Kentuckian to help lead conference on utilities and climate change

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Jim Gardner, vice chairman of the Kentucky Public Service Commission, will co-chair a national conference in December that will look at how climate change policies will affect utilities.

Congress is considering legislation that would put mandatory limits on carbon dioxide emissions, the principal cause of Earth's warming. Coal-burning power plants are a large source of those emissions, and they provide 80 percent of Kentucky's electricity.

The carbon constraints, expected to make burning coal more expensive, are "inevitable," Garner said. "The challenge for us in Kentucky is to determine how to meet those constraints while maintaining financially healthy utilities that can provide reliable service at a reasonable cost to their customers."