A note on the Governor’s Environmental Conference

On October 20 and 21, the governor’s 34th annual Conference on the Environment will take place at Louisville’s Downtown Marriott Hotel, wherein members of industry and citizens who can afford the $175 ticket price for both days can attend workshops about “air quality regulations, coal mining and water quality issues, land preservation and conservation, renewable energy, and BioEnergy.”

Unless you’ve $175 — or even $75 to attend just one day of the conference — you’re kind of left out in the cold.

When LEO Weekly asked the Governor’s Office about this — specifically, if the cost of attendance had the effect of silencing the speech of residents who live near LG&E’s Cane Run Road power plant and coal ash pond — we received the following statement from Dick Brown, Executive Director for the Energy and Environment Cabinet’s PR wing. Here’s what he said:

‘This is the 34th annual Governor’s Conference on the Environment and, as it has in past years, the conference covers many topics without a focus on any one particular issue. This is the first time the conference has been held in Louisville.

The registration fees cover the cost of the conference. This year’s prices are the same as last year, and we have had no complaints concerning the registration fees. Despite significant budget cuts, the Cabinet is able to continue to offer valuable programs such as this by charging registration fees to cover the costs.

It’s important to note that the target audience of this conference has been those in the environment and energy industry – including environmental groups like Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and the Sierra Club as well as groups representing economic development, the scientific community and the like. While the public at large is certainly welcome to attend, the subject matters and discussions are geared toward those previously mentioned.

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection is well aware of the issues and concerns raised by residents near the Cane Run Road coal ash impoundment and officials have met on numerous occasions with concerned citizens to make certain the impoundment is not presenting a health hazard. Additionally, there are other no-cost avenues for concerned citizens to continue to express their concerns and advocate for their positions.’

Although “the public at large is certainly welcome to attend,” the public isn’t the “target audience of this conference,” so then the issues discussed at said conference — i.e., why does coal ash turn my organs into bricks of cancer? — somehow won’t apply to the public unless they’re members of the Sierra Club or, even better, the CEO of E-ON US, whom will be speaking at the event.

And since the Cabinet is “well aware of the issues and concerns raised by residents near the Cane Run Road coal ash impoundment,” then there’s no real need for them to show up and raise those issues and concerns, if only because (1) the Cabinet has already heard them before, and/or (2) “there are other no-cost avenues for concerned citizens to continue to express their concerns and advocate for their positions,” like hearing with the Army Corps of Engineers that aren’t announced well enough in advance to get the public sufficiently mobilized.

I guess with enough cuts to the budget, any speech is subject to privatization, eh?

4 Comments

  1. Kathy Little
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I live across the street from the L G & E plant, I have the privilege of being very close to the high risk ash pond, which if it breaches will certainly kill myself and my family, and since I’ve been living here for 31 years, I have a 1 in 50 chance of the cancer brick growing in my body. I have emailed both L G & E Cane Run Plant and the Corp of Engineers about a contingency plan if the pond breaches, but guess what? no email back, because I guess they didn’t want to say “sorry about your luck”. Why would the state or federal government issue this power plant any additional permits to build another landfill? They haven’t been good stewards of their coal. They just want a cheap fix to pile up another 14 floors of coal ash, and because we have no “power” over here on Old Cane Run Road, I guess we won’t be invited to the meeting. It’s hard to stare someone in the eyes that prays every night that the pond won’t breach kill their family. Keep it antiseptic, don’t think about the human beings and what we have to endure.

  2. Kicker
    Posted September 26, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Ya he visto algunos hay …
    Have a nice day

    Kicker

  3. S. Spacek
    Posted May 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Kentucky Nation’s WORST for State Public Spaces Cleanlines​s

    The State of Kentucky was ranked last place–”worst”–in the United States, for public space cleanliness from debris-litter removals and related public/environmental performances, according to The 2011 American State Litter Scorecard, presented at the American Society for Public Administration national conference.

    Littering, the illegal throwing of man-made trash onto landscapes breeds pests, diseases and harms wildlife. Each year, over 800 Americans, including at least 15 across Kentucky, die in debris/litter attributed vehicle accidents, said Steve Spacek, Scorecard author.

    Kentucky suffers from:
    –NO Statewide Anti Litter Slogan nor Abatement Campaign
    –NO Container Deposit, NO Comprehensive Recycling Legislation.
    –Poor Environmental Responsibility Reputation of Elected Governor (Beshear)
    –Below Average Knowledge of Littering and other Road Laws by Licensed Drivers
    –Above U.S. Average Per Person Daily Waste Disposals
    –Above Average Thoroughfare Maintenance Disbursement Costs
    –Above Average Debris-related Fatal Vehicle Collisions per Total Population Size/Vehicles Registered
    –Above Average Public Corruption Convictions per Population Proportion.

    Spacek hopes the newest results might help Kentucky make a real difference in improving statewide ecological conditions, since public litter prevention and abatement remains mandated functions of Kentucky Commonwealth and American State governance.

    See the Scorecard (Powerpoint)
    http://www.slideshare.net/stevewonder2/newest-2011-american-state-litter-scorecard-data-scores-charts

  4. turmeric and bromelain and boswellia
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    It has been used to treat influenza, sinusitis and colds for hundreds of years in folk medicine.
    Cook about five minutes, stirring often times, till hot.
    Cook onions, gingerroot, red pepper and garlic
    in saucepan over medium heat several to 5 minutes, stirring sometimes,
    until finally onions are tender.

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