Empower Kentucky is a people’s energy plan, one that reflects a shared vision and produces positive outcomes for all Kentuckians.
By emphasizing energy efficiency and renewable energy and putting a low price on CO2 pollution, the Empower Kentucky Plan produces more jobs, better health, and lower average bills than a business-as-usual scenario.
By 2032, Empower Kentucky Plan invests nearly $400 million in a just transition for affected communities and workers, reduces average bills by 10% compared to business-as-usual, and slashes CO2 pollution from Kentucky’s power sector by 40 percent. The plan prioritizes energy efficiency in low-income communities, and limits Kentucky’s reliance on risky and polluting energy options.
I have many family connections to the coal industry. I’m ready for our energy transition, but I understand the complexity.
- A Seat At The Table participant
My grandfather worked in the coal mines and died of black lung. He made a lot of money, but it cost him his life. I have coal in my blood, but I knew early on it was not good for the state. In 2013 I quit a job I didn’t like and decided to work in solar. Today I install solar systems in southwestern Kentucky.
- A Seat At The Table participant, Bowling Green
My vision for the energy future of Kentucky starts with energy efficiency. We have to really reduce the amount of energy that we’re using in order to have less energy demands.
- A Seat At The Table participant
The release of the Empower Kentucky Plan takes place in a troubled moment for Kentucky, the country, and the world. The power of fossil fuel industries is everywhere evident in our democracy. There appear to be few opportunities and little support for advancing a just transition to a clean energy economy within the Kentucky General Assembly or the U.S. Congress. Instead, our country is on the verge of lurching backwards on clean energy and climate commitments, a possibility that poses grave risks for our economy, health and climate.
Despite that reality, members of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, along with many other Kentuckians, remain determined. This plan reminds us that even a coal-dominated state like Kentucky has options – choices we could make today – that are good for workers, residents, and our climate. The Empower Kentucky Plan and process offer a hopeful model about what is needed, and what it will take, to build shared political will for a just transition.
While we are realistic about political roadblocks, we refuse to be limited by them. The stakes are too high. We continue to organize for better state and federal energy policies. And we’ll seize every opportunity to implement pieces of this plan and make progress at a local level. This plan offers a positive vision and a menu of good ideas that can be taken up by mayors and city council members, state legislators, candidates running for office, community organizations, labor leaders, students, health advocates, congregations, the Public Service Commission, and utilities themselves.
Today many people across Kentucky and the US are in motion. They are organizing for better jobs, better health, racial and economic justice, climate action, just transition, and a healthy democracy. They are working to advance clean energy projects and policies locally, including within our cities, school districts, and local utilities. They are showing up at town hall meetings, rallies, and offices to demand better from state and national leaders. And many are making decisions to run for office themselves or support others to run with a vision for Empowering Kentucky.
It is our hope and intention that this plan, and the grassroots process that created it, will contribute to powerful local, state, and national organizing campaigns in the months and years ahead.