[NOTE BY GIULIO: For over 30 years, the grassroots citizen movement known as Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has been successfully resisting big coal interests in Kentucky. Not only have they been able to enforce stricter mining laws on a non-compliant strip-mining coal industry, but throughout the years they have been able to organize citizens into groups challenging issues other than coal mining. The following is a collage of important facts from the KFTC website.] 1982: Members work to remove the property tax exemption for unmined minerals - in 1988 Supreme Court agrees that the tax exemption on unmined minerals is unconstitutional. 1988: KFTC members help pass a hazardous waste local control bill. 1994: KFTC bill to protect landowners from oil and gas drilling becomes law, as does water replacement rights bill and an energy conservation measure. 1996: Sustainable use of forests becomes a top issue, along with economic justice issues related to changes in welfare programs. KFTC defends victories of past 15 years. 1998: KFTC-supported legislation to make it easier for welfare recipients to get a degree is passed. Efforts begin to save Black Mountain. Public pressure forces the state to stop issuing illegal reclamation exemptions to coal companies. 1999: Upper elevations of Black Mountain (state's tallest peak) saved from mining and logging, thanks to great involvement from youth. Sweatshop awareness raised. Governor enacts parts of KFTC's "access to education" proposal not passed by 1998 General Assembly. 2001: Legislation approved to set up universal service funds (low-income utility assistance programs). Land around historic Pine Mountain Settlement School declared off-limits to strip mining. KFTC members battle power plants and sludge ponds. 2004: KFTC helped pass net metering legislation to promote use of solar energy. More than 2,000 new voters registered by KFTC in Central Kentucky and elsewhere, part of a broader coalition effort at voter education and mobilization. 2005: Citizen lobbying pushed passage of a law removing individuals and families below the poverty line from the state income tax rolls and stopped the governor from lowering the income tax rate for the wealthiest Kentuckians. 2008: Twelve hundred people attended I Love Mountains Day in at the state capitol. KFTC brought two U.S. congressmen, Ben Chandler (D-Kentucky) and Norm Dicks (D-Washington) to eastern Kentucky to witness the destruction of mountaintop removal. 2010: KFTC members met nearly 20 times with federal agencies to push for enforcement of mining and water protection laws. NEW ENERGY TRANSITION: Here at KFTC we're helping to build New Power through: Promoting a just economic transition for our Appalachian mountain communities Reforming and renewing Kentucky’s Rural Electric Cooperatives Promoting sustainable energy Our over-dependence on coal and other extractive industries has taken a heavy toll on our health, environment, and democracy. Together we can address the problems caused by Old Power and transition to a new, clean energy economy. We have a vision for a renewed east Kentucky, and we're taking action: We're promoting clean and affordable energy, such as energy-saving projects, like How$martKY, that are happening throughout the area. We're also working on legislation to expand and fund programs like this. KFTC members are working with electric co-ops in a Clean Energy Collaborative, looking together for ways to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy. Members are stepping up to participate in co-op decisions and working on co-op reforms--from running for co-op boards of directors to passing a Members' Bill of Rights--to make the co-ops more open, fair, and transparent.
Source:http://www.kftc.org/ [verified 4/17/14]