Conway Fights For Big Coal, Not Kentuckians
The EPA recently announced the Clean Power Plan, which entails stricter emissions standards for states, and the Power+ Plan, which promises $1 billion in federal money to help coal country towns get back on their feet.
I support both these plans wholeheartedly. They’re good for Kentucky communities, good for the economy, and good for the environment.
The Clean Power Plan is no problem because state coal companies are already making upgrades to lower the amount of pollution they produce. Factor in technology improvements and Kentucky will easily hit the requested target of 40 percent reduction by 2030.
And rural Kentucky counties overwhelmingly support the Power+ Plan because they know they need the money to improve infrastructure and bring new jobs.
So why does Jack Conway oppose these commonsense measures?
The answer is simple: Because he (and Matt Bevin) care more about Big Coal campaign money than helping Kentuckians. Not only did they both go to a secret coal debate in June, but now they’re going back for Round Two.
Worse still, Conway is so desperate to prove to voters that he’s not a liberal that he’s wasting taxpayer money suing the EPA over this. It’s outrageous that Conway is using his authority as the Attorney General to further his campaign goals at the expense of everyday Kentuckians. He is fighting to allow coal companies--who have carted profits out of Kentucky for decades and laid off half their workers in the past few years--to have the right to put more mercury in the environment for free.
Look, I’m agnostic toward coal. It’s an industry like any other, and if it’s helping Kentuckians, great. But it isn’t, and we need to look to the future. Coal companies can actually help with that.
Coal companies know their industry is in decline and that it's primarily due to market forces such as cheaper natural gas. As Governor, I'll support the efforts of any coal company that wants to transition out of coal. For example, those coal companies with capital reserves could transition into running technology venture capital funds based in Eastern Kentucky. I know companies in Silicon Valley that would love to help with this. And who better to evaluate local ideas and skill sets than companies that have been in the region for years?
We need to start finding new solutions and stop fighting the same old wars over the same old issues. Let's choose a different path, and build a future for Kentucky in the process.