Preserving natural resources and energy in the commonwealth


Managing our natural resources and energy sources effectively requires balance. We must be able to provide for our state’s energy needs, while ensuring that we take necessary steps to preserve resources and the environment for future generations. Providing for our state also means choosing proven, affordable, and accessible fuel options while making room for innovation and invention. The legislature has a record of doing so, but times are more challenging as the federal government pushes experimental requirements that lead to higher costs and harder times.

I was saddened to learn that the Governor vetoed HB 581 and SB 198, two pieces of legislation that provided a balanced approach to ensuring Kentuckians can still have access to affordable energy and protecting the environment. The first, HB 581, would ensure a level playing field for customers of conventional gas stations. HB 198 would address nuclear energy issues. When we return to Frankfort after the veto recess on April 12, we will have the opportunity to take votes to override the Governor’s vetoes.

In this week’s legislative update, I would like to share about the legislation we passed to manage energy effectively:

Ensuring Consistency on Refueling Services: HB 581 would prevent city, county, and other local governments from adopting ordinances that would prohibit gas stations from locating in certain areas or treat electric vehicle charging stations differently from gas stations. The main purpose of the bill is to prevent local governments from favoring electric vehicles over traditional gas-powered vehicles. It is unfortunate that the Governor chose to veto a bill that will protect refueling services from politics.

Establishing the Energy Planning and Inventory Commission: SB 349 would establish the Energy Planning and Inventory Commission to combat ongoing energy reliance issues in the Commonwealth. The new commission is tasked with developing information, analysis, and recommendations about such issues as the adequacy of Kentucky’s electricity supply, future electricity demand, new and emerging technologies, and the consequences of retiring existing sources of electricity without adequately replacing that generation.

Regulating Self-Reporting Air Quality: HB 136 would allow industry leaders in Jefferson County to self-report air emission metrics without penalty, bringing them to the same protocol as the other 119 counties in the commonwealth. In 1994, the legislature passed a measure that granted the same privileges to every county in Kentucky except for Jefferson.

Keeping Local Officials Informed: HB 583 would require that the chief executive officers of all forms of local government and mayors receive notification of a declaration of an environmental emergency within their jurisdiction.

Regulating Nuclear Energy: SB 198 would establish the Kentucky Nuclear Energy Development Authority and declare its mission as the nonregulatory, trusted agency on nuclear energy issues and development in the commonwealth. While I am disappointed that the Governor vetoed this measure, I still believe that educating people and easing concerns about nuclear energy would be a big step forward — especially when it comes to fears of large-scale nuclear disasters.

Establishes Management and Guidance for Water and Wastewater Systems: SJR 149 establishes the framework for beginning the regulation of PFAS substances in our water and wastewater systems.

In addition to our efforts, Attorney General Russell Coleman shared on April 2 that a federal judge blocked the Biden Administration’s highway emissions rule that tried to drive gas-powered cars off the road. If the Federal Highway Administration’s rule had not been struck down, it would have required states to set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from on-road sources. Many states believe that the rule may cause the elimination of future economic development and job creation projects. I appreciate the attorney general’s efforts as he led a collation of 21 states to protect access to gas-powered vehicles and future economic development in the commonwealth.

As always, I can be reached anytime through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at and keep track through the Kentucky legislature’s website at

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