Kentucky

KENTUCKY

Kentucky, the Bluegrass State, is famous not only for its pastures, but also for its many scenic natural landscapes — lakes, rivers, and stunning smoky mountains. Home to nearly 4.5 million people and sprawling across nearly 40 thousand square miles, Kentucky is also known for its mining industry, and has thus often found itself squarely in the center of debates around climate change, energy, and economy.

While Kentucky’s average temperature did not change significantly over the past century, most areas within the state have warmed in the last twenty years, and simultaneously an increase in average rainfall. Like many other states, Kentucky’s water supply and soil health is threatened even as precipitation increases because of longer, hotter periods between rainfalls. Parched soil is less able to absorb rain, and thus the issue becomes self-perpetuating.

Warmer temperatures will also inhibit frost and extend growing seasons, and drought is expected to reduce crop yields. Kentucky residents are expected to see a rise in extreme heat from 15 days per year today to 70 by 2050. For a state ranking consistently at the bottom of the stack for health care access and quality, this is extremely concerning. Extreme heat particularly effects people who are already vulnerable to health risks, like the elderly, the chronically sick, and historically marginalized populations.

The commercial coal industry in Kentucky dates back to the early 19th century and the state continues to produce enormous amounts of coal. It is the fifth coal-producing state in the country and over 70% of electricity generated in Kentucky is coal-fired. That proportion actually indicates a decline, as coal historically contributed over 90% of Kentucky’s electricity generation, but older power plants have become too costly to maintain in recent years although some of those plants now burn natural gas. Hydroelectric dams produced about 6% of the state’s energy in 2019.

Kentucky established The Climate Action Plan Council which submitted a report in 2011, which has not been updated since 2013. In the absence of continued state-wide action, Louisville, Kentucky’s biggest city, created its own action plan. It joined the 100 Resilient Cities Network and set forth a number of initiatives which not only work to curb emissions but also to help residents adapt to a changing climate and mitigate inequities resulting from climate change consequences. Critics say Louisville’s plan isn’t ambitious enough, as cutting emissions by 80% by 2050 still leaves Louisville falling short of emissions reductions that, according to the United Nations, are necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

In April, 2021 Louisville entered a partnership with the NREL to help them map out a roadmap to reach their goals.

Kentucky STEAM Academy students walk out to bring awareness to climate change

CURRENT NEWS

NPR

Climate change is deadly. Exactly how deadly?

By Rebecca Hersher and Alejandra Borunda 06/10/24
No one in eastern Kentucky could remember rain as intense as what fell in July 2022. In just five days, more than 14 inches of rain inundated the region's rural counties. On the final day…
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Kentucky awards $20 million grant from National Science Foundation to study climate change

By Tom Latek 05/23/24
The state of Kentucky will receive $20 million from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which aims to support states that have historically received less funding…
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Kentucky AG gets funding to fight Biden administration on climate, air and water pollution rules

By Liam Niemeyer 04/29/24
When Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman told state lawmakers in January about the budget needs of his office, Rep. Patrick Flannery, R-Olive Hill, asked if he needed more resources to address a “regulatory avalanche” regarding…
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Climate-denying House committee chair wants Kentucky to be a fossil fuel ‘sanctuary state’

By Ryan Van Velzer and Sylvia Goodman 03/21/24
A joint resolution that passed the House natural resources committee Thursday would direct the state’s environmental authority to defy federal rules for fossil fuel power plants.
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Kentucky’s first-ever utility-scale wind turbine will come online soon

By Liam Niemeyer 01/16/24
Kentucky’s largest utility has built what it says is the state’s first utility-scale wind turbine in an effort to test the potential of wind energy.
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The risk of extreme heat in Kentucky due to climate change

By Bruce Maples 08/19/23
According to the First Street Foundation, heat is one of the main threats to Kentucky due to climate change. In the western part of the state, particularly, climate change is going to bring significant increases…
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The Flooding in Kentucky Is Getting Worse Because of Climate Change— Here’s Why

By Eva Hagan 08/17/23
Frequent storms and torrential rain has led to severe flash flooding in parts of Kentucky, with some neighborhoods and streets underwater in just a few hours. In 2022, the state saw record rain and devastating…
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Ky. Legislature has ignored ‘right to healthy environment’ bill that sparked Montana climate case

By Ryan Van Velzer 08/16/23
In the first ruling of its kind in the U.S., attorneys for the 16 plaintiffs, ranging in age from six to 22, focused arguments on their clients’ constitutional right to a “clean and healthful environment."
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The risk of flooding in Kentucky due to climate change

By Bruce Maples 08/16/23
As we’ve seen recently, climate change can cause precipitation to “bunch up” and rain or snow in large amounts in a short period of time. Factors such as property level, proximity to rivers or bodies…
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Ky. governor’s reelection gambit: The climate ‘dog whistle’

By Adam Aton 07/24/23
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear stood in front of a crowd last fall to herald a new natural gas pipeline — and to tout his state’s popularity among what he called the “biggest companies on planet…
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‘Climate change’ is becoming ‘climate crisis.’ And Kentucky isn’t ready.

By Bruce Maples 07/20/23
For anyone not locked into a climate-denial bubble, it’s pretty apparent that climate change is happening all around us. And in some ways, that “change” has moved to “crisis.”
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These governors said no thanks to federal climate money

By Maxine Joselow 07/19/23
Four states have quietly rejected millions of dollars in federal climate funding from last year’s landmark climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act.
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Kentucky farmers eligible for grants to fund clean energy projects

06/10/24
Rural Kentucky farmers are eligible for a federal program that will help fund the cost of clean energy projects. Under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program, farmers and rural small business…

Kentucky manufacturers talk carbon emissions and grid reliability with lawmakers

06/07/24
Executives for two Kentucky manufacturers told lawmakers Thursday they were committed to clean energy alternatives and reducing carbon emissions. One Republican warned against “blindly” following federal policy initiatives.

Kentucky’s first 100% solar-powered factory uses Stracker Solar systems

05/30/24
Play Mart recently broke ground for a more than $3 million expansion project in Pulaski County, Kentucky, that will add equipment, personnel and materials to meet the growing demands of this global playground manufacturer. This…

Kentucky eyed for near billion-dollar investment in renewable energy projects

05/26/24
f all goes to plan, Kentucky may be the recipient of a near-billion dollar federal investment into greener economic development. If all goes to plan, Kentucky may be the recipient of a near-billion dollar federal…

Century’s Green Aluminum Challenge is Kentucky’s Clean Energy Opportunity

05/21/24
Kentucky is poised to win big from the clean energy transition. A combination of clean manufacturing projects and renewable energy could bring more than 5,000 green jobs to the Bluegrass State, allowing Kentuckians to rebuild…
DEI

Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities issue RFP for solar, wind and hydro

05/02/24
Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for new solar, wind, and hydroelectric projects that will begin in 2026.

LG&E and KU pursuing opportunities to add renewable energy

05/01/24
Louisville Gas and Electric Co. and Kentucky Utilities Co. are issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for new renewable energy projects from solar, wind and hydroelectric providers to begin in 2026. The company is exploring…

Renewable energy to power Kentucky Derby 150

04/25/24
LG&E is the presenting sponsor of Churchill Downs’ Opening Night program Saturday, April 27, which will kick off Derby week as Churchill Downs remains committed to renewable energy. The racetrack will purchase blocks of Green…

Kentucky’s new wind turbine offers path toward sustainability

04/11/24
Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) are elevating energy-saving alternatives for Kentuckians. “We have over $92 million in active federal awards that are powering all of the renewable energy and energy research…

Mayor Greenberg announces the launch of Solarize Louisville to encourage residents to transition to renewable energy

03/26/24
Mayor Craig Greenberg and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (OS), in partnership with the Kentucky Solar Energy Society (KYSES) and the Louisville Sustainability Council (LSC) announce the launch of Solarize Louisville 2024 (formerly titled Solar…

$81 Million Federal Grant To Help Build $1.3 Billion Pumped Storage Hydropower Facility in Kentucky

03/25/24
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear joined the U.S. Department of Energy to announce that the Lewis Ridge Pumped Storage Project was approved for an up-to-$81 million federal grant to help construct a first-of-its-kind $1.3 billion coal-to-pumped…

Ky. aims to land 5 massive green projects with U.S. Energy Dept. aid

03/25/24
Thanks to as much as $961 million in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding and companies betting on Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear’s office said he is announcing five planned economic development projects over five days…

‘Transformational’ Kentucky renewable energy project on old mine receives $81 million

03/22/24
The federal government has awarded $81 million to develop a renewable-energy project in southeastern Kentucky projected to create about 1,500 jobs during the construction phase.

Clinging to coal: Kentucky utilities could have more hurdles to clear before retiring power plants

03/07/24
A bill backed by the Republican Kentucky Senate president would create new hurdles for utilities to retire fossil fuel-fired power plants, building on last year’s law that made it harder for utilities to move away…

Fossil fuels failed Kentucky utility customers during winter blackouts

08/31/23
Temperatures on Dec. 23 reached negative 8 degrees in Louisville and with the wind chill they exceeded -30 degrees. Pipes burst in homes all over the city. High winds and heavy snow canceled tens of…

Utility case influencing the future of Kentucky electricity generation kicks off

08/22/23
LG&E/KU plan to retire nearly a third of their coal generation by 2028. They want to replace it with a combination of natural gas, solar and battery storage. At the end of the hearing, utility…

Nucor’s Solar Energy Agreement Drives Kentucky’s Clean Energy Development

08/08/23
Nucor announced a purchase agreement for 250 megawatts of renewable energy from Sebree Solar, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, and the collaboration coincides with the launch of a two-phase solar project, Sebree Solar, in…

Electricity grid operator warns Kentucky of possible energy supply crunch

08/04/23
That operator, PJM, provides wholesale electricity to utilities in 13 states in the Northeast, including about half of Kentucky. PJM Vice President Asim Haque spoke to Kentucky’s Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Energy on…

Duke Energy Unveils Kentucky’s Largest Utility-Scale Rooftop Solar Site at Amazon Air Hub

08/03/23
Duke Energy customers in Northern Kentucky are benefiting from additional clean, renewable solar energy as a result of a new utility-scale rooftop solar project now generating power for area homes and businesses.

Historic coal mine to become ‘Kentucky’s largest renewable power project’

07/31/23
The Starfire Coal Mine used to produce enough energy for Kentucky and beyond, but it is now being reclaimed to produce a different type of energy. The BrightNight Starfire Renewable Energy Center will be Kentucky’s…

Solar is a bright spot amid Kentucky’s fossil-driven energy portfolio

07/28/23
The Texas-based Ashwood Solar broke ground Thursday on Kentucky’s largest solar installation to date, covering some 250 acres in Lyon County with enough solar panels to generate electricity for tens of thousands of homes.

Amazon’s Kentucky solar initiative brings new meaning to renewable energy

07/26/23
Amazon is spearheading the next renewable energy initiative in Kentucky. Amazon has a total of five solar energy projects in Kentucky, the latest being a new rooftop unit at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and…

‘Kentucky’s largest renewable power project’: Former coal mine to be turned into renewable energy site

07/26/23
We really hope that lots of people see this, lots of companies, lots of industries and try to put together these upstream, downstream partnerships, relationships like what we’ve done with BrightNight and build that type…

BrightNight, Rivian and The Nature Conservancy Unite to Transform Starfire Coal Mine into Kentucky’s Largest Renewable Power Project

07/25/23
Starfire Mine, formerly one of the largest coal mines in the United States, will be the new site of a solar energy center. The announcement was made today by global renewable power producer BrightNight CEO…

Coal’s Dying Light: Kentucky’s slow walk toward renewable energy

07/21/23
Utility executives in Kentucky are planning the future of electricity generation in the warmth of coal’s dying light.

Kentucky’s largest utility tests new law creating barrier to retire fossil fuel plants

05/16/23
Republican lawmakers in Kentucky, raising concerns that planned and ongoing retirements of coal-fired power plants could affect the reliability and resilience of the electric grid, passed a new law that creates an extra barrier for…

Community solar project coming to coal country

05/15/23
A Kentucky electric cooperative retained the services of Solar Energy Solutions to install a 187 kW community solar garden for Frankfort residents and local businesses.

Stanley Black & Decker 100% renewable energy powered in Kentucky

05/04/23
Stanley Black & Decker, the venerable tool manufacturer founded in 1843, unveiled a 4.3 MW solar farm in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, said to be the state’s largest privately funded on-site solar project. Completed by Castillo Engineering…

LG&E And KU Energy Becomes First Green Energy Partner Of Churchill Downs

04/28/23
LG&E and KU Energy have partnered with Churchill Downs to become the first Green Energy partner of the Kentucky Derby.

US storage outfit opens Kentucky gigafactory

03/28/23
The site will become the company’s manufacturing plant for its Energy Storage Vessels, the second generation of its large-format battery technology enabling more scalable configurations, including for large-scale renewable energy storage.

Arvato Supply Chain Solutions operates additional sites in the USA with green electricity

03/07/23
Arvato Supply Chain Solutions has switched the energy supply of five more distribution centers in the USA to green electricity from wind and solar energy. Following the warehouse in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, four distribution centers…

Why Frankfort, Kentucky, Set A 2023 Clean Energy Goal

03/05/23
In October 2021, the city of Frankfort, Kentucky, set a very accelerated and ambitious clean energy goal: to supply 100% clean, renewable electricity to city government operations by the end of 2023.

Mayor Greenberg’s Office of Sustainability launches Solar Over Louisville Campaign with the KYSES and LSC

03/02/23
Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg, the Kentucky Solar Energy Society (KYSES) and the Louisville Sustainability Council (LSC) today announced the official launch of the Solar Over Louisville solarize campaign and named Solar Energy Solutions (SES) and…

The U.S. Has Billions for Wind and Solar Projects. Good Luck Plugging Them In

By Brad Plumer 02/23/23
Plans to install 3,000 acres of solar panels in Kentucky and Virginia are delayed for years. Wind farms in Minnesota and North Dakota have been abruptly canceled. And programs to encourage Massachusetts and Maine residents…

Synthica Energy shares plans for renewable natural gas plant in Bullitt County

02/06/23
Synthica Energy is building a site off Preston Highway and Interstate 65 in Lebanon Junction. The 40-acre industrial site is expected to be the largest facility in Kentucky to process bourbon distillery and food waste…

Some Kentuckians push their power supplier to prioritize greener energy over coal

02/06/23
Bill Conn was thinking of his two children when he wrote an email in December to the Kentucky Public Service Commission, the state agency that regulates more than 1,000 utilities.

Fleming County Judge-Executive expresses concern over industrial solar

04/06/22
The Biden administration’s proposed decarbonization goals have created a strong push for renewable energy and some local residents are fighting back against the encroachment of “green” technology into farmlands that have always been used to…
OGM

Solar Alliance begins construction 500-kW utility solar project for LG&E and KU

04/06/22
Solar Alliance Energy Inc. is pleased to announce it has commenced construction on a 500-kilowatt solar project in Kentucky for Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, regulated utilities that serve more than…

As coal mining comes to end, this East Kentucky land is set to house renewable energy project

03/22/22
As coal continues to be mined at a Bell County site, a portion of the land will become home to a renewable energy project that would provide thousands of jobs and generate electricity for the…

Kentucky utility adds more solar as Solar Shares Program gains customers

03/14/22
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company begin construction on fifth section of solar facility that, when complete, will provide 4MW of electricity to Solar Share subscribers.

Solar Over Louisville: New program encourages renewable energy

02/18/22
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Sustainability Council announced the Solar Over Louisville campaign Friday. It’ll give families in the area more collective buying power to get discounted wholesale rates for solar panel installation…

Louisville activists call on utilities, regulators to act on climate change

01/25/22
Louisville Metro passed a resolution in 2020 to make city government operations 100% renewable by 2035. But the city’s utility, Louisville Gas & Electric, has other plans.

Kentucky Coal Mine Will Become Giant “Water Battery” Energy Storage Project

01/10/22
Whelp, that was fast. No sooner does the Ford Motor Company put Kentucky on the clean tech map for EV battery manufacturing, when along comes the leading hydropower company Rye Development with a proposal to…

The sun shines bright on Kentucky: New solar facility to provide sustainable energy to UofL and other organizations

10/29/21
The University of Louisville is part of new power agreements between the Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company to provide more renewable energy options. As part of this ongoing commitment, the planned…

City enters partnership with National Renewable Energy Laboratory to meet 100% renewable goals

04/22/21
Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville Metro Government (LMG) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to chart a course in meeting the city’s 100% renewable-energy goals. The…

Kentucky Climate Action Plan

08/14/20
Final Report of the Kentucky Climate Action Plan Council.

KEY RESOURCES

Kentucky State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/21/21
Bordered on the north by the Ohio River, Kentucky stretches from the Appalachian Mountains in the east to the flood plain of the Mississippi River in the west. In between, the rolling hills of the…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Kentucky

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Kentucky experienced two floods, three severe storms, and one freeze. The damages of these events led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Kentucky’s Climate Threats

08/14/20
Kentucky is facing a dramatic rise in heat wave days in the coming decades, from about 15 per year today, to as many as 70 a year by 2050.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Kentucky

07/31/20
Kentucky is Vulnerable to Climate Change

What Climate Change Means for Kentucky

07/13/20
Kentucky’s climate is changing. Although the average temperature did not change much during the 20th centur y, most of the commonwealth has warmed in the last 20 years.

Trading coal for renewable energy would create jobs in Kentucky, group says

05/05/20
Greater emphasis on energy efficiency and on producing electricity from renewable sources would create thousands of jobs in Kentucky, reduce electricity bills and help improve the health of residents by cutting pollution, according to a…

Kentucky Won’t Escape Human-Driven Climate Change, Federal Report Warns

05/05/20
The report is notably blunt: The climate is changing faster than at any point in modern civilization and the responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of mankind. The White House issued the report on Black…

Recurrence intervals based on the historical frequency

05/05/20
Descriptive information and historical data highlighting aspects of Kentucky’s climate.

What climate change means for Kentucky

05/05/20
Since Kentucky is an inland state, many people assume climate change is not a big concern. Nothing could be further from the truth. The United States Environmental Protection Agency issued an article stating key concerns…

Sustainable Energy Solutions

05/05/20
Energy efficiency -Taking action to reduce energy use, including doing things as simple as replace traditional lightbulbs with CFL bulbs that use less energy. At a minimum, increasing energy efficiency could meet all of the…

Kentucky Green And Healthy Schools

05/05/20
Through this program, a team of students, teachers, and school administrators (a "Green Team") work together to improve the school facilities in nine different categories. For more information on the different categories, visit the Program…

Lobby your legislators about Sustainable Energy

05/04/20
Along with our partners in the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance (KySEA), we support the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, expanding Kentucky's net metering law, and expanding energy efficiency and renewable energy in our schools, called the…

MORE NEWS

Flooding Hits American Towns Far From Oceans and Big Rivers

By Arian Campo-Flores and Cameron McWhirter   06/19/23  
In nearly four decades living here, Kasey Wright had never seen the North Fork of the Kentucky River flood her neighborhood at the water’s edge. Then last July, thunderstorms unleashed a deluge, sending a torrent…
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MSN

This part of Kentucky is the most worried about climate change

By Stacker   05/09/23  
- Agree that global warming is affecting weather: 49.0%
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Why Kentucky Is Dead Last for Wind and Solar Production

By James Bruggers and Dan Gearino   03/31/23  
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Andy McDonald recalls a decade-old Kentucky legislative hearing on an energy diversification bill with the same sense of frustration that he felt back then, when he testified before a panel of lawmakers who were…
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Kentucky floodwaters receded six months ago. For many, the crisis goes on.

By Brady Dennis   03/22/23  
Months after the floods, some are living in state parks and debris hangs in trees. As more Americans are displaced from climate disasters, Kentucky shows the added difficulties when they strike in rural areas....
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The Stream, February 22, 2023: Rising Floodwaters in Kentucky and West Virginia Prompt State of Emergency

By Christian Thorsberg   03/16/23  
An underground nuclear test site in North Korea may have exposed tens of thousands of people to groundwater containing radioactive material.
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Ky. Senate votes to preserve aging coal-fired power plants

By Ryan Van Velzer   03/06/23  
Coal power is on its way out. Retirements are on the rise even as Kentucky continues to generate the majority of its power from ancient, carbonized plant matter.
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Kentucky Residents Angered by US Forest Service Logging Plan That Targets Mature Trees – Inside Climate News

By Marianne Lavelle   03/05/23  
This story by Inside Climate News is part of Deforestation Inc., a global investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. WILLIAMSBURG, Kentucky—Brandon Bowlin learned of the U.S. government’s plan for clear-cutting in the southernmost…
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Analysis finds Renewables cheaper than all Southeast coal plants

By Maggie Shober   03/02/23  
Energy Innovation has released updated analysis comparing the cost of continuing to operate coal plants to replacing them with solar, wind, or batteries. The results are clear: continued reliance on coal is expensive, and each…
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Ky. governor candidate Daniel Cameron’s anti-climate track record

By Ryan Van Velzer   03/01/23  
One of the Republican frontrunners for governor in Kentucky has a track record of undermining policies to combat climate change. It’s a strategy researchers say could hurt the state’s long-term prosperity.
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Ignoring Climate Risks Has Inflated Property Values in Flood Zones

By Thomas Frank   02/17/23  
Home buyers are paying excessive prices after ignoring flood risk and the costs of insurance and repairs, a new study finds. A study released Thursday says the climate-driven housing bubble threatens homeowners with plummeting values…
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As one longtime advocate steps down, Kentucky’s 90k miles of waterways get a new champion

By Connor Giffin   02/16/23  
As a father, Michael Washburn is kept up at night by what a climate change-ravaged world might look like for his son.
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Drowning Deaths Last Summer From Flooding in Eastern Kentucky’s Coal Country Linked to Poor Strip-Mine Reclamation – Inside Climate News

By James Bruggers   02/14/23  
When public health nurse Beverly May plotted the locations of 36 drowning deaths from last summer’s torrential rains in eastern Kentucky, she felt a chill. Virtually all of them occurred downstream from large-scale strip mines…
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In flooded Kentucky, schools race to rebuild

By Emily Cochrane   08/28/22  
This school year was, finally, supposed to be a return to normal. But after floodwaters wrecked homes and schools across the region, simply getting started will be a challenge.
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How Coal Mining and Years of Neglect Left Kentucky Towns at the Mercy of Flooding

By Rick Rojas and Others   08/04/22  
This sliver of land wedged between the thick woods and Wright Fork creek has been the home of Gary Moore’s family for as long as there has been a United States. The burial plot for…
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‘We Keep Getting Hit’: Flooded Kentucky Grows Weary After Another Natural Disaster

By Tricia Fulks Kelley and Others   08/01/22  
Firefighters and National Guard crews have swarmed into eastern Kentucky after days of deadly flooding, rescuing by the hundreds people who found themselves trapped in the perilous water.
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In Kentucky, More Rain Complicates Recovery as Death Toll Rises

By Rick Rogers and Others   08/01/22  
One round of rainstorms after another blew through eastern Kentucky on Monday, deepening the misery of an already desperate region. Floodwaters again swallowed the roads that had recently reopened to allow emergency workers to scour…
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Death toll for Kentucky floods climbs to 28, with more storms coming

By Maria Sacchetti   07/31/22  
The death toll from severe flooding in eastern Kentucky has risen to 28 people, including several children, and the governor said more fatalities are expected as search-and-rescue teams go door-to-door in the Appalachian foothills to…
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What the Floods Left Behind: A Devastated Kentucky Views the Damage

By Shawn Hubler   07/31/22  
Search and rescue operations continued on Sunday in eastern Kentucky, where devastating floods, the product of extreme rainfall, swept through rural communities last week.
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Biden issues disaster declaration as Kentucky flooding kills at least 16

By Rick Childress and Others   07/29/22  
People brought harrowing stories of survival Friday as they took shelter at a school that had become a refuge for those who lost everything when muddy water rapidly seeped into their homes. 10 steps you…
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With Epic Flooding in Eastern Kentucky, the State’s Governor Wants to Know ‘Why We Keep Getting Hit’

By James Bruggers   07/29/22  
After three years in office, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has grown accustomed to holding media briefings on weather disasters. In February 2020, heavy rain caused flooding across Central and Eastern Kentucky, and mudslides in Eastern…
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At Least 16 Killed By Kentucky Flooding—Toll Expected To Rise

By Siladitya Ray   07/29/22  
TOPLINE At least 16 people have died and several others remain missing after heavy rains caused severe flooding in eastern Kentucky, the state’s governor announced on Friday, in the latest extreme weather event that has…
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The Decline of Kentucky’s Coal Industry Has Produced Hundreds of Safety and Environmental Violations at Strip Mines

By James Bruggers   04/18/22  
As the coal industry has collapsed in Kentucky, companies have racked up a rising number of violations at surface mines, and state regulators have failed to bring a record number of them into compliance, internal…
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Mountain legislators announce opposition to Kentucky Power sale

04/03/22  
The members of the Kentucky Legislature’s Mountain Caucus announced in a press conference on March 24 that they are standing alongside others, including Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office, in opposition to the sale by…
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Kentucky lawmakers pass flurry of conservative bills ahead of veto deadline

By Ryan Van Velzer   03/31/22  
Kentucky Republican lawmakers made good on their promise to push for conservative laws during this year’s legislative session, passing a long list of priorities they say voters have demanded by electing GOP supermajorities in both…
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Ky. lawmakers vote to ‘protect fossil fuel industry’

By Ryan Van Velzer   03/24/22  
On Monday the United Nations secretary general warned the planet is “sleepwalking into a climate catastrophe,” but that’s not what concerns Republican Sen. Robby Mills of Henderson.
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Study says climate change will make allergy seasons worse

By Ally Blake   03/16/22  
Kentucky is already known to have bad allergy seasons, but a new study suggests that climate change will make pollen season longer. As the temperature continues to rise, plants will be able to bloom earlier,…
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Coal to crypto: The gold rush bringing bitcoin miners to Kentucky

By Avi Asher- Schapiro   03/15/22  
In a ravine deep in the Appalachian mountains, Warren Rogers stands on the ruins of an abandoned coal-washing plant that used to prepare hundreds of tons of the fuel a day for transport through the…
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Ky. bill would divest from financial companies that boycott fossil fuels

By Ryan Van Velzer   03/02/22  
More than a hundred banks around the world have committed to divesting from fossil fuel resources to combat the climate crisis as part of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance.
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Battered and Flooded by Increasingly Severe Weather, Kentucky and Tennessee Have a Big Difference in Forecasting

By James Bruggers and Caroline Eggers   02/24/22  
Tammy Shaw and her granddaughter, Hope Collier, were trying to find an escape path when water started spilling under their doors.
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Kentucky faces greater tornado risks because of climate change

By Ryan Van Velzer   12/16/21  
Determining the role of climate change in a single tornado is difficult, but climate change did play a role in the tornado system that hit Kentucky over the weekend, and extreme weather events like it…
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Kentucky bourbon makers plan for the future under climate change

By Ryan Van Velzer   12/08/21  
Kentucky bourbon wouldn’t be what it is without the minerals from the state’s water, the color and flavor imparted by charred white oak, or the mash bill made from corn, rye and barley.
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Beshear unveils new energy strategy without mentioning climate change

By Ryan Van Velzer   10/20/21  
Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear unveiled a new energy strategy for the state Wednesday without mentioning climate change, its impacts or goals to curb carbon emissions.
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USDA accepts more than 2.5 million acres in Grassland CRP Signup, Double Last Year’s Signup

By OC Monitor Staff   09/12/21  
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has accepted offers for more than 2.5 million acres from agricultural producers and private landowners for enrollment through this year’s Grassland Conservation Reserve Program Signup. This is double last year’s…
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USDA invests over $129,000 to expand renewable energy infrastructure in rural Ky.

By Monica Watkins   09/09/21  
he United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kentucky announced USDA awarded over $129,000 in grants to 12 rural Kentucky businesses and agricultural producers. These investment made through the Rural Energy for America Program aim…
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‘If the creek is up, I’m dead’: The human toll of Kentucky’s infrastructure woes

By Adam K. Raymond   09/09/21  
In some ways, Stephen Lathrem feels lucky that the massive heart attack he suffered a decade ago hit when it did. “If I'd had it the next day, I wouldn’t be here talking to you,”…
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Climate Change Offers More Ideal Days For Mosquitoes In Louisville

By Ryan Van Velzer   08/27/21  
Standing in a thicket of wetland woods beside a church in Newburg, entomologist Matt Vanderpool attaches the finishing touches on a mosquito trap. A purple glow lures the mosquitoes in, a bit like a bug…
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New solar farm planned in Henderson County would be largest renewable energy farm yet

By Chuck Stinnett   08/19/21  
A major power generator is seeking state authority to build and operate a third large solar energy farm in rural Henderson County. Sebree Solar LLC proposes building a 1,200-acre solar array north and west of…
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Amazon to build new solar farm in Kentucky amid renewable energy push

By Haley Cawthon   06/23/21  
Amazon.com Inc. has just announced 14 new renewable energy projects across the globe, and one of them will be happening here in the Bluegrass State.
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Kentucky AG part of 16-state coalition against climate change disclosure

By Steve Rogers   06/15/21  
Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined a 16-state coalition Tuesday in filing comments before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to push back against a Biden Administration initiative requiring companies to make climate change disclosures…
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The ‘Beef’ With Beef: Cattle, Climate Change, And Alternative Meat

By Sherry Listgarten   05/28/21  
Many people might think of Blake Munger as a cattle farmer as he walks through his pasture land in western Kentucky, but he sees things a little differently nowadays. “I don’t know which is more…
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Inside Clean Energy: Solar Industry Wins Big in Kentucky Ruling

By Dan Gearino   05/20/21  
The people in Kentucky’s small rooftop solar industry are used to fighting for their livelihoods against utilities, but they aren’t used to winning. So a ruling last week from the Kentucky Public Service Commission was…
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Kentucky Coal Production, Employment Decline Slows in 1st Quarter

By Curtis Tate   05/18/21  
Kentucky coal production and employment fell by the smallest amount in nearly two years, according to new data. The state’s coal mines produced 6.5 million tons in the first three months of 2021, according to…
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Newly released NOAA data shows Kentucky’s climate is now warmer, wetter

By Adam Burniston   05/13/21  
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administration, or NOAA, just released new 30-year climate normals and for Kentucky and we’ve seen some notable changes in our average temperature and precipitation. Anytime you hear the WKYT…
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Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark: behind production of top-selling bourbons, a new push to go green

By Bruce Schreiner, AP   04/26/21  
The process of making fine whiskey involves aging spirits to a golden brown, but a bourbon producing giant is going green along the way. Beam Suntory, producer of top-selling Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, both…
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Louisville partnering with Energize Kentucky to administer Energy Program Assessment District Program

04/22/21  
Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville Metro Government has entered into an agreement with Energize Kentucky for the administration of an Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) program. The EPAD program allows for Louisville’s businesses…
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Kentucky Ranked One of the Least Green States in America

By CityBeat Staff   04/19/21  
As Earth Day approaches (on April 22), financial website WalletHub has once again released a timely report. In their "2021's Greenest States" rankings, the site looked at all 50 states to uncover which ones are…
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Miners’ union backs shift from coal in exchange for jobs

By Matthew Daly Associated Press   04/19/21  
The nation's largest coal miners' union said Monday it would accept President Joe Biden's plan to move away from coal and other fossil fuels in exchange for a "true energy transition" that includes thousands of…
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Global warming perceptions by state: Most Americans accept human fault

By Dante Chinni   04/15/21  
It's been more than 50 years since the words "Earth Day" entered the country's environmental lexicon, and polling data show there is an increasing understanding that humans do, in fact, play a large role in…
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This is How Much Renewable Energy Kentucky is Producing

By Samuel Stebbins and Grant Suneson   04/01/21  
Within weeks of taking office, President Joe Biden issued a series of executive orders aimed at making the U.S. carbon neutral by 2050. This goal hinges on eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in electricity production --…
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