4:24 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Report Says Most of the U.S.'s Coal Won't Be Profitable to Mine

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

A new report says the amount of coal that’s economically recoverable in the United States has been vastly overblown. The report’s authors say public data shows that the supply has peaked in most of the country’s coal-producing states, including Kentucky.

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6:33 am
Wed October 30, 2013

What Louisville Neighborhoods Are Affected by Traffic Exhaust? All of Them.

The Glaabs: Geoff, Charlotte, Cailin and Crystal.
Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL News

Louisville has always struggled with air pollution—from industrial parks and from the traffic-clogged highways. But while Metro Government's network of air monitors tests the air around the city, it’s harder to tell what residents are actually exposed to in their homes.

In the Portland neighborhood, I-64 rumbles past rows of shotgun houses, many with siding made grimy by the traffic exhaust. The highway is loud and dirty, but its pollution isn’t the primary concern for many residents.

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8:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Louisville Trucking Company Plans Switch to Natural Gas Vehicles

A Louisville-based trucking company is planning to replace its entire fleet with natural gas-powered vehicles.

M&M Cartage—a trucking company that has most of its fleet in Louisville—has already begun switching its trucks from diesel to compressed natural gas. In four years, the company will have replaced all 120 of its older vehicles with CNG trucks.

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3:09 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

McConnell Urges TVA to Keep Burning Coal at Kentucky Power Plant

The Paradise Fossil Plant
Tennesee Valley Authority

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling on the Tennessee Valley Authority to keep burning coal at a Kentucky power plant.

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11:08 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Louisville Makes Plans for City Trees, Hires Urban Forester

Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL

Louisville’s tree canopy is slowly increasing, due to private and public investment.

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Thursday that waste hauler EcoTech has upped its previous commitment to plant 1,000 trees in Louisville over the next decade.

Now, the company plans to plant 1,500 trees.

Fischer also announced the hiring of an urban forester for Louisville—Erin Thompson. She will  be responsible for creating a city-wide tree canopy assessment, and will also be involved in planting the trees announced Thursday.

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4:42 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Bluegrass Bioneers Returns to Louisville this Weekend


The Bluegrass Bioneers conference returns to Louisville this week. The local version of this national event is meant to emphasis nature as a solution to social and environmental problems.

This is the fifth year Louisville has held a local conference in conjunction with the national Bioneers event. Bluegrass Bioneers marries local talks and workshops with live-streaming of national speakers, as they address the main conference in California.

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7:30 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Two Utilities Announce Move Away from Central Appalachian Coal

Erica Peterson WFPL

Eastern Kentucky’s coalfields are struggling…last year, coal production dropped to the lowest level since 1965, as utilities shift toward natural gas. Now, in the wake of news of mass layoffs in Eastern Kentucky’s coalfields, two of the nation’s larger utility companies are essentially pulling out of the region.

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4:02 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

State Regulators Approve Contract to Bring Biomass Energy to Eastern Kentucky

Woody biomass
David Wright Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky regulators have approved a contract between an Eastern Kentucky utility and a proposed biomass plant, despite concerns from the state Attorney General and a consumer group. The biomass energy will replace a small part of the capacity from the coal-fired Big Sandy power plant, which is scheduled to be shut down by 2016.

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4:04 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Does a Biomass Plant Make Sense for Eastern Kentucky Ratepayers?

David Wright Wikimedia Commons

The Public Service Commission is scheduled to decide this week whether it will let Kentucky Power enter into a contract to buy all of the electricity produced by a proposed biomass plant in Eastern Kentucky. But the proposal is meeting opposition from groups who say the company doesn’t actually need the electricity to meet demand and the plan would unnecessarily raise rates.

The PSC is tasked with making decisions on the basis of whether both the proposal and possible rate increases are “fair, just and reasonable.” Utilities have to propose options that are reliable and the least-cost option. More than 90 percent of Kentucky’s electricity still comes from coal—though the share of power from natural gas is slowly growing—partly because for years, that’s been the lowest cost option for utilities.

But a bill passed during last year’s General Assembly directs the commissioners to give additional weight to biomass projects. They still have to determine whether the proposal is “fair, just and reasonable,” but applies a standard to biomass that’s different from the standard that’s applied to other types of energy.

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4:03 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Kentucky Regulators OK Plan to Use West Virginia Electricity to Replace Big Sandy Plant

By Flickr user CM195902:

Kentucky Power will be able to buy a half-interest in a power plant in West Virginia to replace the Big Sandy Power Plant in Lawrence County.

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