A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: With King Coal’s reign about over in the Commonwealth (and elsewhere), it’s on to natural gas

To paraphrase that great American intellectual, Sarah Palin, how is that beautiful, clean coal stuff working out for ya? Well, not so hot, thanks. Cloud Peak Energy, the nation’s third-largest coal mining company, headquartered in Wyoming, where the mineral is still as plentiful as kudzu in Georgia, has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. It was one of the last of the nation’s big energy players...

PSC denies request by Atmos Energy to increase rates, but fixed customer charge will rise

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has denied a request by Atmos Energy to increase rates, leaving the total base rate portion of the monthly bill essentially unchanged for residential customers. But, in an order issued Tuesday, the PSC restructured the monthly bill, increasing the fixed customer charge while reducing the usage-dependent charge for delivery of each 1,000 cubic feet (Mcf)...

Duke Energy Kentucky receives approval from PSC to raise natural gas rates, monthly customer charge

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved a settlement that allows Duke Energy Kentucky to raise its rates for delivery of natural gas, but reduces by about one-third the size of the increase that Duke Kentucky originally requested. In an order issued Wednesday, the PSC made minor modifications to the settlement reached by Duke Kentucky with the Kentucky Office of Attorney General,...

Kentucky residents to see lower prices for natural gas at start of heating season

Kentucky residents who heat their homes with natural gas will see somewhat lower prices at the start of the 2018-19 heating season than they did a year ago, according to the Kentucky Public Service Commission. Natural gas prices have fallen, on average, about 13 percent from this time last year, and are now about 64 percent below their level 10 years ago. When base rates – which include monthly customer...

Public Service Commission fines City of Flemingsburg for natural gas safety violations

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has fined the city of Flemingsburg $60,000 for safety violations that led to an explosion during repairs to a leaking natural gas line. In an order issued Thursday, the PSC levied the $60,000 civil penalty but suspended $30,000 of the fine, subject to Flemingsburg providing additional training to employees of the city’s utility system. The explosion occurred...

State Public Service Commission orders lower prices, refunds for B&G Natural Gas customers

he Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has determined that B&H Gas Co. has been overcharging for natural gas and must both reduce the amount it charges and make refunds to customers. As a result of the PSC action, B&H’s customers will see the amount they pay for natural gas immediately reduced by more than two-thirds. B&H has about 260 customers in Floyd County. In an order issued...

Rural Blog: Competition from natural gas, not federal regulations, behind collapse of coal industry

Obama administration regulations are not solely to blame for coal’s decline, says a study by Columbia University researchers. Researchers found that “competition from cheap natural gas is responsible for 49 percent of the decline in domestic U.S. coal consumption.” They also say “changes in the global coal market have played a far greater role in the collapse of the U.S. coal...

Rural Blog: McConnell says environmental rules, not natural gas, mainly to blame for coal downturn

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) released a letter he sent to President-elect Donald Trump proposing ways the incoming administration can revitalize the region’s coal industry. McConnell, who has blamed President Obama for coal’s downfall, said environmental regulations are largely to blame for the downturn in the industry and that natural gas is not the solution to the nation’s...

Natural gas costs will be slightly higher in Kentucky this winter, Public Service Commission says

Kentucky residents who heat their homes with natural gas will see slightly higher prices at the start of the 2016-2017 heating season than they did a year ago, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) advised. Gas prices have risen, on average, about 12 percent from this time last year, but are still about 60 percent below the peak prices reached in 2008. When base rates – which include monthly...

Rural Blog: Cheap natural gas, not air-pollutuion regulation, is main reason for coal’s decline

Cheaper natural gas, not regulation of air pollution by President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency, is the main reason for coal’s decline, says a study by Case Western Reserve University published in The Electricity Journal. The study, which used data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, academia, specialized energy consultants, Wall Street analysts and publicly available...

Rural Blog: Natural gas apparently overtakes coal as main power source for electricity in the U.S.

Natural gas in 2015, for the first time, appears to have overtaken coal as the top power source for electricity in the U.S., Scott DiSavino reports for Reuters. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration through October 2015 shows that power plants used more gas than coal to produce electricity in five of the 10 months, including the last four—July, August, September and October—that...