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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