State Leader Rejects Nuclear Energy Legislation

State Leader Rejects Nuclear Energy Legislation

( – Nuclear power has recently become a hot topic in the United States. The Biden Administration is helping to bring the Michigan plant back online as part of a federal program to revamp nuclear plants nationwide. However, at the state level, one Democratic governor has vetoed legislation promoting nuclear energy in his state.

Governor Andy Beshear (KY) vetoed Senate Bill 198 on Thursday, April 4. It would have expanded the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) Chapter 164 and established the Kentucky Nuclear Energy Development Authority. Beshear clarified that he’s not against nuclear power, despite his state being a coal producer, but he opposes the advisory board proposed in the bill.

The private sector would choose the voting members of the Kentucky Nuclear Energy Development Authority rather than relying on the state to appoint them. However, State Senator Danny Carroll (R), who crafted the legislation, said it doesn’t infringe on Beshear’s executive powers. Instead, he argued, “members, representing diverse entities” would be “selected by their respective organizations,” which would help minimize “political influence.”

Carroll has already said he will urge the legislature to override the veto. Since it passed both the Senate and House, 34-0 and 92-0, respectively, with bipartisan support, obtaining the supermajority shouldn’t be too much trouble. Should it come to fruition, it will be an accomplishment years in the making for the senator. He believes that one day, “nuclear energy will be the primary source of base load energy” in the US.

In addition to establishing the advisory board, the measure would initiate a site suitability study to determine the best locations for nuclear plants and reactors.

For decades, coal has proven to be king in the Bluegrass State. Experts don’t expect nuclear power to overtake it as the primary power source. Instead, it will serve as a complement. However, coal as the source of power has declined in the past several years, dropping from providing 90% of Kentucky’s electricity to 68%, as reported by AP News.

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