File under: Totally wish I could’ve been there. Earlier this morning our steadfast Governor held a prayer/breakfast at the Frankfort Convention Center (rumor has it the planned monster truck rally was canceled due to it possibly jibing with the event’s intended solemnity). According to the AP (via the C-J), Beshear spoke to a crowd of state leaders and implored them to unite in their faith behind the one true god — presumably Yahweh — to weather our current economic storm.
Although invoking divine providence is a somewhat dubious executive act, let’s examine some of Beshear’s other designs in the green/economic/faith arenas.
Apparently, the ice storm works as a great quasi-biblical parable for this dang-blasted frigid economy. According to the C-J’s weird Faith & Works blog, the breakfast’s keynote speaker bailed and breakfast organizer/state finance secretary/Facebook demiurge Jonathan Miller was freaking the fuck out when Beshear stepped in to save the day in what could have only been a lost episode of “The Flying Nun”; “I’m the son of a Baptist preacher, and I’m a politician,” His Eminence told a becalmed Miller. “Need I say more?” Indeed.
Basically, Kentucky’s green policy is more of a light green in actuality: Although supportive of alternative energies like wind and solar — Beshear’s plan calls for 25% of Kentucky’s total energy production to be powered by alternative sources by 2025, which in Kentucky years means 2045 — his agenda so far fails to support a myriad of cost-effective sustainable technologies like radiant floor heating and solar water heaters (as noted by The Kentucky Solar Energy Society); and the administration’s continued support of so-called “clean” coal and the coal industry’s destructive policies doesn’t bode well for that matter. Kentucky consumes coal as 90% of its energy diet, and Big Coal has already begun protecting its investment by launching a massive PR-campaign which aims to kneecap any progressive transformation.
Despite Ashley Judd’s vision of building solar panel manufacturing plants in mountaintop-removal-ravaged places like Hazard, the Gov. & Co. have remained relatively vague about whether there are any high-level priorities to turn Kentucky — which receives more photo-voltaic energy than the world’s leading solar-energy producer, Germany — into, uh, Germany. So why not here?
Beshear doesn’t fear radiation, either, and has recently called for the expansion of nuclear energy in the Commonwealth, which under the “2025″ plan would create approximately 40,000 jobs — and an unspecified number of power plants throughout the state. In addition, Appalachia’s vast coal reserves will in large part be “converted” into transportation fuel and/or “piped” for storage underground. Disregarding the storage and safety issues of the atomic energy, nascent carbon-capture technologies are nowhere near being ready for widespread application, and so both prospects remain largely on the drawing board.
Organizations like The Kentucky Solar Partnership continue to provide assistance in regional weatherizing and green-rehab projects via loan incentives, yet nowhere does the state have a plan to capitalize on the success of this and other programs by locally supplying the technology to its own communities — at least not via an exhaustive Google search on the topic.
But hey, Spring is right around the corner, so the state will (technically) get a little greener.