LG&E’s Parent Company Paid No Federal Taxes Last Year

Apr 28, 2021
Ryan Van Velzer

In a year when Kentuckians struggled to pay their utilities bills because of a global pandemic, Louisville Gas and Electric’s parent company paid nothing in federal taxes.

PPL reported around $900 million in pre-tax income last year and was one of 55 U.S. corporations that paid nothing in federal corporate income taxes, according to a report co-authored by Matt Gardner of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. 

Instead of paying tax at 21%, which is the federal statutory rate, they reported zero and actually got about $9 million back essentially as a tax rebate, Gardner said.

Ryan Van Velzer

While Louisville Gas & Electric was asking utility regulators permission to build a 12-mile-long natural gas pipeline through Bullitt County at ratepayers expense, internal utility records projected that nearly all of the additional gas would go to just one customer — Beam Suntory, the makers of Jim Beam Bourbon.

With the additional gas service, Beam Suntory would have become LG&E’s second-largest customer, after Ford, records show. 

Utility regulators granted LG&E approval to build the pipeline in 2017. Since then, however, the project has stalled amid a slew of pending permit approvals and lawsuits.

LG&E Proposes Largest Solar Field In Kentucky

Jan 27, 2020
Duke Energy

Louisville Gas and Electric is seeking approval from state utility regulators to build the largest solar array in Kentucky.

If approved, the 100-megawatt plant in Hardin County would be one of at least four utility-scale projects coming online in Kentucky in the next three years. The project would be 10 times larger than the current title holder, a 10-megawatt LG&E facility near Harrodsburg.

The push for more solar in Kentucky follows a countrywide trend as utilities increasingly turn to renewables for new electricity generation.


Ryan Van Velzer

Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has fired its opening salvo in the fight over a proposed gas pipeline through Bernheim Forest.

Louisville Gas & Electric filed an eminent domain lawsuit against the state in September to overturn a conservation easement and acquire land to build the pipeline.

On Friday, the state filed a motion to dismiss the condemnation suit, arguing LG&E didn’t make an offer to buy the state’s conservation easement prior to filing the lawsuit, as required under state law.

Ryan Van Velzer

When the state of Kentucky pays to conserve natural areas, it tries to protect that land forever.

Now for first time in nearly 30 years, the power of those protections could be tested in the fight over the future of Bernheim Forest’s Cedar Grove wildlife corridor, according to state environmental advocates.


Ryan Van Velzer

Acts of civil disobedience against pipeline operations in Kentucky would be considered a felony under legislation filed ahead of the 2020 regular session.

The measure comes less than a month after one person was killed and six more were injured in a large pipeline explosion south of Danville, Kentucky. It also comes shortly after Louisville Gas & Electric began pursuing eminent domain actions to build a natural gas pipeline in northern Bullitt County.

Ryan Van Velzer

Kentucky utility regulators want more information to decide whether Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest has legal standing to file a complaint over a natural gas pipeline in northern Bullitt County.

Bernheim filed a complaint with utility regulators in early August alleging Louisville Gas and Electric bypassed the typical process for a new natural gas pipeline and hid information from the public. Then the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office jumped into the fray last week asking to intervene and expand the scope of the case.

Ryan Van Velzer

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office has moved to intervene in the fight over a natural gas pipeline in Bullitt County that would cut through Bernheim Research Forest and Arboretum.

Attorney General Andy Beshear wants greater scrutiny over the 12-mile-long project through northern Bullitt County following the explosion of an interstate transmission line in Lincoln County earlier this month that killed one person and injured six others.

“Kentuckians deserve to know that pipelines running across their property comply with the law and are as safe as possible,” Beshear said.

Ryan Van Velzer

In a bid to stall or stop the Bullitt County Pipeline Project, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest has filed a complaint with utility regulators alleging Louisville Gas and Electric bypassed the typical process for a new natural gas pipeline and in doing so hid information from the public.

LG&E first mentioned the need for a new gas pipeline during a 2016 rate case. Utility regulators approved the pipeline in 2017 and have also agreed to prevent public disclosure of a study and map identifying the proposed route.


Ryan Van Velzer

Ashes from the coal burned to fuel America’s appetite for energy are buried in unlined pits and landfills scattered across the country.

Now, first the first time, the American public is learning the impacts these coal ash dumps are having on the environment. The results point to widespread contamination.


Louisville Gas & Electric plans to begin suing landowners who refuse to sell their property for the construction of an underground natural gas pipeline through northern Bullitt County.

The utility will begin filing condemnation proceedings in an effort to purchase the remaining 15 percent of land needed to begin construction, according to a Wednesday press release.

LG&E says it’s run out of capacity on the current gas pipeline and needs to build a second 12-mile-long pipeline in order to keep up with growth in the area around Mt. Washington, Shepherdsville, Clermont and Lebanon Junction.

Dylan Lovan/AP

The Kentucky Coal Association says former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $500 million pledge to close every coal-fired power plant in the U.S. would “essentially send us back into the Dark Ages.”

Coal consumption in the U.S. is in decline, but Kentucky remains reliant on the fuel for jobs and energy. About 75 percent of the state’s electricity comes from coal power.

Kentucky Coal Association President Tyler White said Friday that coal has provided the Commonwealth with an abundance of cheap energy, which fuels manufacturing and keeps prices low for the state’s poorest residents.

LG&E/KU Customers Stuck Paying For Disbanded Trade Group

May 15, 2019

Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities’ latest rate hike puts ratepayers on the hook to pay $269,000 for a secretive utility industry organization that is going out of business.

Power companies including LG&E charge customers to cover part of their dues for the Utility Air Regulatory Group, which argues against tighter clean air rules. Currently, Congress is investigating UARG over ethical conflicts between the group and a top Trump-appointee in the Environmental Protection Agency.


With the latest rate hike, Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities customers will help pick up the tab for membership dues at trade groups that lobby against environmental protections.

Whether customers like it or not, LG&E’s natural monopoly guarantees that everyone buying service in their territory will pay into these trade groups, even if those groups lobby against customers’ own interests.

Rates For LG&E/KU Customers Are Going Up This Week

Apr 30, 2019
Erica Peterson

Electric and gas rates for about 1.3 million Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities customers will increase on Wednesday.

Kentucky’s public utility regulators approved the new rates for system-wide improvements. However, customers will also see increases on their bills due to changes in service charges and the expiration of a credit from the Trump Administration’s corporate tax cut last year.