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The new chief executive of American Electric Power said this week he wants the company to burn less coal as it looks for alternative fuel sources, reports Ryan Tracy of Dow Jones Newswires. The company's current capacity of coal use is 65 percent; new CEO Nick Akins told Tracy "he expects the company's entire fleet of coal-fired power plants to eventually meet more stringent environmental regulations, despite its loud calls for more time to comply with pending Environmental Protection Agency rules."

"The only thing we are going to wind up with in the end are fully scrubbed and fully environmentally compliant units," Akins said during an industry conference hosted by the Edison Electric Institute trade group. He also told Tracy that the company would not be able to meet EPA requirements "within a few years." He blamed the government for not creating new energy policy goals and said AEP will better be able to move forward when they know what new policy goals are. Said Akins: "We are at a transformational stage where we need to spend a lot of new capital on what that new mix of resources is going to be."

He said AEP mitigates the risk of policy changes by diversifying its fuel sources, and this is the main reason for burning less coal and transitioning to other fuel sources. Tracy reports the company is currently looking into gas-fired power plants because natural gas is cheap right now. Nuclear generation is not on the table, though Aikins said the company would likely update its existing nuclear plant to add capacity. (Read more)
Written by Ivy Brashear

 

Louisa, KY – On November 4th the Southeast Kentucky Chamber (SEKC) held a ribbon cutting ceremony and business after hours to welcome new member Elite Chiropractic. Many members of the Southeast Kentucky region came out to welcome Elite Chiropractic to the Chamber and the community of Louisa.

Dr. George McKay, Doctor at Elite Chiropractic, says he joined the Chamber “to plug in and network with the local community or Louisa and Lawrence County”.  Members of the local SEKC Lawrence County committee were in attendance including Carl Gullick and Violet Trout.  SEKC Chairman Tracy Syck of Shred-All Documents, Louisa Mayor Ted Preston, and Lawrence County Judge Executive John Osborne joined in welcoming Dr. McKay to Louisa.

“We love to see new businesses joining our communities in eastern Kentucky,” says Brad Hall, President/CEO of SEKC, who was also in attendance.  “Our organization strives to help them get their feet on the ground and stay connected within our communities.  It’s our ultimate goal to provide support for businesses in each community within in our service area; resulting in a stronger, united eastern Kentucky.”

For more information on the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce visit www.sekchamber.com or call 877-738-4400.
 

Elite Chiropractic is located at 4347 Hwy 2565 in Louisa. For more information on the services that they offer please call 606-638-0630.

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grants will assist four Eastern Kentucky community organizations, advance Endow Kentucky

SOMERSET, Ky.– Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers today announced $1 million in ARC grants to support the Appalachian Rural Development Philanthropy Initiative (ARDPI).  Governor Beshear joined Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl and other community leaders in Somerset for today’s announcement.

The initiative supports the development of permanent, accessible community foundations in Eastern Kentucky that will work to secure local assets to provide long-term resources for their communities.

The project funding will also advance the goals of Endow Kentucky, a program established by the 2010 General Assembly to enhance the quality of life for Kentuckians through increased philanthropic activity.

“Establishing sustainable philanthropic organizations throughout Appalachia will enable communities to grow endowments that will benefit local residents,” Gov. Beshear said. “Permanent community foundations also allow residents to know their contributions will go toward providing support and growth close to home, boosting overall community development.”

The Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative’s 2010 Transfer of Wealth study estimated that a sizeable amount of private assets will shift out of Eastern Kentucky communities within the next generation. ARDPI seeks to capture some of those assets through philanthropic endowments before they are transferred out of Appalachian communities.

ARDPI’s program work will include regional planning, training for communities, develop¬ment of an on-the-ground consultant program, and the use of mini-grants to assist communities in planning for securing and leveraging local resources.

A total of $1,004,000 in four ARC grants has been awarded to the following Eastern Kentucky organizations to assist in development over the next two years:

• The Center for Rural Development, Somerset – $582,150
• Brushy Fork Institute, Berea – $171,750
• Foundation for the Tri-State Community, Ashland – $133,600
• Community Foundation of Hazard and Perry County, Hazard –$116,500

Eleven distressed Appalachian counties will benefit initially from ARDPI: Bell, Clay, Elliott, Knott, Knox, Lawrence, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin and Whitley.

"This initiative has at its core a strong public/private partnership, which is fundamental to the project's future success", said Department for Local Government Commissioner Tony Wilder.  "Thanks to Governor Beshear, Congressman Rogers, ARC, and all our committed partners in these distressed communities, there will now be a philanthropic infrastructure established that will direct local resources to meet community needs for generations to come."

"We are participating in the ARDPI partnership because it aligns perfectly with The Center for Rural Development's vision to be a national model for economic development," said Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. "The initiative will grow the economy of our region by allowing wealth that is already here to remain here, and then be invested in worthwhile endeavors that improve the quality of life and make our communities great places to live, work, and raise our families."

ARC partners with federal, state and local governments in an effort to support sustainable community and economic growth throughout Appalachia by funding projects that range from education and job training to housing and business expansion to transportation and infrastructure development.

For more info on ARC, please visit http://www.arc.gov/.

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