Solar in Kentucky: opportunities to learn and lend support

Posted by: Lisa Abbott on October 4, 2016

Kentuckians want more and better energy options, and we are especially interested in seeing more locally and community owned solar projects. That was the overwhelming message KFTC heard when we asked more than 1,000 people across the state to share their vision for Kentucky's energy future. 

Shelby County chapter building power, protections for all

Posted by: Lisa Aug on September 19, 2016

If you attended the KFTC annual meeting, you saw one of the Shelby County chapter’s newest members, Joy Fitzgerald, give the chapter petition.

Watch Attica Scott's powerful keynote address at KFTC's Annual Meeting

Posted by: KFTC Staff on September 12, 2016

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Caitlin Sparks joins KFTC staff; Gregory back to school, Funck to intern

Posted by: KFTC staff on September 10, 2016

Caitlin Sparks is the newest member of KFTC’s staff, just joining as a member of the Communications and Development Team.

Getting ready for Empower Kentucky Summit, September 30-October 1 in Louisville

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 31, 2016

UPDATED - September 25, 2016

The Empower Kentucky Summit, which kicks off Friday evening in Louisville, is shaping up to be one of the largest and most diverse gatherings ever in Kentucky focused on ways to build a clean energy economy - one that works for all of us. More than 210 people are coming from communities large and small across our Commonwealth and at least 12 other states!

Registration is still open, so register now and invite your friends. The cost to register is a donation of any size. 

Kentuckians want an energy future that provides good jobs and health, advances racial and economic justice, and reduces the risks and harms of global climate change. This summit is an exciting opportunity to learn about solutions that are already working in communities around the country, and shape progress here at home towards that shared vision. 

The Summit starts 7 to 10 pm on September 30 and continues from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday, October 1. 

K.A. Owens: Doing the work, together, across generations

Posted by: KFTC staff on August 30, 2016

The theme of KFTC’s annual meeting was “Generating Change: 35 Years of Action for Justice.” The Saturday morning plenary introduced folks to this theme with a panel on intergenerational organiz

Become a Sustaining Giver and help KFTC meet the match!

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 25, 2016

Madison County Chapter Update: NET Committee

Posted by: Steve Wilkins on August 25, 2016

KFTC’s New Energy and Transition (NET) Committee convened on August 8, and celebrated a significant triumph!


EKPC “Community” Solar Farm, KFTC and partner public interest groups played a pivotal role in convincing East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) to pursue a solar farm. On July 21, EKPC requested regulatory approval for a 60 acre, 8.5-megawatt solar farm patterned after the Berea Solar Farm model! If approved, member/customers of EKPC’s 16 distribution cooperatives would be able to purchase 25-year “licenses” at $460, per 335-Watt panel. The solar farm would be located adjacent to EKPC’s headquarters in Winchester. If approved, distribution co-ops like Blue Grass Energy would choose whether, or not to make licenses available to their member/customers. 

When we succeeded in stopping EKPC’s plans to build a new coal-fired power plant a condition of the settlement included the creation of a “clean energy” collaborative among EKPC, its sixteen distribution co-ops, KFTC and our partner public interest groups. Co-op staff were skeptical that their member/customers had interest in renewable energy because their EnviroWatts program, which adds a charge to participating customers’ bills to help support EKPC’s landfill gas generation, had low levels of participation. We were able to convince the utilities that the EnviroWatts model was the problem; that a Berea Solar Farm type of model would have appeal that the EnviroWatts model could not match. 

Members Tona Barkley and our own chapter’s Steve Wilkins represented KFTC in the collaborative. Two other Madison County chapter members, Steve Boyce and Josh Bills, were instrumental in bringing the Berea Solar Farm to life. The Berea Solar Farm and its approach to community solar gave EKPC a model that they could run with to create their own, much bigger version. Let’s celebrate! 

[There are many types of “community” solar. While the EKPC model keeps all assets on the utility’s side of the meter, there are other community solar farm models that democratize electric power by putting farms within the communities that use power from them. These farms are on the customer’s side of the electric meter.]

KFTC's birthday! 35 years of Action for Justice

Posted by: KFTC Staff on August 17, 2016

It was 35 years ago today – August 17, 1981 – that a group of 26 people from 12 counties meeting in Hazard agreed to officially form a new organization – KFTC, then known as the Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition. 

"People, especially in eastern Kentucky, were getting to know each other. All around the region there was a loose network of people who had worked together with each other in various ways over the past 15 years or so. What we didn't have in those days was a structured connection between us. There was a no interlocking of these community-level efforts, until KFTC."  
–  Herb E. Smith, Letcher County

According to the book Making History: The First Ten Years of KFTC:

"We just knew that it made sense to work together across county lines because the problems we faced were similar and needed to be addressed on the state or national level," said Gladys Maynard, who was representing the Concerned Citizens of Martin County and became KFTC's first chairperson.

This Hazard meeting was not the first meeting of this group of people who were coming together from across eastern Kentucky, with supporters from other parts of Kentucky. The group had met on several prior occasions to explore the possibilities of working together on common issues. Shared concerns included the quality of (or lack of) community services and public education in eastern Kentucky counties where coal was mined (which suffered from gross inequalities in the tax system), the rights of landowners and mining-related water quality problems.

Many of the people involved were organizing in their respective home counties around these and related issues. The decision to launch a new organization was based on the understanding that the issues were all related and shared a common underlying root cause: "the inequality of life with a single dominant industry – coal – that was not contributing its fair share."

We've made a lot of history since, and still are. Thanks to everyone who is part of KFTC's story!

Attica Scott: emerging state leader moving Kentucky forward

Posted by: Your KFTC Sis Serena Owen on August 14, 2016

July 17 was a great day. Not because it was 80 with pretty blue skies, but because I had the honor and opportunity to converse with Kentucky State Representative-Elect Attica Scott. I experienced firsthand her bright personality during our interview, sunny spirit and clear confidence when she met constituents during our tour of District 41. I saw her thunder advocacy skills during KFTC's Preserving Kentucky Medicaid ad hoc meeting, and personable professionalism to the highest degree! Yes, I'm a fan!

I'm also pretty spontaneous. So of course we began our conversation with a "celebration" of Attica Scott's victory on being our state's first African-American woman elected to Kentucky's legislature since 2000!


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