Sides Split Over Energy Incentive Proposal

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - As the Kentucky General Assembly considers tax incentives aimed at luring a coal gassification plant to the state, interest groups are divided over its benefits.

While some view the proposal as a way of advancing clean-coal technology, others believe such a plant is likely to cause damage to Kentucky's environment.

State lawmakers have spent the summer considering a proposal that calls for $300 million in tax breaks aimed at landing a plant in Kentucky. Legislative leaders have said they're aiming for a special session sometime this month to consider the legislation.

But environmentalists and some state officials are split.

Talina Matthews, executive director of the state Office of Energy Policy, said the country's domestic production of natural gas is not keeping up with demand.

"Kentucky has a natural resource, coal, that can be converted into pipeline quality natural gas, and this offers a new market for that resource, and an economic development opportunity for Kentucky's coal-producing regions," Matthews said.

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