Renew East Kentucky blog

From Louisville to Appalachia: Celebrating Our Common Heritage

April 1, 2014

“From Louisville to Appalachia: Celebrating Our Common Heritage” was scheduled to be the first event of the Jefferson County Chapter’s Louisville Loves Mountains Week, a series of events leading up to the I Love Mountains Day march and rally at the State Capitol in Frankfort. Inclement weather led to the postponement of the event, but thankfully all of the performers and speakers were available to come out on March 17.  

“From Louisville to Appalachia” was a celebration of Kentucky’s African American heritage in Appalachia. Kentucky writers, musicians, and speakers were invited to share their work and personal stories in celebration of the unique natural beauty, ecological importance, and cultural heritage of Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains and mountain communities.

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Cassia Herron, board president of Community Farm Alliance and Richmond, Kentucky native, emceed the event and also shared her family’s story of being tied to the land. Tarsha Semakula’s reading of her poem “I am Louisville” mesmerized the audience. Tarsha is a poet, writer, entrepreneur, and founder and executive director of The Buttafly Center, a community agency that is dedicated to the empowerment of women via education and training, communal resources, and personal development.

USDA offers financing for energy efficiency upgrades

March 7, 2014

Hope installs the fan in the blower door.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently established the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP) to level the playing field for investments in clean energy. The same type of financing that has been available to power plants for decades will be available to electric utilities and – by extension – their residential customers.

The USDA’s Rural Utility Service has more than $6 billion to provide low-cost financing to electric utilities that serve rural areas and operate at-cost, such as rural electric co-ops and public power authorities.

Committee hears testimony on Clean Energy Opportunity Act

March 6, 2014

KFTC and allies got a chance to discuss the potential benefits of the Clean Energy Opportunity Act during a legislative committee hearing March 6.

Sponsored by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, the bill would create 28,000 new jobs in clean energy over the next 10 years by establishing clean energy standards for Kentucky, according to a study commissioned by the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED).

Marzian presented the bill to the House Tourism Development and Energy Committee as a means to generate “jobs, jobs, jobs for our people that have been laid off.”

“I think it’s a real opportunity for the people of Kentucky and for all of us as legislators to help our constituents in this state,” Marzian said.

Louisville Loves Mountains Week

February 28, 2014

In early February, the Jefferson County Chapter held Louisville Loves Mountains week, a series of events leading up to the I Love Mountains Day march and rally on February 12.  Three events were scheduled to foster a better understanding of the African American culture in the Appalachian region, to learn more about the economic issues of the area, and to encourage participation in the I Love Mountains rally.

Citizen lobbyists educate lawmakers on benefits of clean energy policy

February 27, 2014

KFTC members talked with legislators about the 28,000 new jobs that might be created if Kentucky adopts clean energy standards.

The clean energy lobby day on February 26 was hosted by the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance, a coalition of 54 groups including KFTC, solar installers, housing groups, and others working for clean energy policy in Kentucky.