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Kentucky Forum on Carbon Sequestration Through Agriculture & Forestry Management

KREC and Energizing Kentucky Host Carbon Forum in Louisville

KREC and Energizing Kentucky held the Kentucky Forum on Carbon Sequestration Through Agriculture and Forestry Management on September 10, 2009 at the Frazier International History Museum in Louisville. The forum presented an informative and comprehensive look at carbon policy, biofuels and potential energy crops for the state. A total of 1o8 speakers and attendees came from six states to share information and offer their expertise on agriculture, forestry, energy, research, government, business and environmental issues.

U of L President James Ramsey opened the forum and spoke about the University of Louisville’s commitment to environmental sustainability and renewable energy research. President Ramsey introduced Kentucky Energy & Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters, who presented Governor Beshear’s strategic energy plan, Intelligent Energy Choices for Kentucky’s Future. Secretary Peters acknowledged the need for a carbon sequestration policy for the Commonwealth, "More than 90 percent of Kentucky’s electricity is derived from coal-fired power, and we rank 13th in total carbon dioxide emissions.  Carbon capture and sequestration is crucial to continued use of coal as an energy resource in Kentucky.  Success of CCS will determine our ability to meet our future energy needs."  

Frank Moore, Director of the Division of Biofuels in Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet announced the Governor’s Executive Order to form a Task Force to evaluate the status of energy crop and forestry biotechnology and genetics, and recommend a plan of action. The Task Force is charged with facilitating the development of a sustainable biomass and biofuels industry in Kentucky that will generate prosperity in a carbon-constrained environment and revitalize rural Kentucky by creating new jobs and strengthening local economies.

Ramsey at Forum
U of L President James Ramsey welcomed
guests and speakers to the forum.

Sec. Len Peters
Kentucky Energy & Environment Cabinet
Secretary Len Peters at the forum.

Ernie Shea
Ernie Shea from the national 25x'25
Initiative discusses carbon policy imperatives.

Tom FitzGerald
Tom FitzGerald of the Kentucky Resources
Council spoke on climate change and its impact on rural Kentucky.

Roger Thomas, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy, Tom FitzGerald, Director of the Kentucky Resources Council, and Ernie Shea, from the National 25x’25 Initiative in Lutherville, MD were among the guest speakers. Mr. Shea thanked Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear for his recent formal endorsement of the national 25x’25 Action Plan. First introduced in 2004, the 25x’25 Action Plan calls for a minimum 25 percent use of renewable energy sources or energy efficiency practices by the year 2025.

Scott Shouse of  the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) spoke about carbon offset opportunities from forests, "For 30 years MACED has been involved in forestry-related issues in Appalachian Kentucky, a region rich with economically valuable and ecologically diverse hardwood forests. The Forest Opportunities Initiative (FOI) helps low-to moderate-income private forest landowners practice sustainable forestry by providing education, financial assistance and new income options."

Guests at the forum heard from Kentucky Stakeholder Response Panel speakers Betty Williamson of the Kentucky Woodland Owners Association, Ruth Logsdon of Cox Interior and Bill Jacob of UPS Airlines. Each of the panel speakers related their own and their organizations' experiences in dealing with the regulations, economics and real-world issues of current energy policies.

Competitive Grants Program Announcement

At the close of the forum, Cam Metcalf, Executive Director of KPPC – the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center – announced that $866,000 in grants has been awarded through KREC's 2009 Competitive Grants Program to seven renewable energy and energy efficiency research projects at Kentucky universities. Learn more about the program and the funded research projects.

Some comments from those who attended the forum...

"Excellent day of presentations and materials. Well thought out and planned."

"It was very exciting and encouraging to be involved in such a large group of intelligent and powerful people discussing this very important topic concerning the health and sustainability of our world."

"I enjoyed attending the forum yesterday, I found it to be a very useful event to further this burgeoning movement."

Welcome to New Members

We would like to welcome 54 new members who signed up to join KREC while at the forum. This brings the total KREC membership to 275. All members will receive KREC's e-newsletter ReNews. If you missed a chance to sign up at the forum, you can become a member today.

The Forum was a Carbon-Neutral Event

Carbon Offset Certificate



Leah MacSwords of the Kentucky Division of Forestry discusses forest management in the Commonwealth.
Leah MacSwords
Tim Hughes of the Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy and Robert Finch from The USDA Farm Service Agency at the forum.
Tim Hughes
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