Community conversations will help shape Empower Ky. Plan

Kentuckians will have the opportunity this spring to help shape a new Empower Kentucky Plan to map out an energy future for Kentucky that grows jobs, benefits health and addresses racial and economic inequality while doing our part to reduce the risks of climate change.

The Empower Kentucky Plan will be informed by diverse public input, including ideas generated at a series of “A Seat at the Table” community conversations hosted by Kentuckians For The Commonwealth in April and May.

“We all have something to contribute in this move toward a clean energy economy,” said KFTC Executive Committee member Elizabeth Sanders. “These ‘Seat At The Table’ events will be inclusive of a broad spectrum of Kentuckians, and will allow us to lead and shape the conversations about the clean energy future we want to see, which is how it should be.”

A Seat at the Table community dinner conversations are scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. in each Congressional district, as follows:

  • April 14:     Bowling Green, Corsair Distillery
  • April 19:     Hindman, Hindman Settlement School
  • April 21:     Lexington, Northeast Christian Church
  • April 26:    Covington, Life Learning Center
  • May 24:     Louisville, First Unitarian Church
  • May 26:     Paducah, River Discovery Center

During these engaging events, participants will enjoy a locally sourced meal, consider their relationship with energy, and share their vision and ideas about Kentucky’s energy future. Each event also will feature fun and interactive presentations, cultural performances and informational displays

The six regional gatherings will be supplemented by smaller community gatherings, house parties, online surveys and listening sessions that began last fall.

KFTC’s effort to gather public input stands in contrast to the Bevin administration’s decision to cancel its plans for public hearings that were required under the Clean Power Plan rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants. The U.S. Supreme Court recently put a temporary hold on implementing that plan while legal issue are resolved in the lower courts. While many states are continuing to seek public input and prepare new energy plans, Kentucky officials steadfastly refuse to move forward.

“Governor Bevin canceling the planned public hearings doesn’t mean climate change is canceled. It doesn’t mean the economy in East Kentucky and across the state has miraculously recovered,” Sanders pointed out. “It is our responsibility as Kentuckians to move forward with a shared vision for our energy future. Our future can’t afford to wait for any of our political leaders who pay lip service to a bright future with both feet planted firmly in the past.”

There is no cost to participants, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Free tickets will be available online by April 1 (for events in April) and by May 1 (for events in May) at www.empowerkentucky.org/events.