Energy Democracy blog

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.

Members enjoy first Shelby annual chapter meeting

September 19, 2012

When people stop you at the dentist's office a week later to tell you how wonderful your annual meeting was, you can probably safely label it a success.

A group of KFTC members in Shelby County have been meeting together for several months and plan to petition at the statewide membership meeting in October to officially become a chapter.

In the meantime, 30 people enjoyed food, music and fun at the first Shelby chapter annual meeting September 10. Two of our members, Ann Ellerkamp and Gina Rose, catered the celebration for us at no charge and really outdid themselves with sweet and sour meatballs, meat and veggie wraps, stuffed dates, fresh fruit and veggies with dips and hummus, brie, brownies and cupcakes.

Shelby County poet Gail Chandler read several of her poems, evoking both her Kentucky childhood and her recent experiences helping people in Africa.

Add your name to KFTC's letter in support of clean, affordable energy

September 4, 2012

Can you add your name today in support of energy efficiency and renewable energy in Kentucky?

Click here.

It's time to let Kentucky's rural electric cooperatives know what we want for our energy future.

Add your voice to the chorus today. Sign on to this letter to 17 of Kentucky's utilities asking them to take action to save energy, generate more clean energy, and help those most vulnerable afford their basic needs.

If you're a co-op member, we especially encourage you to sign the letter. Even if you're not a co-op member, we still invite you to add your voice for clean, affordable energy.

New power plant poses high costs, risks for western Kentucky ratepayers

Photo from Prairie State Energy Campus website
August 30, 2012

Residents of many mid-west towns, including Princeton and Paducah in western Kentucky, are beginning to face the sticker-shock of paying for the new Prairie State project, a 1600 MW coal-burning power plant developed by Peabody Energy. The plant, which is close to completion, has been called “the last of its kind in this country” by the New York Times.