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Gooch Sponsors Power Entity Merger Bill

Arnold Paul, via Wikimedia Commons

Representative Jim Gooch of Providence is sponsoring a bill in Kentucky’s General Assembly that would force a merger of Kentucky's two power generation and distribution entities. House Bill 423 was filed this week with the intent to create one electric power entity over the entire Commonwealth with the merger of Big Rivers Electric and East Kentucky Power Cooperative. This bill excludes Tennessee Valley Authority which provides power to parts of Kentucky. Big Rivers is expected to lose 70 percent of its profits if two aluminum smelters in western Kentucky shutdown or buy from other entities. Gooch said a merger would protect Big Rivers.

“We just need to work on some ways to maybe change that and one way would be if there was a merger. You know the cost like that could be spread over everyone,” Gooch said.

Both EKPC and Big Rivers have expressed opposition to the bill, citing government overreach. But Gooch said since both groups already have a monopoly over their customers that is not the case.

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