Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson says it’s necessary to balance energy production with environmental stewardship. Abramson delivered the keynote address today during the Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment.

During his talk, Abramson touted Governor Steve Beshear’s energy plan, which calls for a quarter of Kentucky’s energy to come from renewable energy and efficiency measures by 2025.

But Abramson also reminded conference-goers that there’s often a lot about energy that’s unpredictable. He says four years ago, the techniques used today to drill for natural gas in shale rock were called ‘unconventional.’

“The unconventional is now being called the conventional,” he said. “Utilities in other states that had been primary customers of Kentucky’s coal, especially from eastern Kentucky, they have made or are making a switch in many places around this country to natural gas.”

This switch from coal to natural gas could result in Kentucky becoming a net importer of energy, according to predictions from the Kentucky Department of Energy. Abramson discussed the need to diversify Kentucky’s energy portfolio; currently 92 percent of the state’s energy comes from coal. He spoke briefly about research underway in biomass, energy efficiency, and solar power.