Kentucky Senate passes energy boycott bill

The Kentucky Senate has passed a law that would prevent the state government from doing business with financial companies that have decided to cut their fossil fuel investments.

The bill passed the Republican-dominated Senate 26-5 on Monday and is now awaiting comments from the House.

Under the legislation, the Kentucky State Treasurer would be required to publish, maintain and update a list of financial companies engaged in the energy company boycott. This list would then be shared with state government entities making investments over $1 million per year. If a financial company did not end the boycott, the bill would require the state government entity to divest itself of those assets.

GOP Sen. Robby Mills, the bill’s lead sponsor, said the divestment would not be necessary “if reasonable evidence shows it would result in a loss to the government entity.”

During debate on the bill, Democratic Senator David Yates warned that the bill would make it difficult for the state to attract new businesses.

“This legislation creates a blacklist that is going to make it very difficult for us to go out and recruit these companies to locate and create jobs of the future,” he said.

Lynn A. Saleh