LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Democrats and Republicans gathered Wednesday to celebrate a $20 million federal grant designed to move Kentucky to new forms of energy, a tricky subject in a state dominated by the coal industry.
Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr joined Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and state House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins to announce a federal grant spread out among the state's eight public colleges and universities. The money will pay for researchers to explore new ways to generate energy from plants and chemicals.
Beshear and Barr said the grant would complement the coal industry, which generates about 90 percent of the state's electricity.
McConnell, who has made coal a central part of his re-election campaign, said the grant shows Kentucky is in a great position to compete for federal research dollars.