peters’ interview, check back on kychamberblog.com next week.