Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear might just be tired of the state’s bad energy wrap. In May, a report released by the Brookings Institution named the Lexington metropolitan area as having the nation’s worst carbon footprint among the top 100 largest metro areas in the country.
The Kentucky governor instead wants the state to be “the energy capital of the world” and announced his plans to make that happen Wednesday.
Kentucky ranks sixth in the nation for per capita energy usage and seventh for per capita carbon dioxide emissions, according to Business First in Louisville.
“We are all tired of seeing our hard-earned dollars going overseas to countries that, for the most part, despise us, because we need their foreign oil to run our cars and trucks and heat our homes,” Beshear said in a news release. “If ever there was a time for this country to become energy independent, that time is now. Kentucky is sitting on top of all of the resources it will take to aggressively pursue that goal.”
Beshear’s announcement calls for:
- The creation of thousands of additional energy sector jobs for the state;
- Helping the state use less energy;
- Use wind, solar and other renewable energy resources to their fullest—currently less than 3 percent of the state’s electricity is generated by renewable sources, and most of that is hydro-electric;
- Helping to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation;
- Maintaining and increasing the state’s annual coal production levels—which is important to Kentucky’s 18,000 coal miners;
- Using coal to produce enough crude petroleum to meet the state’s transportation needs; and
- Generating an adequate biodiesel from algae production and cellulosic non-food biomass.
Kentucky isn’t the only state focused on energy usage. On July 10, Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm announced that the state achieved an 18 percent reduction in energy use at state facilities during the last fiscal year compared to the 2002 fiscal year, according to a news release from her office. Without that reduction, the state would have paid an additional $21 million in annual utility costs, according to the release.