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-- -- cold dethrone cheap natural gas and environmental regulators creating a perfect storm the coal industry.
And is breaking the back of the Kentucky economy accorded our next guest rocky Atkins.
Is the democratic state representative I'm representing an act and thank you so much for joining us appreciate it.
Melissa thank you I'm honored to be with you sadistic EPA is holding several contentious hearings after -- but 36 permits on hold.
Do you think these hearings will change the mind of the EPA and what's your argument.
Well I hope that the hearings do change -- -- I'm not very optimistic though that it will we had a hearing in Frankfort Kentucky last night.
They'll be another hearing tomorrow night and -- able to Kentucky the heart of coal country.
There was 15100 coal miners who attended the meeting in Frankfurt last night to.
Really talk about the impact of these regulations the impact that it's heaven on jobs.
The impact basically that is have and on the very economy.
Of the coal region of Kentucky where I come from eastern Kentucky but really the impact it's having on the total economy.
Of the commonwealth of Kentucky you know we produce the fourth.
-- -- thought the fourth most low cost energy and American from that.
We've been able to recruit and industrial manufacturing sector we we nuclear state that produces -- third most vehicles.
The Ford Motor plan is here in global a Toyota is and Georgetown Kentucky in the Corvette plant.
It is in Bowling Green, Kentucky were the number one producer of aluminum can America's well and that low cost energy basically has been the backbone of our economy and that low cost energy has come from -- But -- certainly you know it I certainly emphasized empathize with the fact that you're talking about a lot of jobs at a time when it is hard to find jobs.
But you talk about the cost of it in natural gas has just gotten so -- -- -- since we started fracking.
And producing it we have such a glut you know it's been one of the biggest problems in the industry is that it's just too -- -- Michael Morris.
Who is that I frequent -- -- -- on this topic he's the CEO of AEP and he says the math just screams at you.
To go with natural gas over -- will not fight the math of this issue.
Well I think it's easy decided in in the part of the state to back him from I represent the energy hub of Kentucky and I have a coal fired power plant in my district in matter of fact.
Mike -- say EP Kentucky power is the owner of that coal fired power plants.
And right now they are under attack to make a decision -- whether to put -- on that planning continued to burn coal in the heart of coal country.
Or to shut their power plant down and wield power -- from all of the degree of other parts of the country wielding that power in to our customers to use that power.
I don't think there's any way.
That they can produce energy cheaper or at a more low -- for our rate -- -- bringing in power off the market landed off the market willing Indian.
To the eastern Kentucky where we have a coal fired power plant.
Four we have a cold that -- right underneath our feet I believe the best investment Melissa for our people -- -- reckon -- that our plan I am convinced that we can produce energy cheaper summer cold it is right there where that our plan is and produce it -- Than we ever have.
OK I just I'm sorry we had a few technical problems during nine -- a little piece of your answers -- forgive me if you addressed this.
But when we're talking about big CNB.
You know that that coal power plant trying to retrofit it.
In order to burn coal more cleanly and comply with state standards it's gonna cost a billion dollars in order to do that -- -- cost that would be passed along to your rate payers.
So even though I know you're saying that this would save a lot of jobs.
It's gonna cost people who need the energy a lot of money in order to get it done so again I would just say -- I'm -- say it's gonna -- more.
For us to shut down that coal fired power plant not only to the impact on the economy and jobs.
But also with the investment that most -- them over fab -- fifteen Tawny.
Thirty years and now.
We're going to be able to produce energy cheaper from coal over the long term yes agri today they may be able to -- power off the market cheaper but -- -- today -- That is not in the best interest there is no way they can convince me -- combat power cheaper -- for the market.
Will it into the coal regions of Kentucky cheaper than we can produce power from the big sandy power plant with told them the billion dollars yes that's an investment that needs to be made.
On the short term there be an increase -- tell you this.
Bless others on me an increase also to the rate -- by buying power off the market and -- that powering and two Kentucky so I think it's more economically feasible and better for our economy and better for the commonwealth of Kentucky.
To continue to burn coal -- big sandy power plan and -- -- -- this lesson.
I think it is a big.
I think it is a tremendous mistake for Kentucky power to wave the white flag in the -- of coal country and allow the federal EPA did that to declare victory.
In their war -- -- this is where -- There weren't it's not isn't -- aren't ran out of time and I got to cut you -- and I appreciate you can see so many sentences without taking a record that you have so much -- for this topic.
Because I know are trying to defend jobs in your area and I really do appreciate that thanks so much for -- and we appreciate it that.
Thank you Melissa appreciate you.
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