Gov. Beshear Says Federal Carbon Emissions Regs May Not Give Enough Flexibility

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says federal proposed regulations on the carbon emissions generated by coal-fired power plants could come at the expense of jobs.

But the concern may be misplaced.

When the EPA announced first-ever regulations limiting the nation’s coal-fired CO2 emissions by 30 percent nationwide, Kentucky politicians were quick to denounce the move.

For his part, Beshear says he’s concerned about the impact on coal jobs, which are at their lowest point in decades.

“We all want a clean environment, and I think we all share that goal,” Beshear says. “It’s a difference in balance and how we phase in those standards and how we can reach them, and at the same time keep coal jobs in the coal fields and keep manufacturing jobs in Kentucky.”

An analysis by Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance division found that the regulations provide plenty of flexibility—and in one scenario, Kentucky could actually increase its emissions by up to 4 percent.

“I am glad that the EPA recognized that states need flexibility,” Beshear says. “We tried to make that point with them over and over again as they developed this rule. What I’m concerned about is they, I’m not sure they’ve given us as much flexibility as we need.”

The EPA has scheduled a series of public hearings on the proposal next month.

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