House committee to hear smelter legislation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A legislative panel will consider legislation on Thursday that could allow a couple of western Kentucky aluminum smelters to purchase electricity on the open market.

The House Natural Resources and Environment Committee is expected to vote on the proposal in an 8:30 a.m. EST meeting.

Democratic state Rep. Tommy Thompson of Owensboro sponsored the bill that allows large industrial customers to purchase electricity from any source. That's a change from current law that requires customers to use the electric supplier that serves the area where they're located.

Thompson said he introduced the measure in hopes of helping keep the aluminum smelters, which are huge electrical users, in business. He said the measure could save thousands of jobs.

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