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Reflections on the Kentucky Clean Energy Summit

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Feb 04, 2011 11:45 AM

Reflections in a Clear, 'Green' Mirror
by Cecile Schubert
Kentucky Environmental Foundation Volunteer

What more could one ask for?  A plethora of eclectic environmentalists gathering, discussing and sharing their expertise concerning the health and welfare of the planet...especially for Kentucky.

It was gratifying to see that the meeting room in the Campbell House was filled, with more than 150 people from 31 organizations, who are members of KYSea, and other interested groups. Get a group of environmentalists together and what are the conversations about efficiency, promoting clean and renewable energy, creating new jobs, enabling all residents and businesses to take advantage of energy solutions (i.e. efficiency savings, reduction in chronic diseases,--thus an improvement in our health & well-being, green jobs, affordable housing, ...and not just for the few).

Impressive to me was that the Summit presented varying 'ways to approach' "Clean Energy Opportunities".  Presentations ranged from "The Case for Clean Energy Policies in Kentucky" to "Making The Case For State-Based Clean Energy Policies". " to "Overview and Lessons from Neighboring States" with time for questions.

Information provided by a panel consisting of Jason Bailey from MACED, discussing "Trends Facing KY's Utility Sector", Elizabeth Crowe, Kentucky Environmental Foundation talking about "Human Health", Kristin Tracz "Job Creation Potential", Jim King of FAHE "Affordability For Families" and Doug Doerrfeld, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, "Environmental Quality" was up-do-date, impacting (almost unsettling) and easy to digest.

Of especial interest to me was data that demonstrated that if KY transitions away from coal by 2050, the health & well-being of Kentuckians could be impacted to such a degree that there could be up to savings of $48 billion in terms of health care costs.  Just imagine the improvement in the over all well-being of our families, the land, the air we breathe and the water we drink. Just imagine the relief for those of us who already suffer from asthma, chronic bronchitis,  and allergies. Just imagine the reduction in the diagnoses of cancer and tuberculosis.

Big thanks go to the good folks who planned the Summit--it was a roaring success in my opinion.  Many 'conferences' that gather in one room for two hours or more tend to find people using their computers for 'other things' or using their text messaging.  The participants at this summit were 'spot on' in their attention. Wow, what a breath of fresh air!!

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