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New Energy and Transition News

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.

Stanley Sturgill's press statement at the People's Climate March

September 21, 2014 at 12:13pm

KFTC member Stanley Sturgill was one of the speakers representing frontline communities who spoke today at a press conference kicking off the People's Climate March in New York City. Here is his statement:

Kentuckians taking a Just Transition message to People’s Climate March

September 20, 2014 at 09:44am

Eastern Kentuckians participating in this weekend’s People's Climate March in New York City are carrying a clear message: We are at the forefront of the transition away from coal and we need to be put first as we go about building a new economy.

For Kimberly Shepherd, it’s about her daughter and her future. She is working toward a just economic transition so she can keep her family in the mountains.

“The solution is complicated. I don't think that there's one thing that can fix it, it'll take a lot of different things. But the resource we really have in Harlan County is our people and community,” said the Harlan County student and mother.

Massey, Sturgill honored as Appalachian Heroes

September 15, 2014 at 01:56pm

Two long-time KFTC members have been honored by the Appalachian Community Fund as Eastern Kentucky Appalachian Heroes.

About 80 people gathered on Friday, September 12, at the Eastern Kentucky Social Club in Lynch to honor Bennie Massey and Stanley Sturgill for their contributions to their community.

Both Sturgill and Massey live in Lynch and have been instrumental in efforts to protect their community from the impacts of coal mining and build a brighter future in the mountains. They are long-time members of the Harlan County chapter and have given their time and energy to other KFTC campaigns both inside and outside their region.

Moment of truth for Hal Rogers, SOAR: No ignoring health effects of strip mining

August 18, 2014
Lexington Herald-Leader

No mention of surface coal mining's effect on human health appeared in U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers' electronic update on the recent SOAR Health Impact Series even though it was one of the top two concerns voiced by participants …

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