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Leading U.S. Emitter, Kentucky, Inches Toward ‘Post-Coal Economy’

You wouldn’t know it from the political reaction that greeted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new carbon pollution rule last week. But the Times reports that the state with the highest carbon emissions per unit of electricity produced, Kentucky, is already “taking hardheaded steps toward a post-coal economy.” A senior state climate official “is cautiously optimistic that the carbon limits will not raise electric prices sharply enough to drive out manufacturers, who set up in the state for rates that are among the lowest in the country.” And according to Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Louisville), “anybody who’s actually looked at the subject understands coal is going to play a dramatically reduced role in our nation’s energy portfolio.” The EPA rule honoured Kentucky’s request that states be given flexibility to meet reduced emission targets in the way that made most sense for them.