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Is House Bill 3 The Best It Can Be?

by Martin Richards — last modified Mar 09, 2010 08:55 PM
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In the 2010 General Assembly House Bills 3 and 408 each represent a comprehensive approach to addressing Kentucky’s long-term energy needs, but with distinctly different methods and outcomes.

(DOWNLOAD A PDF COMPARISON CHART OF THE TWO BILLS BY CLICKING HERE)

  • HB 3 bill does not make energy efficiency Kentucky’s top energy priority. Unlike HB 408 and Governor Beshear’s Energy Plan, HB3 masks the importance of efficiency by lumping it in a category that could also include nuclear power and other expensive generation strategies.
  • HB 3 has no requirement for any program or effort to help low-income Kentuckians with energy efficiency. The efficiency standards in HB 408 require energy efficiency specifically for those who are most vulnerable in a time of rising rates.
  • Under HB 3, the requirements for efficiency and renewables are about half the size of the goals in HB 408. The goals in HB 3 will not help Kentucky to keep pace with neighboring states in meeting efficiency and renewable targets that achieve job growth, protect vulnerable families, and stabilize long-term energy costs.
  • HB 3 does not contain provisions that are needed to spur development of in-state distributed renewable energy generation, such as a specific goal for solar generation and production-based incentives. HB 408 has these provisions.
  • HB 3 creates new tax incentives and expands others for various energy projects - HB 408 does not. These incentives will impact future state budgets.
  • HB 3 creates a new “low-carbon ” energy standard. This new designation would encourage the development of some of the most expensive generation strategies, including nuclear power and coal plants with carbon capture and storage. HB 408 focuses only on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

HB 3 focuses more on centralized power generation and increasing the efficiency of the generation and distribution infrastructure, with little support for the end user, especially low-income households.

 

HB 408 makes energy efficiency Kentucky’s top energy priority.  It assists the elderly and the poor.  It seeks to make efficiency and renewables available to all.  HB 408 is similar to legislation already enacted in Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina. And while both bills strive to create new jobs, HB 3 will likely concentrate those jobs.  HB 408 will make more jobs statewide.

 

Call or write your Legislator and ask that Kentucky pass energy legislation that makes energy efficiency, including low-income Kentuckians, a priority; and makes energy efficiency, renewable energy and the jobs they create available to all Kentuckians.  

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