President Obama's "All of the Above" energy plan isn't sitting well with some Kentuckians

By: Jordan Vilines Email
By: Jordan Vilines Email

The coal industry has been the backbone of eastern Kentucky's economy for years but a new proposal could change that.

The Obama Administration's "All of the Above" energy plan excludes coal from the equation.

Many here in the mountains say coal isn't just a way to make a living, it's a way of life.

“With coal not being an energy source, we in Eastern Kentucky and all over Kentucky would be really hard put to survive. It’s such a fundamental part of our economy,” Whitesburg Mayor James Craft said.

The president's latest proposal aims to use energy sources other than coal, which is concerning news for many.

“There are so many people here that wouldn't be able to feed their families, to pay their bills,” Karen Miller said.

The proposal seeks to prevent pollution, but industry leaders say there are worse things.

“It would be disastrous for our entire nation. Coal is the dominant energy source for all the U.S. about 40 percent of our electricity comes from coal,” President Kentucky Coal Association Bill Bissett said.

While some say Kentucky's economy will always depend on coal. Others feel the state can rely on alternative energy resources... when the time is right

“I think it is healthy for the nation but I think the pace we're going at it is just too quick. They don't have enough in place for the people of these areas and if they cut it immediately it’s only going to further impoverish this area,” Richard Vance said.

Kentuckians, committed to their coal, hoping the president finds a way to protect the environment, while protecting the people here in Kentucky.

Coal industry leaders say they expect coal to be a big topic on the campaign trail heading into November.

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