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Beshear Meets with President Obama about Energy

By: MacKenzie Bates Email
By: MacKenzie Bates Email

Governor Steve Beshear was in our nation's capitol today along with 11 other governors to speak with president obama about energy.

Officials from Gov. Beshear's office say the meeting with the president was productive.

The president listened to the needs of the state's top officials and provided feedback as to how Washington can help them when it comes to energy.

Beshear says the president listened to all the concerns states have with his energy policy.

A spokesperson says beshear expressed the need to keep the coal industry alive.

“One not only does Kentucky produce a great deal of coal, we also sell a lot of coal to other states and that in turn produces very affordable energy for citizens as well as industrial purposes,” Kerri Richardson says.

The president says china wants to be the leading energy producer and says he will not let jobs leave our country and end up there.

“I’m not going to settle for a situation where the United States comes in second place, or third place, or fourth place in what will be the most important economic engine in the future,” Pres. Obama says.

The so-called "Cap and Trade" legislation was also discussed, which would limit how much carbon dioxide coal fired plants can put in the air.

Richardson says beshear told the president why he's against it.

“States that don't produce coal don't necessarily think that there are any dangers associated with cap and trade and Governor Beshear wanted to make very clear there are some very strong economic reasons to take a careful look at cap and trade,” Richardson says.

Congressman Hal Rogers believes that bill is already dead.

“I really do,” Rogers says. “I know the president talks about reviving it trying to push it though. I don't think the senate is going to deal with it.”

Richardson says the discussion with the president was productive and a step in the right direction.

Beshear warned the president that quick changes in coal regulations would increase energy costs and devastate manufacturing industries in Kentucky

The governor says he complained to the president about delays by federal agencies in deciding whether to approve mining permits in Kentucky.

Beshear says nearly 50 requests for surface mining permits are under review by the environmental protection agency.

He says some of those requests were submitted more than five years ago.

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