Op-ed written by KEF's Deborah Payne, as an op-ed for the Courier Journal. Find the original article here.
In a recent opinion editorial, Sen. Mitch McConnell shared his thoughts on how to comply with the EPA's plan to protect our commonwealth from a shifting climate: Don't do anything. Don't make a plan for the future. And by all means, don't pay attention to that pesky tsunami of challenges that climate change will inevitably leave on our front doorstep. How forward thinking.
Turning our back on this tsunami, however, will not change the new norm of increased drought and food insecurity, more intense and damaging storms, and hotter, riskier summers. The reality is, while McConnell is encouraging us to drag our heels, there's really no sense in wearing out a perfectly good pair of shoes.
KEF'S Outreach Coordinator Shelly Biesel is pictured with other activists rallying for action against climate change. Check out the Courier-Journal's photo gallery here, and the full story here.
Article written by Lisa Abbott for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Find the original story here.
Kentucky was well represented by grassroots voices at the first hearings held this week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants.
Forty citizens from Owensboro, Bowling Green, Louisville, Lexington, Morehead, Berea, Burnside, Inez, Hazard and Whitesburg made the long drive from Kentucky to Atlanta, Georgia on July 28-29 to urge the EPA to strengthen the draft power plant rules. In addition, a KFTC member from Harlan County spoke at the EPA hearing in Denver, Colorado, along with allies from other Central Appalachian states.
Written by KEF Director Heather Warman as an op-editorial for the Courier-Journal. Find the original op-ed here.
In early June, the Environmental Protection Agency released new national carbon emissions standards aimed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide pollution thirty percent by 2030. The proposed regulations are a landmark, the first ever attempt at limiting these harmful emissions. Although the new standards were designed to allow states flexibility in reaching the target levels, many Kentucky politicians were quick to brand the effort as a new phase in the mythical “War on Coal.”
Radio piece by Dan Conti for WMKY. Listen to the original story here.
The executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Foundation says implementation of the EPA’s new carbon emission standards could save Kentucky a lot of money and improve the health of its people. Heather Warman offered that analysis on KET’s “Kentucky Tonight.”
The EPA this week outlined its plans for reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 and they’ve been criticized as economically damaging to the Commonwealth by politicians in both parties.
However, Warman says there’s a bigger picture to consider. She says Kentucky’s actual costs for burning coal should include health factors.
Written by KEF Health Coordinator Deborah Payne as an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Find the original version here.
President Barack Obama released his new climate action plan, a set of measures to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the vast array of challenges our country will experience from a warming planet.
Many welcome this package as long overdue. Heat waves and powerful storms are showing up with life-threatening frequency. Carbon dioxide has accumulated in the atmosphere at levels many fear are irreversible. Diseases that have only affected people in tropical climates are now moving into the southern U.S.
Others, including most of Kentucky's federal legislators, think the climate action plan is a war plan.
But creating an enemy of the federal government on a climate plan is picking the wrong fight.
Statement from KEF's Director Elizabeth Crowe:
"Kentucky is one of the worst in the nation for toxic outputs from coal plants; pollution that is linked to serious lung and heart disease and other illnesses. Public health researchers have noted that across the country, people are experiencing more severe allergies, more insect-related diseases etc. that may be related to climate change. Kentuckians are not immune to these impacts. At first blush, it appears that the President's climate action plan could result in a much-needed reduction in pollution, which can also result in better health for Kentucky residents regardless of whether one believes that climate change is real.
We'd like for Kentucky utility and industry leaders, economic development leaders, health professionals, parents, policy makers and citizens to spend less time resisting federal action on coal pollution and climate change, and more time utilizing this opportunity to construct a healthier, more economically resilient energy future. Making these changes won't be easy, but it's necessary work."
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