Governor's Office for Local Development
GOVERNOR ERNIE FLETCHER, ARC FEDERAL CO-CHAIR ANNE POPE ANNOUNCE COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY BLUEPRINT, OTHER INITIATIVES
Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope today announced a comprehensive energy blueprint for the 13 ARC states. This blueprint provides a strategic framework for the promotion of new energy-related jobs throughout the region.
“Energy is quickly becoming one of the biggest issues facing the country today,” said Governor Fletcher. “It is important for Kentucky and the other ARC states to develop a solid plan of action in order to capitalize on our natural resources and provide high-quality job opportunities for our citizens.”
During ARC’s February 2006 Governors’ Quorum Meeting, representatives from the 13 ARC states mandated the development of the blueprint in response to the changing national landscape of energy supply, use and policy.
“The blueprint shows the way to maximizing the development of Appalachia’s abundant natural energy resources,” said Pope. “It draws on the input of over one hundred industry experts, educators, government officials and entrepreneurs in assessing the region’s broad energy picture. It then suggests innovative regional approaches for ARC and its partners in boosting competitiveness and creating jobs in Appalachia’s growing energy sector.”
The energy blueprint offers an examination of both renewable and non-renewable energy sources, as well as current and future energy technologies. The blueprint will guide the region in promoting sustainable energy production.
The three basic strategic objectives for Appalachia outlined in the blueprint are:
- Promoting energy efficiency in Appalachia to enhance the region’s economic competitiveness.
- Increasing the use of renewable energy resources, especially biomass, in Appalachia to produce alternative transportation fuels, electricity and heat.
- Supporting the development of conventional energy resources, especially advanced clean coal, in Appalachia to produce alternative transportation electricity and heat.
The blueprint is available at www.arc.gov/publications.
Governor Fletcher announced two additional initiatives. The first, a Clean Coal Conference to be hosted in 2007 focusing on clean coal technologies and the role of the Appalachian states in utilizing that technology for future energy production. The second, an executive order calling for the following:
- The Finance and Administration Cabinet shall improve the fuel efficiency of Kentucky’s transportation fleet by rightsizing and procuring more fuel-efficient and alternative-use replacement vehicles.
- The Office of Energy Policy shall commit $1,000,000 during this biennium to the research, development, deployment and commercialization of renewable energy and energy efficient projects. This shall include a study of the net benefits of incentives for consumers to purchase ENERGY STAR appliances.
- The Office of Energy Policy shall produce a study analyzing the impact of incorporating energy efficiency as a goal of retail rate design. Because of our low cost of electricity, incentives may not exist to increase efficiency either to the utilities or consumers.
- The Office of Energy Policy shall continue to implement and support education programs for energy efficiency to reduce energy use and to reduce utility bills for the citizens of the Commonwealth.
Governor Fletcher is the current ARC States’ Co-Chair. As states’ co-chair, Governor Fletcher is responsible for representing the 13 ARC governors before Congress and the Bush Administration; serve as a member of various ARC committees; and provide guidance on policy and administrative issues concerning the commission.
ARC is a federal-state economic development program used to meet infrastructure needs as well as to support education, workforce development, leadership and civic capacity building, entrepreneurship, asset-based development and affordable and accessible health care. ARC is federally funded and available to Kentucky’s 51 most eastern and south-central counties. Applications for ARC funds are submitted to GOLD.