With only five legislative days remaining, the fate of four key bills remains unclear. A few minutes of your time this morning can make a big difference in the fate of these key bills.
The text of Senate Bill 257, the power plant siting bill, will be voted on today or tomorrow as a Senate or House Bill. Please send a fax to Representative Stumbo's office at 502-564-0588, and to your state representative at 1-502-564-6543 and ask them to support House Floor Amendments 10 through 13 to SB 257, and to oppose House Floor Amendment 2, which would remove the requirement that regulated utilities do a siting analysis as part of the approval by the Public Service Commission. Ask that the strengthening amendments proposed by KRC and filed by Rep. Jim Wayne be incorporated into the final bill.
Amendment 10 would broaden consideration of impacts on property values beyond just the next-door neighbor. Amendment 11 defines when setbacks can be reduced, clarifies that zoning and planning must be followed, restores the 2,000 foot setback for the Calla plant, provides standards for denying approval based on past workplace or environmental compliance, and makes other technical changes. Amendment 12 requires that all electric generating plants install Best Available Control Technology for NOx emissions, in order to prevent gas peaking units from accepting artificial annual NOx emission caps to avoid more rigorous permit review, and then spewing all 95 tons of NOx into the air in the summer ozone season. Amendment 13 closes a loophole that would allow a plant to increase environmental impacts while avoiding new siting review.
The second bill that will be heard after 2 p.m. today in the House Committee is SB 120, a proposed Constitutional Amendment, would repeal a number of sections of the state constitution controlling private corporations. Please fax Rep. Stumbo at 502-564-0588 and Rep. Adrian Arnold at 502-564-6543 and ask that the reference to Sections 195 and 205 of the state constitution, which curb corporate power by allowing for revocation of corporate charter for corporate abuse and which prohibit corporate infringement on individual rights, be removed from SB 120 today in the committee meeting, in order to maintain those constitutional protections against corporate overreaching.
HB 809, which creates a private right of entry for coal companies onto other people's lands to fix violations and damage they have caused (such as landslides, flyrock, subsidence) was amended in a last-minute stealth action by one coal interest after the bill had been negotiated with industry groups to assure up front payment of damages to the landowner. The bill, as amended, constitutes an unconstitutional grant of eminent domain to a private party and deprives the landowner of full compensation for all injury up front, and should not be concurred in by the House.
Ask Representative Stumbo NOT to call House Bill 809 for concurrence. The industry has, under prior law, the ability to gain entry onto land if it is an emergency, and without the bill they will simply have to work out access with the landowner.
These three or four things you can do in a few minutes this morning will make a world of difference. Thanks