EPA Hearings Draw Diverse Crowd Of Kentucky Advocates

Jul 29, 2014

Kentuckians are among the hundreds of people across the country telling the EPA its new emissions rules go too far or not far enough.

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding hearings starting Tuesday in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh and Washington on President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

Kentucky Coal Association president Bill Bissett says his staff attended the Atlanta hearings and is headed to Washington D.C. Wednesday to give formal comments.

"You saw a lot of folks from different chambers, some labor organizations, some Tea Party activists who are very concerned about the politics of what the president is doing, so it's a very broad consortium of folks," he says.

Bissett plans to stress the negative impact he says the president's plan could have on the reliability on the country's electric power. It's a point he argues has yet surface much during the hearings.

Meanwhile, Kentuckians who back efforts to cut carbon pollution are also out in force. Alex DeSha, an organizer with the Kentucky Sierra Club, helped shuttle about 40 people to Atlanta.

"We had stops in Louisville, Lexington, London, and Berea to pick up folks and we're coming down to join about 750 other like-minded foks here in Atlanta for the hearings and a march and a rally," he told WUKY.

DeSha says his group views the new emissions standards as an opportunity for Kentucky to be innovative and create new sustainable jobs.

The EPA expects 1,600 people to speak in the four cities. The agency also has received more than 300,000 written comments.