New Energy and Transition News

Growing Appalachia on WMMT’s Mountain Talk

March 19, 2015 at 06:16pm

Growing Appalachia on WMMT's Mountain TalkLast week, members of the Growing Appalachia planning committee were guests on WMMT's Mountain Talk, which is a weekly program that covers a wide range of topics pertaining to life in the mountains. Floyd County’s Sister Kathy Curtis and Letcher County’s Valerie Horn were in the studio to talk with host Elizabeth Sanders about the history of the conference, how they got involved, and what people can expect at Saturday’s conference. They were joined in the studio by Jonathan Hootman and Hillary Neff and then joined over the phone by Mark Walden.

How$martKY offers money-saving energy efficiency improvements

March 12, 2015 at 04:05pm

Many KFTC members who are interested in making their homes more comfortable and energy efficient are now able to make it happen!  

How$martKY is an on-bill energy efficiency financing program that doesn’t require a credit check. This means that rural electric cooperative members with high utility bills can often get energy upgrades with no down payment, add the financed payment to their electric bill, and still save money every month.  

March Jefferson County Chapter Meeting reportback

McElroy explains the need for more affordable housing.
March 10, 2015 at 08:18am

Last night's JCKFTC meeting brought out twelve members of the chapter to deliberate, discuss, and take action on affordable housing, an LG&E rate change, the local air quality and economic justice campaigns, and events going on in the social justice world.  Here is a summary of some of the good work the chapter is doing.

KFTC celebrates 10 years of I Love Mountains Day

February 13, 2015 at 02:16pm

“We are here to express our love for Kentucky and our belief in its bright future,” said KFTC Chairperson Dana Beasley Brown as she welcomed the crowd to KFTC’s tenth I Love Mountains Day.

Frigid winds and snow flurries couldn’t compete with New Power as hundreds of people from across Kentucky marched up Capital Avenue and rallied on the capitol steps for a brighter future for Kentucky.

Beasley Brown thanked KFTC members for “your vision, your courage and your persistence” and recognized the many communities across Kentucky who were represented in the crowd.

Northern Kentucky Loves Mountains

February 13, 2015 at 12:00pm

The Saturday following I Love Mountains Day, the Northern Kentucky chapter celebrated their own love for the mountains with Northern Kentucky Loves Mountains. Aimed at raising awareness about issues that impact Kentuckians from the Appalachian region, this event focused on the devastation of mountaintop removal and the need to re-imagine the possibilities in eastern Kentucky.

Westbound: Eastern Kentucky members’ eventful trip to Frankfort

February 12, 2015 at 06:00pm

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.

President proposes major new investments in Appalachian transition

February 2, 2015 at 03:22pm

The budget proposed by President Obama today calls for significant new investments in economic transition in Central Appalachia. The President's ideas for the region are being called the "Power + Plan." 

Among the highlights of the President's plan are the following:

$1 billion over five years to restore lands and waters degraded by decades-old mining and support related sustainable development projects.

$56 million to invest in job training for laid-off miners and to support economic development efforts in Central Appalachian mining communities. This figure includes an additional $20 million in job training for miners and power plant workers; an increase of $25 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission's annual budget, to be directed at "communities most impracted by coal economic transition"; $6 million more to the Department of Commerce for "place-based regional innovation efforts," including grants to economically distressed communities; and $5 million more for the EPA's brownfields program to help communities deal with the closure of coal-fired power plants.

$3.9 billion over 10 years to shore up health and retirement benefits for many retired miners.

Register to Attend the Second SOAR Initiative Conference

February 2, 2015 at 09:46am

KFTC members are encouraged to register and attend for the 2015 Strategy Summit of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) initiative. The initiative was established by Gov. Steve Beshear and Rep. Hal Rogers in 2013. It’s mission is ”to expand job creation, enhance regional opportunity, innovation, and identity,improve the quality of life, and support all those working to achieve these goals in Appalachian Kentucky.”

'After Coal' forums connect mining communities across globe and bring out local candidates

October 27, 2014 at 01:12pm
Harlan County

On October 7, KFTC’s Letcher County Chapter paired with Appalshop in Whitesburg and the After Coal project of Appalachian State University, to host a public community forum on economic transition, and a local candidate meet and greet reception.

The evening reception began with informal conversation among the 80 guests and several candidates for local office, including the mayor of Whitesburg and a few city council candidates. Mair Francis, founder of the DOVE Workshop, and Hywel Francis, a Labour Member of Parliament for Aberavon, Wales, traveled all the way to Whitesburg in order to discuss policies on sustainable community development in Wales and Appalachia. This was Mair and Hywell's first visit back to east Kentucky since sharing their experiences as the opening session of Appalachia's Bright Future conference in Harlan last year.

Complex Market Forces Are Challenging Appalachian Coal Mining

October 6, 2014
ThinkProgress

Appalachia’s coal communities are confronting a confluence of market factors that are years in the making. This issue brief discusses some of the market challenges companies in the Appalachian coal industry face.