The Spring 2015 issue is available for download at http://eec.ky.gov/Pages/LandAirWater.aspx.
On the inside cover, Secretary Peters summarizes the 2015 session of the General Assembly. Although the cabinet had fewer bills than in past sessions, it did see the passage of an important piece of legislation – modernizing the state’s oil and gas statutes. The legislation brings the statutes up to the 21st century and addresses oil and gas production, including hydraulic fracturing, that will help the industry to grow while protecting human health and the environment. Natural gas is an important and growing energy source nationwide, and is a significant component of the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
The spring issue of Land, Air & Water highlights several stories about Kentucky’s energy journey. Read a summary about them below:
- Kentucky’s energy timeline – Take a virtual venture through more than 250 years of energy history on the interactive timeline. The journey begins in 1750 when Dr. Thomas Walker discovered coal in southeastern Kentucky, then moves along to today’s energy resources highlighting major developments along the way. A summary of the timeline begins on Page 3, along with a hyperlink to the online interactive version. Be sure to take the tour.
- Increase and decline of coal – Kentucky has been dependent on coal for more than two centuries. The abundant natural resource has fueled our economy and provided affordable electricity to the state’s residents and industries. To document the state’s coal history, the cabinet and the Kentucky Coal Association have collaborated to produce the Kentucky Coal Facts report that includes data on the changing coal industry. Read about the report on Page 4.
- Videos highlight our changing energy landscape – Low natural gas prices, coupled with other energy resources like renewables, have caused our state to take a serious look at the importance of major manufacturing, the economy, and their relationship to low-cost coal-fired electricity. These videos were produced with the intent to start conversations about Kentucky’s energy future and the challenging decisions we must make to remain economically competitive, while protecting the environment. Information and hyperlinks to these YouTube videos are found on Page 4.
This issue also highlights:
- Hiking plans in your future? – Set your GPS for Brigadoon State Nature Preserve in Barren County. This property in spring supports an array of beautiful wildflowers and is a great place to bird watch, as approximately 120 species have been documented within its boundaries. Get more details on Page 6.
- Ozone gardens – Planting certain species of native plants and trees on your property is a good way to monitor air quality. There is a variety of species sensitive to ozone, but also beneficial to pollinators like bees and butterflies. Start your own ozone garden this spring after the threat of frost. Read how on Pages 9-10.
- Survey targets environmental knowledge – When the telephone rings during the dinner hour we immediately think it’s likely a telemarketer or someone wanting us to take a survey. Last year, 680 Kentuckians answered the call and took a 12-minute survey on their knowledge of the environment. The answers may surprise you. Read about the survey and the responses on Page 13.
Other stories including the plight of the monarch butterfly on Page 1, recreational opportunities at Kentenia State Forest on Page 14, as well as several others, provide insight into the important services our cabinet provides to so many throughout the Commonwealth.