Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway passed through Harlan County on Tuesday as part of a two-day tour of eastern Kentucky. Conway is running for governor as the democratic nominee.
Conway had positive news for eastern Kentuckians during his visit to Harlan. He was part of a favorable Supreme Court ruling against the EPA this past Monday.
“I’m the only democratic attorney general in the country who sued the EPA over the new greenhouse gas rules,” said Conway. “This particular agency of the federal government has been regulating and re-regulating and won’t stop, and they’re really having an impact on the economy of eastern Kentucky.”
He said the reason for the ruling was the EPA didn’t do a cost/benefit analysis before implementing the rule, so it was struck down by the Supreme Court. They ruled the EPA had overstepped its bounds. Power plants had already begun the costly process to meet EPA demands by the time the Supreme Court struck down the regulations, so the rule had already caused, as he put it, a “disproportionate impact” on Kentucky’s economy.
Conway thinks the ruling is good for the future, and good for another lawsuit he and other attorney generals have filed against the EPA recently. He says the ruling will limit the EPA, and require it to follow its own rules.
Conway uses the term “disproportionate impact” often. He says the reason Kentucky was competitive economically can be attributed to low electricity prices, and coal keeps these prices low. “Coal has a very big impact on the state, and I want to do everything I can to protect it.”
While being an advocate of coal, Conway makes very clear he doesn’t deny global warming. He simply thinks climate change should be a shared burden of all industries that cause it. He said, “I think we’re bearing an undue burden here.”
Conway’s job plan for eastern Kentucky (if elected governor) involves high-speed Internet, access roadways, and what he called “enterprise zones.” He described these zones as areas within the Appalachian region where you have certain incentives to lure jobs and manufacturing to eastern Kentucky.
“It helps to have Democrats who stand up and say ‘Kentucky first,’” Conway added. “I sued the president, that’s putting people over politics.”
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