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.
A 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.
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.