At the 2018 Kentucky Governor’s Conference on Energy and Environment, Gov. Matt Bevin kicked off with an important message: Kentucky must protect its low-cost energy advantage.
Bevin consistently advocates for Kentucky to be the center of engineering and manufacturing excellence, and in his speech he recognized the role low-cost energy plays in driving the commonwealth toward that goal.
In his remarks, he noted that 40 percent of U.S. aluminum is produced in Kentucky and that the growing demand for lighter weight materials is creating new opportunities for Kentucky. He acknowledged investments made by Kentucky Chamber members Century Aluminum and Nucor, commending their efforts to produce more materials needed for manufacturing.
Bevin also spoke on Kentucky’s proximity to coal, highlighting the significance of the resource’s role in keeping electricity rates affordable in Kentucky. He said he supports the use of all energy sources; however, he explained that Kentucky must promote using resources that provide the greatest return on investment—such as coal.
“If we sit on 100 years’ worth of supply why would we not do everything in our power to subsidize that process,” said Bevin in referring to Kentucky’s coal resource use.
Kentucky Chamber Director of Public Affairs Kate Shanks participated in a legislative panel with Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely, Senator Jared Carpenter, Rep. Jim Gooch, Kentucky Resources Council Tom FitzGerald, and moderator Renee Shaw. Panelists spoke about net metering legislation, the importance of water and wastewater investment, oil and gas modernization legislation, and other important energy matters expected to come before the legislature in 2019.
Shanks noted the Chamber’s continued advocacy efforts for solar net metering legislation that nearly passed in 2018, the need to invest in water and wastewater infrastructure that encourages voluntary consolidation, and the use of public-private partnerships.
Shanks also discussed the Chamber’s membership on and the role of the Kentucky Oil and Gas Workgroup, to advance stakeholder-driven legislative and regulatory solutions.