FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on Kentucky’s efforts to lift its decades-long moratorium on nuclear power (all times local):
Kentucky’s Republican governor says he will not veto a bill that would lift the state’s decades-old ban on nuclear power.
Matt Bevin told WKRC radio in Cincinnati he supports the proposal because it “opens possibilities to us.” He said he does not think nuclear power would replace coal as the state’s dominant source of energy.
Just three years ago, coal-fired power plants provided 93 percent of the state’s electricity. Today, that has fallen to 83 percent, according to the Kentucky Coal Association. Older plants are being shut down and replaced by natural gas.
Bevin says he knows of no plans to build a nuclear power plant in Kentucky, adding “it is hard to predict the future.”
Kentucky appears to be hedging its bets on a comeback for coal.
The Republican-controlled state legislature is on the cusp of lifting its decades-long moratorium on nuclear energy, a move unthinkable just three years ago in a state that has been culturally and economically dominated by coal. Politicians from both parties have promised for years to revive the struggling industry, with Trump famously billing himself as “the last shot for miners.” But as the coal industry continues its slide, even Republican lawmakers are acknowledging a need for alternatives.
A bill that would lift the moratorium has passed the state Senate and is awaiting a vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the waning days of the legislative session.