Curtis feels state should submit compliance plan for EPA rule regulating carbon emissions

Independent governor’s race candidate Drew Curtis believes Kentucky should submit a state compliance plan under the Clean Power Plan, a rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that Curtis says he supports.

In a recent statement, Curtis said he has come to the conclusion that the state should submit a plan so that the state is not subject to a blanket federal rule. (Read more about state compliance plans and what a federal plan could include in the Chamber’s interview with Kentucky Energy Secretary Len Peters here.)

“As governor I’d prefer to retain control of this program, so we must provide a plan to the EPA for Kentucky to implement the Clean Power Plan,” Curtis said in the statement.

Curtis expressed similar sentiments in a sit down interview with the Kentucky Chamber when asked about his support for the Clean Power Plan and what steps the state should take moving forward.

In the interview, Curtis said he believes the state can hit the benchmarks set in the rule for reduction of carbon emissions because of the changes in technology and other factors that don’t have to do with the coal industry (discussion at 2:00).

“I am willing to work with the coal companies on this, however. But to me, the problem you’ve got is there is a war on coal, they’re not wrong about that, and you have people who are environmentalists who are unwilling to budge on any position that isn’t end all coal. I am not in that position,” Curtis said. “But you have coal companies that don’t want to be regulated at all and I am not of that position either. We’ve got to come to some sort of middle ground.”

Watch the full interview segment below:

Curtis is the only candidate in the 2015 governor’s race who is in favor of submitting a compliance plan. He is also the only one to express support for the EPA rule.

More from Curtis’ statement to see what specifics could go into a compliance plan:

“As far as specifics go, we have significant gains that could be made in energy efficiency compared to other states. Since these changes would count toward a state plan, I think we should start here. Kentucky also has some of the least energy-efficient housing. The good news here again is that there is plenty of room for improvement.

Diversification of energy production is a significant issue. 92 percent of Kentucky’s energy comes from coal. We have a series of abandoned locks and dams on our rivers that could potentially be retrofitted for hydroelectric generation. There is a state law that limits the amount of power that can be pushed back on the grid from solar production, so we should look at either raising the cap or removing it.”

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Jacqueline Pitts
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