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State To Continue Contract With Climate Change Consultant

Last week, a legislative oversight committee refused to renew a $200,000 contract the state has with the Center for Climate Strategies. The center is assisting a state panel looking for ways the commonwealth can cope with climate change. Apparently some lawmakers fear the center’s efforts will hurt the state’s coal industry, but Gov. Beshear disagrees.

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.