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JEC hosts McConnell town hall meeting

WYMT reporter Tanner Hesterberg interviews U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at London’s Jackson Energy Cooperative office during a town hall meeting hosted by the Kentucky electric cooperative.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood in front of a banner featuring a lineman and the Jackson Energy Cooperative logo for a television interview as he kicked off a day of town hall meetings in Southeastern Kentucky.

 

It wasn’t the first time the cooperative hosted an event for one of the nation’s top political leaders. “We work with local, state and national leaders on behalf of our members,” said Jackson Energy President & CEO Carol Wright. “This event provided our co-op members an opportunity to meet and talk with their senator, who holds one of the most powerful political positions in our nation.”

 

The cooperative co-hosted the town hall meeting with the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce and a couple of hundred residents and government officials attended the meeting.

 

McConnell touched on a variety of issues facing Kentucky and the nation, including government regulations and the state’s coal industry. He said the issue is not simply the future of coal as an energy source, because other countries use coal to produce electricity,  but what is the future of coal in our country.

 

Kentucky has seen a dramatic decline in coal jobs in eastern Kentucky as federal environmental regulations related to the nation’s power plants became more stringent during the Obama administration. “The single biggest complaint I get is not taxation, but regulation,” he said.

 

McConnell added that he thought the United States was at a political crossroads, and added that despite the issues currently facing our nation, he was hopeful. “We’re a big resilient country,” he added.