FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — GOP lawmakers are worried about rising energy costs as winter approaches. They are calling on Gov. Andy Beshear to take action to increase domestic energy production and restore several jobs.

This started after OPEC voted to cut back global oil production and now there’s worry about the trickle-down effects in Kentucky. Sen. Brandon Smith (R-Hazard) sent an open letter to the governor Wednesday to call for permits to resume coal, oil, and gas drilling.

“Bread is going to get more expensive; milk is going to get more expensive, and meats are going to get more expensive,” Senate President Robert Stivers said.

Kentucky Republicans are warning the next 6 months could be tougher on the neediest and argue that increased energy costs on the global market will also make transporting food and fuel even more expensive.

“No one thing is going to drive the market but things can have a bigger impact of what the market is doing,” Stivers said.


The GOP argued some coal, oil, and gas permits have sat for over a year with no action from the executive branch and thus costing jobs and creating shortages.

“Less than 4 or 5 hours ago I’m at a place with people that need propane, and they cannot get it. We’d called over and found out that the friend of mine that works there they won’t have it until Thursday, so these shortages are now hurting these least among us, the people that are struggling to come out of the flood,” Smith said.

In his letter, Smith asked Beshear to reverse course on green energy policies. Beshear said he found the letter “pretty political” and that it didn’t make sense to him.

“We are always 40-something plus cents, if you look at that right at 40 cents below the national average if a governor can have an impact on gas prices, we have the 11th lowest gas prices in the country,” Beshear said.

Beshear argued the administration has already taken cost-cutting measures on vehicle and gas taxes. Smith challenged Beshear to tell his cabinets to sign the permits.

“It’s a silly argument for us to be blocking it from getting in the market when everybody knows that when you put more product in the market here which we can do and we’re not being allowed to do and that’s going to help protect Kentucky,” he said.

Smith said he has not received a formal response to his letter from Beshear. Republicans pushed back on claims of a political stunt, given it being mid-October and just before an election, as Beshear suggested.