Energy Democracy blog

AEP/Kentucky Power should be forward looking

May 21, 2013

In order to comply with new clean air standards by 2015, American Electric Power/ Kentucky Power has put forth a request to the Kentucky Public Service Commission to shut down their coal-burning Big Sandy power plant. Originally, AEP had requested to retrofit the Big Sandy plant with pollution controls at the cost of nearly $1 billion to ratepayers in order to keep producing coal power at that location. They withdrew that request in May.

Ray Tucker reflects on his run for rural electric co-op board

May 17, 2013

Ray Tucker, a Pulaski County farmer, KFTC member and former statewide chairperson, recently ran for the board of his rural electric co-op, the South Kentucky RECC. He has written this reflection on his campaign and the role of KFTC in building a stronger democracy.

My run for the South Kentucky RECC board started at a public hearing I spoke at last fall.  

The hearing was held in response to a group that was circulating a petition to dissolve our local library board. This petition, if successful, would have closed all public libraries in Pulaski County.

At the hearing I said we needed to work together as a community. And a long dormant spark awakened in me that helped frame the question, how do we build community together?

KFTC member Ray Tucker is running for his utility board

March 18, 2013

Check out this video of Ray Tucker, former KFTC chairperson, who is running for the board of directors of his rural electric cooperative, South Kentucky RECC.


Stay tuned for more information on how you can help out with Ray's campaign.

Be Part of a Just Transition for Appalachia, April 19-21

February 24, 2013

Eastern Kentucky's economy is changing fast, and our future is unwritten. We believe we have the opportunity to move forward together, to build a new economy here in the mountains – a diverse, home-grown economy good for all people. We can generate new jobs, new businesses and new opportunities for the workers, families and young people of eastern Kentucky. It won't be easy, but we can have a bright future here, if we build it.

We believe it's essential that the transition to the new economy is a just transition – one that celebrates our culture and invests in communities and workers who depend on the old economy. We have many assets here.

Who is this
conference for?

This gathering is for anyone who cares about the future of eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia and is interested in a positive, constructive conversation about the challenges and opportunities we face. Please join us whether you are already working to build a more diverse and sustainable economy or simply want to learn more about what a just transition means and ways to move forward together.

Details and registration information is available at




Cost: a sliding scale of $5 to $100. Lodging and some meals not included. Some lodging scholarships available
(apply when registering).

Don’t delay in registering for this exciting event. Many of the hotel rooms we’ve reserved will only be guaranteed through March 19. You are encouraged to make your arrangements as soon as possible!

Our goal is to develop opportunities for our people, for eastern Kentucky, to thrive. We hope you’ll join us for a conversation about the opportunities and challenges we face in our state and region as we work together to build the next economy in eastern Kentucky.

Program overview

The program features positive stories and examples about economic transition from eastern Kentucky and many other Central Appalachian communities. We’ll also hear from invited guests from places that have been through major economic upheaval, including speakers from Wales, the north Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest, and rural Pennsylvania, to name a few. The program has been designed to engage participants in many ways, including through art, music and theater as well as more traditional conference formats.

More than a dozen workshops will focus on promising pathways for job creation and community development in areas like renewable energy, land and stream restoration, arts and culture, broadband internet access, sustainable forestry, and energy efficient affordable housing. Additional workshops will explore what a just transition in eastern Kentucky means, and what it will take, from the perspective of journalists, workers, and young people in the region.

A primary goal throughout the weekend is to foster an honest, constructive conversation about economic transition. We don’t pretend that we (or anyone) has the answer. But there is a lot we can learn from each other about what’s possible and what’s needed.

Find out more:

The Appalachian voyage ends but the journey is just beginning..

October 17, 2012

Christian Torp has been hiking the Appalachian trail since March of this year to raise awareness about the destructive practice of mountain top removal mining and to raise money for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. These are his reflections as his voyage comes to a close.