Kentucky governor vetoes bill that would keep coal plants open

By Adam Aton | 04/11/2024 06:54 AM EDT

Republican legislators promised to “swiftly” override the Democrat’s veto, which in Kentucky requires only a majority vote.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) speaks at the Kentucky State Capitol on March 26. Timothy D. Easley/AP

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed a bill this week that would make it harder to retire the state’s fossil fuel power plants, saying it contradicts the state’s “all-of-the-above” energy policy and would hurt the economy.

Republican lawmakers said they intend to override the governor’s veto, which in Kentucky requires only a majority vote.

The legislation, S.B. 349, would create a new 18-member commission to review utility requests to retire any coal-, gas- or oil-fired power plant, or any units within those plants. That commission, called the Energy Planning and Inventory Commission (EPIC), would be separate from the Public Service Commission, which regulates the state’s utilities.


Under the bill, before a utility could ask the PSC to retire a fossil fuel power plant, the utility would have to give 180 days’ notice to EPIC, which would have the power to demand records and data from the utility and hold a field hearing in the county where the plant retirement is proposed.