News Around the State

Published 2:07 pm Monday, August 27, 2018

Trump’s environmental chief touts coal plan in Kentucky

WINCHESTER, Ky. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s top environmental official has headed to Kentucky to tout a new plan aimed at aiding the coal industry.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader , acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler visited the Clark Energy Cooperative headquarters Friday in Winchester.

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The proposal aims to replace ex-President Barack Obama’s signature effort to slow global warming by limiting emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Trump’s plan broadly increases authority for states to decide how to regulate coal plants.

Wheeler said carbon emissions would continue decreasing under Trump’s plan, albeit, not as quickly as under Obama’s. He said Obama’s plan put coal plants at a disadvantage.

The Trump administration has acknowledged that the increased emissions from aging coal plants could kill hundreds more people annually and cost the U.S. billions of dollars.

Kentucky officials take comments on Medicaid regulations

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration has taken public comments on proposed regulations for a Medicaid overhaul that has been blocked by a federal judge.

Kentucky officials received comments Monday from groups critical of proposed regulations that would set guidelines for changes to the state’s Medicaid program.

The overhaul would include charging premiums and requiring “community engagement” by recipients, which could include working, volunteering or going to school. Medicaid is the state and federal health insurance program for poor and disabled people.

A judge blocked the changes earlier this year and sent the matter back to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services so the process could be restarted.

Opponents of the overhaul said Monday it’s confusing for the state to pursue regulations on a Medicaid plan currently blocked in court.

Utility announces study to decide future of coal plants

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority has announced a new study to help it decide the future of coal fired plants in Tennessee and Kentucky.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports TVA President Bill Johnson announced last week that the utility is projecting a decline in demand for electricity and is beginning a six-month study to assess its entire generating fleet including Paradise Unit 3 in western Kentucky and the Bull Run Steam Plant in East Tennessee. Johnson says the study will focus first “on the least efficient, least cost-effective and highest-cost future assets.”

Johnson says newer natural gas plants that have replaced older coal units are twice as efficient and the government-owned utility is tasked with making electricity at the lowest feasible rate.

Fort Campbell soldiers trying out 3D demolition parts

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) — Some Fort Campbell soldiers will perform a proof of concept at a demolition range this week using 3D printed components.

The post on the Kentucky-Tennessee state line said the parts were made at Vanderbilt University with assistance from the mechanical engineering department.

The 101st Airborne Division said in a news release that the parts were designed using computer-aided design systems and modeled after the M303 special operations forces demolition kit. The kid contains metal and plastic parts to be packed with explosives as well as a tripod and sights for aiming the explosive device.

Soldiers from the 21st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne will conduct the demolition range at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the post.