Kentuckians For The Commonwealth is indebted to thousands of people who shared stories, expertise, experience, time, and resources to make this Empower Kentucky project possible.
Special appreciation goes to the members of KFTC’s New Energy and Transition Committee, Environmental Justice Workteam, Steering Committee, and staff. Their time and talent guided this process from start to finish. It’s impossible to honor all these individuals by name, and probably unwise to try. Many thanks to visionary and dedicated people like Dana Beasley Brown, Elizabeth Sanders, Chris Woolery, Nancy Reinhart, Sharon Murphy, Serena Owen, Steve Wilkins, Eric Dixon, Ray Tucker, Jim Porter, Preston Miles, Cassia Herron, Judi Jennings, Laura Greenfield, Bev May, Cara Cooper, Chris Porter, Meta Mendel Reyes, Mimi Pickering, Josh Bills, Aubrey Clemons, Miranda Brown, Tanya Torp, Cathy Clement, Randy Wilson, Tona Barkley, Virginia Johnson, Mary Love, Donna Aros, Andrew Gott, Leah Bayens, Carl Shoupe, Jason Coomes, Rachel Norton, Matthew Gidcomb, Burt Lauderdale, Lisa Abbott, Sara Pennington, Jerry Hardt, Erik Hungerbuhler, Jessie Skaggs, Caitlin Sparks and so many more.
We are grateful to the many Kentuckians who played important roles as table hosts and event participants; videographers; artists, musicians, and cultural workers; workshop leaders; faith leaders; providers of local food; and more. Bob Martin and Carrie Brunk of Clear Creek Creative, Jessica Bellamy of Grassroots Information Design Studio (GRIDS), and the whole team at Kertis Creative stand out for special mention for their creative and strategic contributions to this project. Empower Kentucky events were enlivened by talented performers and musicians, including Ben Sollee, Leyla McCalla, Committed Choir, Shannon Woolley, Ebony Jordan and Nichole Garneau. And we were blown away at several events by a performance of “Where’s That Power Gonna Come From?,” a production of the Clear Creek Creative ensemble.
Many allies in Kentucky offered valuable input to this project, including the staff and leaders of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED), Appalachian Citizens Law Center (ACLC), Student Environmental Action Coalition (KSEC), Metropolitan Housing Coalition, SEIU/NCFO, YouthBuild Louisville, Kentucky Solar Energy Society, Kentucky NAACP, Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light, REACT, Kentucky Conservation Committee, Cumberland Chapter of Sierra Club, Kentucky Resource Council, and Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky.
We are grateful for insights shared by utility leaders in Kentucky during the course of this project, including Scott Drake of East Kentucky Power Cooperative; Joni Hazelrigg, CEO of Fleming Mason Rural Electric Co-op; Mark Stallons, CEO of Owen Electric; Billy Ray, CEO of Glasgow Plant Board; Curtis Wynn, CEO of Roanoke Rural Electric Cooperative in North Carolina; and Tammy Agard, partner at Eetility in Arkansas. We also appreciate the opportunity to exchange information and ideas with Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Len Peters and his successor Secretary Charles Snavely and former and current cabinet staff members, including Aron Patrick, John Lyons, Kenya Stump and Lee Colton.
Many of the ideas and principles in the Empower Kentucky plan were informed by community leaders and organizations working on the frontlines for a just transition, energy democracy, and environmental and climate justice. Special thanks to the many powerful grassroots leaders working with the Climate Justice Alliance, Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change, Center for Community Change, and the Advancing Equity and Opportunity Collaborative.
Among the state and national experts who provided essential analysis, guidance and research in support of this project, four individuals stand out. We are indebted to: Laura Greenfield who led our Environmental Justice Workteam and authored the EJ analysis; Patrick Knight of Synapse Energy Economics who worked closely with KFTC leaders and staff over many months and authored the technical analysis of the Empower Kentucky Plan; Randall Smith of PowerLabs who helped KFTC members and staff develop effective communications and digital engagement strategies; and David Farnsworth at the Regulatory Assistance Project who shared guidance in the early stages of this project and helped our staff, leaders and allies gain a deeper understanding of the Clean Power Plan and its implications for Kentucky.
We are grateful for guidance and input from: Holmes Hummel at Clean Energy Works; Meegan Kelly and Cassandra Kubes at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy; John Larsen at Rhodium Group; Michael Leon Guerrero at Climate Justice Alliance and Labor Network for Sustainability; Jacqui Patterson at the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Project; Kerene Tayloe and the whole staff at WEACT; Elsa Barboza and Jaimie Worker and others with Center for Community Change; Cecelia Martinez at Center for Earth Energy and Democracy; Casey Harrell at Citizen Engagement Lab; Rudi Navarra in his former role with the Southeast Climate and Energy Network; Miya Yoshitani at Asian Pacific Environmental Network; Manisha Vaze at SCOPE-LA; Emily Stiever at Community Power Network; Ahmina Maxey at Global Alliance for Incineration Alternatives; Mick Power, formerly at US Climate Action Network; Teresa Martin with Kentucky Solar Energy Society; Simon Mahan with Southern Wind Energy Alliance; Eboni Cochrane with REACT; David Brown Kinloch with Soft Energy Associates; Matt Partymiller with Solar Energy Solutions; Nancy Givens with Avery and Sun Associates; Center for Health Equity in Louisville; Louisville Office of Sustainability; Bob Smith, Rebecca Peak and Richard Becker with SEIU/NCFO; Tim Darst with Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light; Susan Classen with the Loretto Community; Patricia Tull with Louisville Seminary; Rev. Leo Woodberry; and so many others.
KFTC appreciates financial support for the Empower Kentucky project and related organizing work. We could not do this work without generous contributions from 11,000 KFTC members that strengthen and sustain this organization. We are also grateful for support from philanthropic partners, including: The Chorus Foundation, Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change, Surdna Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Movement Strategy Center/Climate Justice Alliance, Energy Foundation, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Common Stream, New York Community Trust, blue moon fund, Winslow Foundation, David Rockefeller Fund, Civil Society Institute, Center for Community Change, Solutions Project, MACED, Just Transition Fund, New World Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Needmor Fund and Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock.