Environmental Advocate Fitzgerald Honored, 2018 Governor’s Conference Concludes

IMG_3605.JPGTom Fitzgerald, who has spent nearly four decades advocating for those, “downhill, downwind and downstream,” as was inscribed upon his award, was the recipient of the 2018 Secretary’s Award at the Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment.

Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely presented “Fitz,” as he is widely known, with the award at the conclusion of the Awards Luncheon on Friday afternoon.

The inscription on Fitzgerald’s award read, “For demonstrated leadership and img_3596.jpgrecognition of a distinguished career to provide unflinching advocacy for those who live “downhill, downwind and downstream.”

Day two of the Governor’s Conference was packed with with economic development and energy topics and speakers.

The day kicked off with Steve Winberg, Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Energy. Winberg spoke about coal’s role as a reliable, non-subsidized energy source for the next 100 years, and the impact of the emergence of renewable energy sources on our society. He also touched on the United States burgeoning energy production, and how America is set to become a net energy exporter.

IMG_3572“The U.S. has an abundant amount of energy that can and already is propelling us forward,” Winberg said.

The Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands has quickly become a force in economic development thanks to the Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Project, as AML Division Director Bob Scott showed over the course of his four-person panel.

Tim Gibbs of the Ashland Alliance, Daniel Elliot, President of Enerblu, a new battery manufacturer that was a Pilot Project grant recipient, and Justin Adams, who helps administer the pilot project grants, all spoke about how Abandoned Mine Lands are bringing opportunity to a ready, skilled workforce in eastern Kentucky. Watch the video here.

IMG_3588Sec. Snavely moderated an energy panel that included Neil Chatterjee, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Asim Z. Haque, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Talina Matthews, Kentucky Public Service Commission and Andrew L. Ott, PJM Interconnection.

The panel covered regulations, energy grid resiliance, threats against the grid, cyber attacks, pipelines and energy rates.

Ott spoke about evaluating Kentucky and the nation’s natural resources. “Are we properly valuing these assets? I think the answer may be ‘not quite’.”

Besides the Secretary’s Award, several awards were handed out to deserving recipients by Gov. Hampton and Sec. Snavely.

The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Stewardship Award, presented by the Kentucky State Nature Preserve Commission was awarded to Clay Hill Memorial Forest, Campbellsville University. 

The Biodiversity Award, presented by the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves was awarded to The Kentucky Native Plant Society. 

Outstanding Forest Steward Award, presented by the Department for Natural Resources was awarded to William and Chris Lagermann of Red Lick Ranch, LLC.

The Excellence in Reclamation Award, presented by the Department for Natural Resources was awarded to Cam Mining, LLC.

The Award for Excellence in Mine Safety, presented by the Department for Natural Resources was given to East Mac and Nellie Mine.

The Award for Excellence in Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation, presented by the Department for Natural Resources was awarded to Triple H Excavating, LLC for the Roger Cornett Slide.

The Kentucky EXCEL Champion Award, presented by the Department for Environmental Protection was awarded to Sekisui S-Lec America.

The Environmental Pacesetter Award, presented by the Department for Environmental Protection, was awarded to the Lincoln County Sanitation District. 

The Resource Caretaker Award, presented by the Department for Environmental Protection, was awarded to Chris Barton, Ph.D. – Green Forest Works.

The Community Environmental Luminary Award was presented by the Dept. for Environmental Protection to Leggett & Platt, Inc. – Winchester Spring Branch 02. 

The Energy and Environment Cabinet presented the Kentucky Excellence in Energy Leadership Awards to Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (RECC) and the Glasgow Water Company. 


We will see you in 2019 for the next Governor’s Conference!