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

Exciting! Benham$aves energy efficiency project receives $200,000 pledge

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KFTC members took part in a special called meeting of the Benham Power Board on February 12 to share the good news that an anonymous donor pledged $200,000 to support the Benham$aves Program.

LG&E/KU rate case attempts to alter reality

An electric meter in the winter

Over the past several years, Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) have pushed legislation that would eliminate net metering

Kentuckians act to support miners with black lung disease

Kentuckians took action today in Washington, DC and London, Kentucky to urge Senator Mitch McConnell and other members of Congress to do right by coal miners with bl

Fixing What's Broke: why Congress must support a Just Transition for miners with black lung and communities

A new report from KFTC describes ways Kentuckians are organizing to demand action from Congress – and especially from Senator Mitch McConnell – in support of a Just Transition for miners with black lung disease, retired and laid off miners, and their communities.

To build a new economy in coal communities, the report says Congress should start by "fixing what's broke," including strengthening funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, passing the RECLAIM Act, and protecting miners' pensions.

Local black lung resolution is picking up steam

Most recent update as of Jan 2, 2019: Sixteen local governments in Kentucky have passed local resolutions in 2018 calling on Senator McConnell and other members of Congress to do right by our miners and communities by passing the RECLAIM Act, strengthening funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, and protecting miners' pensions. 

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The resolution was first adopted by the City of Benham in Harlan County in September 2018. That action was followed quickly by local governments in the cities of JacksonMorehead and Whitesburg, and in BreathittKnottLetcherRowan and Pike counties. 

Knott, Letcher, Rowan and Pike counties became the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th local governments in eastern Kentucky to pass a local resolution calling on members of Congress to pass several bills needed to help sick, disabled, retired and unemployed coal miners and their communities. The fiscal courts in Letcher and Knott counties took the unanimous action at their respective monthly meetings on October 15, and Pike and Rowan counties acted the next day.

Update 11.30.2018: The Floyd County Fiscal Court became the 10th Kentucky community to pass the resolution on October 18. Magoffin County quickly became the 11th, followed by Ohio County, in Western Kentucky, Knox County, and the City of Lynch in Harlan County. 

Update 12.10.2018: Johnson County's Fiscal Court passed the 15th resolution in Kentucky by local governments calling on Senator McConnell and other members of Congress to do right by our miners and coal communities!

Update in late December: Harlan County's Fiscal Court passed the 16th resolution urging Congress to pass the RECLAIM Act, strengthen the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, and protect miners' pensions. 

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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 even month on the second Thursday at 6 p.m. We move our meeting locations around the county. Check the calendar!

Chapter Organizer:

Angel Hill
131 N. Mill Street
London, KY 40741
606-261-4955

Upcoming Events:

March 28

RECLAIM hearing

15 Independence Ave SE
Washington, DC 20515

Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the U.S.

April 12

Congressional hearing on mountaintop removal impacts

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U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources oversight hearing on the Ecological and Health Impacts of Mountaintop Mining in Central Appalachia. Details to come.

June 6

Harlan County Chapter Annual Meeting

310 W. Main St.
Cumberland, KY 40823

Join us for our annual Chapter Meeting. This is the time of year where we reflect on our work over the previous year, celebrate good work, and make plans for the coming year.