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

Federal grants support economic transition efforts for eastern Kentucky

KFTC members are applauding the Obama administration’s commitment to a just economic transition for eastern Kentucky through the investments in people and communities reflected in several

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Members ask for strong protections for streams affected by mining

Members of KFTC, the Sierra Club, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Appalachian Citizens Law Center, Kentucky Conservation Committee, Appalachian Voices, Kentucky Resources Council and others had a strong presence at a public hearing September 3 to advocate for the strongest possible protections for water in communities where coal is mined and downstream.

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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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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

Upcoming Events:

December 1

EKY Holiday Party

71 Justice Center Drive
May Stone Building
Hindman, KY 41822