FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 22, 2015) – State officials will hold three public meeting in July to give state residents an opportunity to comment on oil and gas development across the commonwealth. Although coal mining operations have declined the past few years, especially in Appalachia, Kentucky is very actively participating in the U.S. oil and gas production resurgence that is shouldering coal aside.
The remarks made at the meetings will be videotaped and used in a report to be given to the state government oil and gas workgroup, made up of environmental interests, industry representatives and regulators, that began meeting in 2014 to update and modernize Kentucky’s statutes and regulations regarding all areas of oil and gas exploration, including fracking. The report will also be made available to members of the Kentucky General Assembly and the Governor’s Office for possible further action.
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and its agencies have set dates and locations for public meetings so interested parties can submit comments at meetings that will take place in Madisonville, Somerset and Hazard.
“It is important that the public, including environmental groups, the oil and gas industry and landowners be given the chance to express their opinions on how Kentucky moves forward with the regulation of this industry,” said EEC Secretary Len Peters. “We understand this is a very high-profile issue and hearing all sides presented will be beneficial to everyone involved.”
The listening sessions will be held on the following dates and times. All times are local:
• July 7: Madisonville Community College’s North Campus, 2000 College Drive, Madisonville. The meeting will be held in the Quad Room in the Brown Badgett Sr. Energy and Advanced Technology Center. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. local time.
• July 23: The Center for Rural Development, 2292 South Highway 27, Somerset. The meeting will be held in the auditorium. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. local time.
• July 30: Hazard Community & Technical College, One Community College Drive, Hazard. The meeting will be held in Room 208 of the Jolly Center, located in the JCC Building. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. local time.
“These are not designed as debates, but rather as listening sessions that will allow for brief
spoken comments, as well as the submittal of written comments,” Peters said.
The report will help further the work of the oil and gas workgroup, according to Department for Natural Resources Commissioner Steve Hohmann, who chairs the workgroup.
“The input from the general public is extremely valuable as this group moves forward. We want to be certain future legislation addressing oil and gas development, especially fracking, takes into account all points of view,” Hohmann said.
Anyone who cannot attend the meetings in person, but wishes to submit written comments may do so by July 31. Those written comments can be emailed to [email protected] between July 7 and July 31.