Trump’s climate denials take away opportunities for jobs and better health in Kentucky

Posted by: KFTC staff on March 28, 2017

The opportunity Kentuckians have to transition to a clean energy economy is being thwarted by President Trump’s abandonment of U.S. climate commitments to stop harmful pollution, Kentuckians across the state are pointing out.

“I’m stunned that any administration would disrupt 50 years of bipartisan efforts to improve the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Steve Wilkins of Berea, a member of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. “How easy it is to forget days when people died from chemical hazes and when rivers burst into flames because our companies used our air and water as their dumping grounds.”

In a sweeping order Tuesday, Trump initiated a process to reverse EPA's Clean Power Plan, rescinded six executive orders signed by President Obama to curb carbon pollution and address the climate crisis and removed a moratorium on coal mining on federal lands, and among other actions that encourage the burning of deadly fossil fuels.

“I’m concerned about Trump’s actions to rollback climate policies because of my children. His announcements threaten their future,” pointed out Dana Beasley Brown of Bowling Green, KFTC’s immediate past chairperson. “We have the time right now to change our course of action and give our kids the best chance to thrive. But we also know the grave risks our children face if instead we do nothing to address climate change.”

Trump’s action today to begin the process of abandoning U.S. climate policies and commitments are actions that – if carried through – put Kentucky’s health, economy and environment at grave risk while doing nothing to support workers or build a healthier, sustainable economy in communities affected by the decline of coal jobs.

The Trump administration's hostility to responsible climate policy throws water on the booming clean energy economy, and the potential for jobs in Kentucky. A KFTC “people’s energy plan” that will be released in April identifies steps Kentucky can take, with or without the Clean Power Plan, to move towards a clean energy economy while producing better results in terms of jobs, health and average electric bills than the fossil fuel-dependent business-as-usual case.

The Empower Kentucky Plan was developed by KFTC members over 18 months with extensive public input. The report shows it is entirely possible to invest in a just transition for workers and reduce average bills while reducing CO2 pollution from Kentucky's power sector by more than what's required under the Clean Power Plan.

“The Clean Power Plan is not the reason miners in Kentucky lost their jobs, and reversing this rule will not bring those jobs back,” said Beasley Brown. “As Kentuckians, we have to work for the kinds of solutions we know can provide good jobs, allow people to stay and live in their communities, take care of their families, and not have to make the choice between being healthy and having a good job.”

“Here in Kentucky, we’ve got an opportunity to create new jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy, two of the fastest growing parts of the U.S. economy,” said Lexington KFTC member Sharon Murphy. “Our plan, which will be released in the next few weeks, creates more jobs than just doing business as usual over the next 15 years. And when we invest in solutions that are better for health, better for jobs, better for ratepayers, and better for our climate. Everybody wins.”

“We are citizens, interested in our own future and the health and happiness of all Kentuckians. We believe that having a vision for a clean energy future and just transition will expand the conversation about what is possible in Kentucky in positive, powerful ways,” added Nancy Reinhart, a KFTC member in Shelbyville.

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Show Up For Fairness in Georgetown

Photo of crowd that helped deliver petition signatures in support of Fairness. Photo from Georgetown Fairness.
Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on March 23, 2017

On Monday allies are expecting people to come out in support of Fairness in Georgetown, and are looking for people to come and share

Scott County Residents Ready for Landfill Hearing

Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on March 23, 2017

Residents of Scott County have concerns around the existing landfill near Sadieville.

Northern Kentucky Prepares to Rally In Support of Open & Inclusive Communities

Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on March 15, 2017

March Madness doesn't apply only to basketball, it seems. We have seen an increase in ICE raids across the country, targeting undocumented persons whose only crime have been a search for a better life. We have seen an increased number of attacks on folks for the mere perception of being Muslim. And we have seen a that many would argue is illegal, immoral, and is a twist on President Trump's campaign promise of a Muslim ban. Our organization has made a commitment to stand against such injustice, and we need you to help us put our words into action.

Kentuckians would lose thousands under House "replacement" health care plan

Posted by: Kentucky Voices for Health on March 10, 2017

Check the Map & Take Action Now

An analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation has found that the "American Health Care Act" – the House GOP's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act – would disproportionately cut tax credits used by low-income, older Kentuckians to help them buy health insurance. That would cause many to fall into poverty or lose coverage altogether.

KFTC's statement on immigrants, refugees and Muslims

Posted by: KFTC Executive Committee on March 8, 2017

We the people …

Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) has a vision of a Kentucky where “discrimination is wiped out of our laws, habits and hearts.” While discrimination already hurts many members of our communities, the current state legislature and our national government are taking aim at some of our most vulnerable neighbors: immigrants, refugees and religious minorities, especially Muslims. As we always have, KFTC is standing up for the targets of discrimination and working hard toward wiping discrimination out of our laws, habits and hearts. 

We voice our solidarity with immigrants, refugees and religious minorities who are coming under increased attack in this current political climate.

Panel encourages courageous solutions to economic issues

Posted by: Ryan Fenwick on March 8, 2017

University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law featured Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Professor Ariana R. Levinson and Sadiqa Reynolds for a lunch time panel discussion about cooperatives. Dr. Gordon Nembhard is an expert on the history of black-owned cooperatives. Her book, Collective Courage, is a groundbreaking study of the history of African American owned cooperatives. Prof. Levinson is an internationally recognized labor and employment law scholar with a background as a labor lawyer. She has recently published articles on worker and union cooperatives. Sadiqa Reynolds is the first female CEO of the Louisville Urban League. She was previously the Chief for Community Building for Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher. The discussion, with nods to the history of cooperatives, hinged on the possibilities for building a better economy with cooperatives. 

Big Sandy chapter hosts 8th annual Growing Appalachia conference

Posted by: Jessie Skaggs on March 8, 2017

On February 25 the KFTC Big Sandy Chapter hosted the 8th annual Growing Appalachia conference. Folks from all across eastern Kentucky gathered at the Hindman Settlement School for a day of workshops on Kentucky wild edibles and medicinals, edible landscapes, saving money and energy through home energy efficiency, better gardening for beginner gardeners, and grafting apple trees. 

Members Take Stand Against Landfill Expansion

Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on March 8, 2017

A few months ago the company that runs the Central Kentucky Landfill near Sadieville asked the county for the ability to expand the amount of trash they could take.

Georgetown Ready for Fairness

Posted by: Joe Gallenstein on March 7, 2017

Beginning last October with the inaugural Georgetown Pride festival, members in Scott County have been working with allies like Georgetown Fairness and the Georgetown-Scott County NAACP to gather signatures for a petition asking for a Fairness Ordinance in Georgetown, Kentucky. This petition asked that Georgetown pass an ordinance extending civil rights protections in housing, public accommodation, and employment to include members of the LGBTQ+ community. Allies set and acheived the goal of trying to reach 1,000 signautres by the end of January, and allies delivered their petition to the Georgetown City Council, held a small rally to celebrate the work, and gave comments about the need to pass a Fairness ordinance in Georgetown.

Reflections from a Grassroots Leader

Posted by: Cassia Herron on February 21, 2017

Jefferson County KFTC member, Cassia Herron, represented the organization at The Rally to Move Forward in Louisville on January 21, 2017 – one of several local marches that took place across the state in solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. KFTC organizer Alicia Hurle sat down with Cassia to learn more about her thoughts on leadership development within KFTC and how she approached having the opportunity to speak to such a large audience at what feels like a historically significant moment. Click here to listen to Cassia's speech. 

Why do you identify yourself as a community organizer?

From a grade school student who rallied my peers to challenge our prejudice teacher to a student at the University of Louisville who worked on improving the conditions on campus for students of color, I have always been a community organizer. It has been a natural position for me as my peers and colleagues have looked to me to represent a particular position or idea, to rally others in support of it and move us collectively toward action to remedy it. I have had the opportunity to receive professional organizing training from union organizers and Highlander Center trainers as well as working with Community Farm Alliance and now KFTC. Of course I’m biased, but I feel these are the best organizers in the south and certainly in Kentucky, and I’m proud to be a product of their great work.


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