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Beyond the Rhetoric: Red States Take Action on Dirty Coal

The EPA’s new carbon regulations, according to Ronald Brownstein, threaten to deepen the “Red-Blue divide” with red states apparently resisting “through every means available.”

According to The New York Times, however “beyond the campaign rhetoric, even here in Kentucky, which ranks No. 1 in the nation in carbon emissions per unit of electricity produced from all sources, others more quietly are saying that doom may not be at hand. In drafting its regulation, the Environmental Protection Agency listened to energy-rich states like Kentucky and offered wide flexibility to meet its requirement … Despite cries of a ‘war on coal’ that echo through mining country in eastern Kentucky, the region is already taking hardheaded steps toward a post-coal economy.”

“John Lyons, Kentucky’s assistant secretary for climate policy, is cautiously optimistic that the carbon limits will not raise electric prices sharply enough to drive out manufacturers, who set up in the state for rates that are among the lowest in the country.”

Representative Harold Rogers, a Republican from eastern Kentucky, “did not minimize the impact of the carbon emissions rule, which he called devastating. But he pointed out that coal jobs had been in decline for decades.”