More Talk of Coal-To-Liquid Fuel Plant In Eastern Kentucky

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Some say a new research facility could turn Pike County into the next Silicon Valley.

That research facility is part of an on-going project, but Tuesday, the director of a regional energy association says Pike County could become the energy capitol of the region.

Southern State Energy Board of Directors say the country has to find a way to be independent of foreign oil and they believe the answer is in eastern Kentucky's mountains.

The research facility is just in the planning stages, but officials say it will be a reality, bringing new technology and high paying jobs here.

Eastern Kentucky leaders say they're tired of seeing others benefit from our region's assets.

“We have for too long, in my opinion, loaded up all of our natural resources on a train or a barge and shipped them out of eastern Kentucky. It's time for us to build the facilities here in eastern Kentucky,” Representative Rocky Adkins said.

Southern State Energy Board of Directors want to build an Energy Research Park to create new products that can reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil.

“We need to take that opportunity and Pike County is an excellent place to do it because of the natural resources,” Ken Nemeth said.

The proposed park will include a coal to liquid fuel plant and other centers to develop and test new products made with coal and natural gas.

Nemeth says they whole country will benefit.

Local leaders believe it will change Eastern Kentucky.

“Silicon Valley and the San Francisco area, think of it in that magnitude of how this could impact,” Pike County Energy Director Roger Ford said.

Organizers say Universities like Kentucky and West Virginia will conduct the research, and the Kentucky Coal Academy will train engineers and other workers.

Organizers say it will keep the regions resources here.

Pike County leaders say already have 900-thousand dollars from state and federal funding to start looking for sites; organizers also say they're planning to build this to be ecologically friendly and not hurt the environment.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Brenda Location: Pikeville on Oct 10, 2007 at 12:43 PM
    How can anyone think this is good news? It isn't. Does anyone remember how good the "cookie" factory was going to be for our region? Ask any worker there how it is. They receive the lowest pay of any of Kellogg's other plants in the U.S. The coal to liquid fuel plant will not be beneficial to the average working man or woman. The destruction to our already raped mountains and dried up streams will be maginified by coal companies blowing them apart to get to the tinest of seams available. Our leaders should be investing this money to bring alternative substainable energy into this region rather than flushing it down the toilet. Which brings up another issue - Where is all the water going to come from for them to process this coal into a liquid? Our rivers and streams are already drying up and we should preserve what we have. Greed in this region has always lead to destruction for the people and land of this area. Think about it!
  • by Bill on Oct 10, 2007 at 05:07 AM
    Not a chance,never wil happen.Just more democrat propaganda.Like every thing else in Eastern Ky.
  • by Eddie Location: Pikeville on Oct 9, 2007 at 05:01 PM
    The new US 119 corridor betwen Pikeville and Belfry would be perfect for this. A lot of land there that could be built up for exactly this kind of project, specifically between Burning Fork and the Kimper exit. Easy access to West Virginia and close to the heart of the coal fields, a short drive from Letcher, Harlan, etc.
  • by nora Location: wolfe county on Oct 9, 2007 at 03:28 PM
    would like to hear more about the coal plant here in eastern Kentucky.This is very good news!


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