Local News
3:13 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Gov. Beshear Got Hefty Donations From Power Plant Proponents

Information continues to surface about a proposed biomass-burning, electricity-generating plant in eastern Kentucky, and the company trying to build it.     

Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal’s Frankfort bureau chief, reported Thursday on his politics blog that people associated with ecoPower Generation – Hazard – LLC were “early and huge” contributors to Gov. Steve Beshear’s political committees during his re-election cycle.

According to Loftus’ campaign-contributor database, ecoPower-related contributions to Beshear’s political causes in 2009-2011 totaled at least $145,000.

recent investigation by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting into the ecoPower project found that ecoPower got a big boost from legislation championed by state Sen. Brandon Smith of Hazard. Smith later received $6,500 in campaign contributions from people associated with the company, KyCIR found. You can read all of our reports on the KyCIR Projects page.

Also this week, we reported on a Partnership for Policy Integrity report that was critical of biomass burning in general and the ecoPower project in particular.

The Biomass Power Association, an industry group, quickly fired back with a release criticizing what it characterized as PFPI’s “inaccurate report.” The association’s response did not specifically mention the ecoPower plant.