Chapter: Harlan County

In Harlan County and eastern Kentucky, we have a rich culture, natural beauty, valuable resources such as mountains, forests and water, and a history worth preserving. We are a chapter of KFTC because we believe that these assets and characteristics define who we are, and in preserving and protecting them we are defending a way of life and leaving what is most special about this place for future generations.

Harlan County residents helped create KFTC, and we are one of its earliest chapters. Our local chapter was built on the dedication and struggles of many who came before us, and since 1981 we’ve continued their efforts. Through the years, we have been involved in successful campaigns to save the upper elevations of Black Mountain (Kentucky’s highest peak) from strip mining and logging, help communities win water lines and a new bridge, and so much more.

Today we are working to build new power in the mountains to protect the water and a way of life threatened by destructive mining methods, while  supporting KFTC’s broader efforts to make coal mines safer for miners, fully fund schools and keep college affordable, bring clean energy jobs to this area and expand voting rights.

Recent Activities

Benham Power Board launches innovative residential energy efficiency program

Residents of the town of Benham in Harlan County, Kentucky will soon benefit from an innovative energy efficiency program, called Benham$aves, which was established today in a special called meeting held by the town’s municipally owned utility, the Benham Power Board. To celebrate the decision, all Benham residents are invited to a Community Pig Roast this evening at the Betty Howard Coal Miner’s Memorial Theater.

“This is something we’ve been working towards for a long time. It is exciting to see it come together,” said Danny Quillen, chair of the Benham Power Board. “This program can help individuals save money on their bills and help the whole community by lowering what the Benham Power Board pays to a wholesale energy provider for peak demand.”

The Benham$aves program will pay the upfront costs of insulation, upgrades to heating and air conditioning units, and other energy efficiency measures for qualifying customers who choose to participate. Residents will repay the investment over a 15-year period, using a portion of the energy savings. The program is designed to ensure that the monthly repayment is no more than 85% of the projected monthly savings, meaning that the retrofits pay for themselves over time and customers start saving money immediately, compared to their previous energy bills.

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KFTC asks for public hearings on Stream Protection rule

KFTC has asked the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement for a series of public hearings in eastern Kentucky concerning that agency’s plans to propose a new Stream Protection Rule.

The letter, sent to Robert Evans, director of OSM’s Lexington office, asks for a “formal public hearing and public education event as part of the rule outreach strategy.

“In order to assure the best participation by impacted citizens, we request that the hearing be held in the evening if possible. We also suggest that the public education outreach occur before the actual hearing so that citizens will be better informed as to the actual contents of the proposed rule,” stated the letter from Joanne Golden Hill and Mary Love, co-chairs of KFTC’s Land Reform Committee.

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Citizens groups seek to ensure Kentucky officials enforce Clean Water Act (again!)

KFTC and several ally groups late Friday filed a motion to intervene in a state enforcement action against Frasure Creek Mining for violating the Clean Water Act at its coal mining operations in e

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Westbound: Eastern Kentucky members’ eventful trip to Frankfort

The trip from the mountains to Frankfort can be difficult, but the KFTC van ride on I Love Mountains Day was one we will tell big tales about for years. Harlan “Tootie” Seals has been driving charter buses and vans for decades and even served a term as mayor of Fleming-Neon. So I was looking forward to an adventure. Little did I know…

It was cold and dark in Whitesburg when we met at 6:00 in the morning. The road to Cumberland that crosses Pine Mountain is difficult. When Tootie’s van crossed the mountain, I figured the rest of the trip  would be downhill, no problem. KFTC friends from Lynch, Benham, and Cumberland met us on the south side of the mountain as the sun was rising. On to Harlan, where the rest of our van riders joined us, then we headed for Frankfort.

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East Kentuckians send love and good advice to Frankfort for Valentine’s Day

EKY legislative letter writingDuring this short 2015 Legislative Session, it can be difficult for many Kentuckians to make the trip to Frankfort and share their good sense with lawmakers. That’s why members of the Harlan, Letcher and Big Sandy KFTC chapters spent time this February writing to their senators, representatives and key leaders of both chambers. More than 50 cards, letters and postcards are on their way to more than two dozen lawmakers in Frankfort! Some were even hand delivered to House members during the Clean Energy Lobby Day late last week.

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Chapter Feature:

DSC_0931"Many of us are working to create a better future for our children and grandchildren - and we've got lots of possibilities and real ideas about how to do that. We've got a bright future if we want it."

- Carl Shoupe, Benham, KY

 

Visions from Black Mountain coverVisions from Black Mountain

Residents of Benham, Lynch and Cumberland share their visions for the unique Tri-Cities area.

Regular Meetings:

We meet every other month on the second Monday at 6 p.m. We move our meeting locations around the county. Check the calender!

Chapter Organizer:

Tanya Turner
Whitesburg, KY 41858
606-632-0051

Upcoming Events:

July 30

Oil/gas public hearing

1 Community College Drive
Jolly Center Room 208 in the JCC Building
Hazard, KY 40701
Meeting Info

For all hearings the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. local time.

August 10

Harlan County Chapter Meeting

101 North Main. St.
Harlan, KY 40831

Lets catch up on all the things moving and shaking this summer and beyond, from local organzing around Benham $aves and Its Good To Be Young In The Mountains to our upcoming statewide Annual Membe

August 13

Its Good 2 Be Young In The Mountains

201 S. Main Street
Harlan, KY