As unelected bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency continue to threaten the economic vitality of Kentucky’s energy sector, an op-ed in today’s Herald-Leader questions the Lexington newspaper for its refusal to defend Kentucky coal, the Bluegrass State’s most prized natural resource.
The decidedly anti-coal sentiment found in many media outlets nowadays is being questioned by many denizens of the Bluegrass State. Thanks to Kentucky coal, the Bluegrass State enjoys some of the lowest electricity rates in the nation, a circumstance that attracts business from industries such as steel, aluminum, and automotive – job creation at its best.
As author of the op-ed, Bill Bissett, put it, “[T]he editorial pages remain out of step with the vast majority of Kentuckians who believe in the importance of our coal industry, especially within our two coalfields.”
Bissett also called out the Herald-Leader for its “carrot and stick” strategy to both bash and commend House Speaker Greg Stumbo. The paper bashes Stumbo for defending Kentucky coal while – at the same time – praising him for his efforts to use funds raised by the Kentucky coal severance tax to fund new educational opportunities for Kentucky’s underprivileged:
“So, if I am to interpret the editorial board’s position correctly, it wants Eastern Kentuckians to have coal severance tax dollars for education, but the board is not in favor of the mining of coal to generate those severance tax dollars.”
The Herald-Leader may forget that it’s a lot easier for the Kentucky legislature to spend money than make money, but saving money and creating jobs for Kentuckians is what local governance of Kentucky’s energy sector does best – and that’s why many are calling for a “a more balanced perspective on coal.”