Kentucky must recognize that to retain and attract new industries it must have access to energy resources that are competitive with other geographic areas of the country. The Kentucky Chamber supports the construction of new and the modernization of existing energy infrastructure. These projects create new sources of tax revenue and jobs and enhance access to competitive energy supplies. Investment in energy infrastructure is critical for continued access to growing domestic supplies of natural gas, natural gas liquids, refined products and crude oil. Specifically, the Chamber encourages the construction of natural gas, natural gas liquids and oil infrastructure to more efficiently extract, process, transport and utilize our resources.
Further, the Chamber supports consideration by utilities of all electricity sources when planning for future needs of customers, but nuclear energy is currently not part of the consideration. State law prevents construction of nuclear power plants until there is a means of disposal of high-level nuclear waste approved by the U.S. government. The U.S. government has not approved such a facility, so nuclear power plants in the U.S. store spent fuel on-site. Kentucky’s current prohibition on storage in effect prohibits nuclear power as an option. The Chamber strongly encourages the federal government to identify an approved repository for high-level nuclear waste disposal but also accepts on-site storage of spent fuel as a temporary solution until the federal government takes action.
Finally, in addition to providing ongoing, strategic investment in the Commonwealth’s energy infrastructure, policymakers must also ensure the costs to support and maintain this infrastructure are allocated fairly among all users of the system. How customers use this infrastructure is changing as the adoption of distributed energy resources (DERs) – such as privately-owned solar generation -- increases across the Commonwealth. Existing policies that, years ago, were originally adopted to incentivize the implementation of new technologies, such as distributed solar generation, should be re-examined to ensure all the costs to support and maintain reliable operation of the energy infrastructure are shared fairly.