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Beshear Blames 'War on Coal' For LG&E, KU Rate Hikes

Responding to Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities' request for a rate increase up to 19 percent, Governor Steve Beshear blamed federal regulators for the higher utility bills.From Beshear's office:"Given that too many Kentucky families are still struggling in this tough economy, I am disappointed that the federal government’s war on coal, which I am fighting against every single day, is now threatening to cause drastic utility rate increases. My administration has invested in clean coal technology, renewable energy, conservation and efficiency measures. However, we cannot sustain these unfair, unfunded mandates by a federal government intent on devastating Kentucky’s coal industry, and, in turn, on our economic recovery.

If the federal government would work with the states, we would have much more rational strategies to mitigate potential cost increases. I’ll keep fighting tooth and nail to make sure Kentucky families and businesses have the affordable electricity they need, particularly our strong manufacturing industry, which employs 215,000 Kentuckians.

In addition, I know the Attorney General will vigorously fight this proposed plan, and is exploring all options to protect the consumers of Kentucky."

The Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency has been the governor's favorite punching bag for the past year, if you haven't noticed.Remember the State of the Commonwealth address?