Governor & Administration Officials Tour State Promoting Plan
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher announced the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s first comprehensive Energy Plan today. The historic plan will address the energy needs of the Commonwealth for well into the 21st century.
“This new energy plan reflects the principles I laid out with the formation of the energy task force: maintain Kentucky’s low cost energy, responsibly develop Kentucky’s energy resources and preserve Kentucky’s commitment to our environment,” stated Governor Fletcher. “As we implement our comprehensive energy plan, which includes greater use of clean coal technology, biofuels and energy efficiency, Kentucky will be well-positioned to continue to lead the nation in affordable energy while we become better stewards of the environment God has given us.”
Commerce Secretary Jim Host and LaJuana Wilcher, Secretary of Environment and Public Protection, co-chairmen of the Commonwealth Energy Policy Task Force, presented the plan to the Governor. The task force formulated the plan after conducting a series of public hearings around the Commonwealth.
After being given details of the plan, representatives from the coal, electrical, and natural-gas industries joined with environmentalists and scholars to thank the Governor and endorse the initiative.
“We commend Governor Fletcher for his attention to energy issues,” said David S. Beck, executive director of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation, “and we encourage the General Assembly to work with the administration in adoption of sound energy policy.”
After receiving the plan, Governor Fletcher will talk about his long-term vision for Kentucky’s natural resources. He then will sign several Executive Orders that will immediately put into effect several key elements of the plan.
“We congratulate Governor Fletcher on what will be a great investment strategy for the state,” said Dr. Wendy Baldwin, executive vice-president for research at the University of Kentucky. “This plan will be a tremendous benefit for everyone, and will send the signal to Washington that our partnership is in place in Kentucky.
“We think the Governor’s vision on energy for the state and for America is a giant step forward for the coal industry,” said Don Bowles, president of the Charolais Coal Company. “Our country is so dependent on foreign energy that this will be a huge plus for everyone.”
Following today’s initial announcement in Frankfort, Governor Fletcher, Secretary Host, and Secretary Wilcher will fly to Hazard, Hopkinsville, and Owensboro to discuss the energy plan initiatives in those areas.
Besides Secretary Host and Secretary Wilcher, the other members of the Commonwealth Energy Policy Task Force were Secretary Gene Strong of the Economic Development Cabinet, Secretary Virginia Fox of the Education Cabinet, Senator Robert Stivers II (R-Manchester), and Representative Tanya Pullin (D-South Shore). But, in a sense, everyone who has a vested interest in Kentucky’s energy resources and natural environment was a de facto member of the Task Force.
***NOTE: Congressman Ed Whitfield will join the Governor at today’s energy event in Hopkinsville***
What they’re saying about Governor Fletcher’s Comprehensive Energy Policy
Melissa M. Howell, Executive Director, Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition
“Governor Fletcher understands that you CAN have it both ways – you can be environmentally responsible while supporting economic development. The Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition has been knocking at the door in Frankfort for many years. Governor Fletcher had the courage to open the door.”
Bob White, President, Kentucky Corn Growers Association
“Governor Fletcher’s energy strategy is turning opportunity into reality for corn producers across the commonwealth. The expanded utilization of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel could not be timelier. Production of these fuels in Kentucky will contribute to an annual clean source of efficient energy and improve local economies by creating jobs and increasing net farm income. The Governor’s energy strategy also will provide consumers with a premium, environmentally responsible oxygenated fuel.”
Robert Addington, DTX Technological
“This will be the catalyst to make the country energy-independent. We have the technology and the resources; all we’ve needed is the will.”
Gerry Hayden, President of the Kentucky Soybean Association
“Provisions in the Governor’s Energy Plan benefit Kentucky soybean farmers by helping increase the demand for soybeants through biodiesel. For every 100 million gallons of demand, the price of a bushel of soybeans is expected to increase by ten cents. Creating a greater demand for biodiesel not only stimulates our economy but also ensures the health of our children.”
Dr. Wendy Baldwin, Executive Vice-President for Research, University of Kentucky
“It is great to see such swift action on an issue of great importance to the state and interest to UK. We have outstanding energy researchers at UK and believe that the steps in this plan will help them excel in obtaining federal funding.
“Congratulations to Governor Fletcher on a great investment strategy for the state. This will be a tremendous benefit and a signal to Washington that our partnership in Kentucky is in place. It’s a win-win-win-win-win.”
David A. Gooch, President, Coal Operators & Associates, Inc.
“I appreciate the fact that the Governor’s Energy Plan is bi-partisan. To me, it’s a big benefit that it’s a long-term, well-researched document. Other energy ‘policies’ in the past got stuck in minutia and didn’t address the big picture.
“The Govenor’s Energy Plan is comprehensive, it addresses the present and the future, and it’s 30 years overdue.”
David S. Beck, Executive Vice-President, Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation
“Kentucky Farm Bureau supports development of a strong, comprehensive energy policty for the state of Kentucky, with an emphasis on maintaining affordable untility rates and the development and utilization of renewable fuels, including biodiesel and ethanol. We commend Governor Fletcher for his attention to energy issues, and we encourage the General Assembly to work with the administration in adoption of sound energy policy.
“Kentucky has historically enjoyed low costs for electrical power and it’s important to our rural communities and farmers that those rates be kept at affordable levels. Farm Bureau would oppose any move to nationalize or regionalize power distribution in such a way that would negatively impact those in-state utility rates.
“Kentucky is recognized as a state rich in natural resources and one which boasts a very productive farming industry. Any statewide energy policy should provide incentives for increased production of corn and soybean-based fuels, and by so doing extend our naturally occurring energy sources and supplement our rich deposits of fossil fuels.”
Don Bowles, President, Charolais Coal
“We think the Governor’s vision on energy for the state and for America is a giant step forward for the coal industry. We’re so dependent on foreign energy that this will be huge.”
Kenny Allen, Peabody Coal Co.
“We’re encouraged to see that the administration realizes the value of the coal industry to Kentucky and the nation. We applaud Governor Fletcher for his leadership in this very important area.”
Hank List, Public Affairs Program Manager, East Kentucky Power Cooperative
“Kentucky has never had a policy like this, and it’s way past due. One of the greatest benefits of this work is that it works with all the efforts that have been ongoing.”
Paul Thompson, Senior Vice-President, LG&E Energy
“Kentucky is in need of a comprehensive coal plan like Governor Fletcher’s. You can’t know where you’re going unless you’ve got a good map and a good navigator. We are appreciative to Governor Fletcher for taking this initiative.”
Roy Palk, President and CEO, East Kentucky Power Cooperative
“East Kentucky Power Cooperative applauds the hard work and leadership of the Commonwealth Energy Policy Task Force in its development of a much-needed state energy policy.
“As a not-for-profit cooperative, based in Kentucky, EKPC has a strong commitment to advanced clean-coal technology, environmental stewardship, and reliable, affordable, electric service for Kentucky families and businesses.
“We support the Fletcher administration’s vision and ongoing efforts to maintain our low-cost electric advantage while preserving our environment, protecting our local communities, expanding economic development opportunities and improving the quality of life for all of Kentucky.”
Dr. Ari Geertsema, Director, UK Center for Applied Energy Research
“As director of the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, I am very pleased that a comprehensive Energy Policy has been drawn up for Kentucky and that it deals with specific Kentucky issues.
“The policy contains the guiding principles for the immediate future, and it is likely to stand the test of time. Our Center applauds this new approach to promote energy development in Kentucky in a coherent and focused way.”