Herald Leader OpEd: No zoning approval, no hearing on plant permit

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Herald Leader OpEd: No zoning approval, no hearing on plant permit  Posted: August 30, 2003
From the Friday, Aug 29th Lexington Herald-Leader:

Despite a load of high voltage gibberish from the company that wants to build a garbage-to-power plant in Clark County, one thing comes through clear: Global Energy is trying to evade the state's merchant-power law.

The siting board must not flinch in the face of the company's dissembling, or the law will be made a mockery, and Kentucky communities will be at the mercy of power merchants who wouldn't hesitate to use this state as their energy colony.

At issue is the requirement that merchant power generators meet local planning and zoning requirements. At first, Kentucky Pioneer Energy, a subsidiary of Global Energy, argued that its project was exempt from this requirement. When the siting board shot that down, the company said, OK, now we're in compliance.

Problem is the company hasn't even applied for the necessary zoning, much less complied with local requirements. The site where it wants to build a power plant is zoned agricultural.

When pressed at last week's siting board hearing, Mike Musulin, Kentucky Pioneer's president, explained that when the company told the board it had complied with planning and zoning requirements, it was simply trying to convey a "willingness to comply."

Global is urging the siting board to issue a conditional construction permit.

We have no idea what Global is up to. But if its performance so far is supposed to exhibit a "willingness to comply," we'd hate to see its idea of resistance.

The siting board shouldn't even consider issuing a permit until the company has the required zoning in hand.







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