Lawmakers pull smelter bill from House floor

Lawmakers have pulled a bill from the House floor that would allow a western Kentucky aluminum smelter to buy cheaper electricity.

Rep. Tommy Thompson, the bill's sponsor, said the bill isn't ready for a vote because of a misinformation campaign. He said the bill would not lead to deregulation of the state's electricity market or cause electricity rates to soar.

Century Aluminum said it will close - and hundreds of jobs will be lost - unless it can buy cheaper electricity.

The bill would allow the company to buy power on the free market or from the local utility at a cheaper rate. Opposing lawmakers say the General Assembly should not interfere with a contract dispute between the company and utility.

The legislation is House Bill 211.

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