Kentucky state government will continue a $200,000 contract it has with a Washington consultant on climate change. Last week, a legislative oversight panel rejected the contract because many members fear the consulting firm is biased against the coal industry. Governor Beshear disagrees, and said this week he supports Energy and Environment Secretary Len Peters’ decision to work with the center.
“I don’t think the secretary would have asked for that contract if he didn’t think he needed it. And I’m sure we need that kind of work done for the task force that we have set up.”
The Courier-Journal reports that that administration officials notified committee staff Thursday that it would retain the center.
The oversight committee’s vote to reject the contract was not binding on the administration. The consultant is assisting the Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council, which is studying ways for the commonwealth to cope with climate change. The council includes coal industry representatives, as well as environmentalists.