In Kentucky coal country, lawmakers open up to nuclear power

AP News
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Posted: Mar 15, 2017 4:17 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Lawmakers in coal-producing Kentucky have voted to open the door to nuclear power, over objections from a legislator who called it a "kick in the teeth" to the beleaguered coal industry.

The Kentucky House passed the bill 65-28 Wednesday, sending it to Gov. Matt Bevin. Bevin told Cincinnati radio station WKRC he would not veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

The legislation would lift Kentucky's decades-long moratorium on nuclear energy.

Republican Rep. Steven Rudy said it would take a decade or more for developers to get a nuclear power plant operational in Kentucky due to the rigorous permitting process.

That didn't satisfy Republican Rep. Jim Gooch Jr. He called Kentucky a coal state, and said the bill is a "kick in the teeth" to the coal industry.