Op-ed written by Deborah Payne for the Daily Yonder, find the original here.
In both Appalachia and Ecuador, mineral extraction threatens the health and safety of residents. The question now is "can the people in harm's way work with the one potentially doing the harm to figure out solutions"?
A lot has happened in the 50 years since Lyndon Johnson brought national attention to rural poverty in Eastern Kentucky. But some things haven't changed.
Folks still don’t drink the water.
Commentary written by Deborah Payne for the Courier-Journal, find the original version here.
Ask any parent of an asthmatic child waiting for treatment in an emergency room whether or not they've worried about the expense and they will likely tell you it's a hit to the family budget. With as many as 1 in 7 Kentucky kids suffering from asthma, our citizens spend millions of dollars annually to treat the condition, largely triggered by poor air quality.
Op-ed written by Deborah Payne for the Lexington Herald-Leader, find original version here.
Ask any parent of an asthmatic child waiting for treatment in an emergency room whether or not they've worried about the expense, and they will likely tell you it's a hit to the family budget.
With as many as 1 in 7 Kentucky kids suffering from asthma, our citizens spend millions of dollars annually to treat the condition, largely triggered by poor air quality.
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.
Written by KEF Outreach Coordinator Shelly Biesel as an op-editorial for the Courier-Journal, find the original version here.
Perhaps the most accurate statement regarding the 2015 Government Spending Bill came from Sen. John McCain, who was quoted saying "it's jammed full of sh--." The "cromnibus" bill appropriates $1.01 trillion, and will keep most government offices in operation through September. Though House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers called the bill "a win for Kentucky," it depends on how you look at it. Personally, the bill makes me uneasy. Here's why:
Written by KEF Health Coordinator Deborah Payne as an op-ed for the Lexington Herald-Leader; find the original op-ed here.
It was Christmas time in 2008 when the wall of a coal combustion waste impoundment pond collapsed, inundating Kingston, Tenn., with over 1 billion gallons of toxic sludge.
Last month, almost six years later, the Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited rule on the classification and management of coal combustion waste, or coal ash, the byproduct that results when coal is burned to produce electricity.
The development of the rule involved an extended series of public hearings, a comment period and then a long wait — over two years — to hear how new federal policies would impact the way we manage coal ash. Health advocates hoped for better storage practices, a classification as a toxic waste and federal oversight.
And the verdict is in: Industry will remain in charge of its own practices, which means, without much oversight things may roll on with "business as usual."
Guest Blog Post written by KEF Health Coordinator Deborah Payne for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Find the original blog post here.
In 1957, the price of gas was just 24 cents a gallon, Elvis Presley purchased a mansion in Memphis and called it Graceland, and the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, the first rocket ship to carry an animal into space. It was in that same year that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) finished construction on the Shawnee Fossil Plant, a coal-fired facility in western Kentucky built to provide energy to the United States Energy Corporation’s (USEC) uranium enrichment plant. Now, almost 56 years later, one year after the closure of the USEC plant and within the context of a rapidly changing energy market, TVA must decide what to do with two of its nine remaining units. Driven by a consent decree with EPA and environmental groups, the plant must either retrofit the units to meet new air quality standards or retire these units.
Written by Heather Warman and Deborah Payne as an op-editorial to the Courier-Journal. Find the original op-ed here.
For the first time in public debate with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Sen. Mitch McConnell vocalized why coal is no longer king in this country. It’s because it affects our health. Wow. Of course McConnell was actually quoting his colleague, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on why he would not move new policies to expand coal in the US: “We talk about cost competitiveness, but one thing we fail to talk about is the costs that you don’t see on the bottom line. That is: Coal makes us sick.” Yes, a few words of truth did actually roll out of Washington, D.C.
Written by KEF Health Coordinator Deborah Payne as an op-ed for the Courier-Journal. Find the original op-ed here.
On Sunday, an estimated 400,000 people from across the country and around the world filled the streets of Manhattan for the People's Climate March asking UN leaders to take aggressive actions toward climate mitigation. Four-hundred thousand people can create a lot of noise. Cheers that traveled from one end of the march to the other were moving, energizing and generated a groundswell of hope for this very long movement toward change.
Written by Deborah Payne as an op-ed for the Courier-Journal. Find the original op-ed here.
This summer, S.O.A.R. (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) is holding hundreds of listening sessions across Eastern Kentucky to gather feedback on what communities feel is required for a brighter future. The project, initiated by Gov. Steve Beshear and Congressmen Hal Rogers, has drawn a lot of attention both regionally and nationally in its effort to address a few of the toughest economic, social and environmental challenges in the country.
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