Environment

Environment
10:27 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Beshear Says He Still Believes Bluegrass Pipeline Issues Can Wait Until January

Williams

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he hasn’t made up his mind about whether a proposed natural gas liquids pipeline would benefit Kentucky.

If it’s built, the Bluegrass Pipeline would carry natural gas liquids—like butane and ethane—from drilling operations in the Northeast to processing plants on the Gulf of Mexico. Representatives from pipeline company Williams have been surveying in the state for the past several months, but the pipeline has met opposition from groups and citizens who say current regulations aren’t adequate.  

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Environment
10:46 am
Fri September 20, 2013

EPA Releases Proposed Carbon Limits for New Power Plants; Says Won't End Coal Burning

Erica Peterson WFPL

The Environmental Protection Agency has unveiled its rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants.

The proposed standard sets an emissions limit of 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour for large natural gas plants, and 1100 pounds per megawatt hour for coal and smaller natural gas plants.

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Environment
5:04 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

McConnell Introduces Bill to Block Carbon Standards for Power Plants

Erica Peterson WFPL

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has introduced a bill to block the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing new carbon emissions standards for power plants.

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Environment
4:12 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Kentucky Has 'Obligation' to Address Climate Change, Beshear Says

Kentucky Governor's Office

On a day when Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates are taking turns urging restraint on climate change and touting coal, Gov. Steve Beshear took a more middle-of-the-road approach. The governor said Tuesday that he believes the commonwealth has an obligation to address climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, but he believes it can be done in a way that doesn’t omit coal entirely.

In his address to the 37th Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment, Beshear echoed a majority of scientists, saying climate change is both happening and influenced by human activity. And in light of that, Kentucky will have to adjust, and work with federal regulators.

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Environment
12:15 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

James River Shuts Down Coal Operations in Kentucky; 525 Employees Laid Off

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

RICHMOND, Va. — James River Coal Co. is laying off 525 full-time employees and shutting down production at several mines in eastern Kentucky due to continued weak coal markets.

The Richmond-based company said Monday night the layoffs occurred at operations at the McCoy Elkhorn complex in Pike and Floyd counties, the Bledsoe complex in Leslie and Harlan counties, and the Long Branch Surface mine in London, Ky.

James River says the restart of the operations is subject to market conditions.

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Environment
8:30 am
Tue September 17, 2013

What Does the Future Look Like for Coal Exports From Kentucky?

Credit Harry Schaefer / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

As U.S. consumption of coal declines, it’s led to economic problems in some of the country’s coalfields—most notably, Appalachia. For the past few years, the buzzword from the coal industry has been “exports:" relying on a rising demand for coal in countries like China and India to help cushion the blow to the region’s economy.

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Environment
5:40 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Louisville Could Benefit From a Tree Ordinance, Expert Says

Census Data Wikimedia Commons

Louisville’s tree canopy has been reduced in recent years by invasive pests and storms. Several steps have been taken to begin looking at the issue, but the city still lacks a comprehensive tree ordinance.

Enter Ed Macie. He’s a regional urban forester with the U.S. Forest Service who’s been helping cities craft tree ordinances for decades. And he’ll be in Louisville today and tomorrow to discuss the benefits of such an ordinance.

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Environment
3:54 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Kentucky Legislator Pre-Files Bill to Address Eminent Domain for Bluegrass Pipeline

Opponents of the Bluegrass Pipeline demonstrated in Frankfort earlier this summer.
Erica Peterson WFPL

A Western Kentucky lawmaker has pre-filed a bill to clarify Kentucky's eminent domain law. The topic has been the subject of much speculation over the past few months, as a company seeks to build a natural gas liquids pipeline across Kentucky. The developers of the Bluegrass Pipeline say they believe they have the right of eminent domain under Kentucky law, but numerous others including the legal counsel of the Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Kentucky Attorney General disagree.

The bill was filed by Representative John Tilley of Hopkinsville.

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Environment
3:23 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

More Bad News for Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District

Last month, a Kentucky Division for Air Quality audit found that years of Louisville’s particulate pollution monitoring data was flawed. Now, that finding has been confirmed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

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Environment
6:51 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Kentucky Forestry Officials Plan to Meet on Growing Emerald Ash Borer Issue

Emerald Ash Borer
Credit Creative Commons

An ongoing insect infestation is causing both safety and aesthetic concerns at a well-known Kentucky state park.

The emerald ash borer, which is native to Asia but new to North America, was first seen in Kentucky just four years ago. Since, then it’s done serious damage to trees in 24 counties. State officials are especially worried about its impact on General Butler State Park near Carrolton.

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