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KFTC Releases Crowdsourced Plan For Kentucky’s Energy Future

The non-profit group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has released a new set of recommendations for the state’s energy future. KFTC created the Empower Kentucky plan after more than two years of meetings with more than a thousand people around the state.

The plan makes recommendations including reducing statewide electricity demand and increasing the amount of electricity that comes from renewable energy. The group then hired an independent consultant to model the results of the recommendations. The consultant estimated the plan would overall create thousands more jobs, reduce air pollution and funnel millions into a fund to help retrain former coal miners, when compared with a “business-as-usual” approach.

Even so, the plan will likely still be a hard sell among Kentucky’s politicians. KFTC member Cassia Herron says KFTC members are planning to meet with Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely about the plan soon, and will keep engaging people around the state.

“We want to continue to get the word out to regular citizens because people vote, and their legislators have to listen to them,” she said. “So, we’re really hoping to continue to engage people so we can really come up with those policy pieces and then move legislators in that way.”

Herron says the plan is a vision—not a policy. KFTC is leaving the policy details up to lawmakers.

Erica reports on environment and energy issues for WFPL, which run the gamut from stories about the region’s biodiversity to coal mine safety and pollution issues. In the name of journalism, she’s gone spelunking, tagged mussels and taste-tested bourbon. Erica moved to Louisville in June 2011 from Charleston, West Virginia, where she worked for the state’s public radio and television affiliate. Besides Kentucky and West Virginia, she’s lived in New Jersey, Minnesota and Illinois. She lives with her husband and son in Louisville.
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