Sustainable Futures Act Recommendations Essay

1448 words - 6 pages

To: B. Van Meter Clay
From: Evan Sweet
Date: 12/16/13
Re: Sustainable Futures Act Recommendation
Executive Summary: With the passage of the Sustainable Futures Act (SFA), a clear message has been sent to both the Nation and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The SFA bans coal extraction, crucial to the Kentucky economy, while it does provide job training and economic support for those in coal mining areas, the bill will not be enough to spur new green growth in the Commonwealth. The two proposals:
1) Provide Mazda USA $500 million dollars to start production of hybrid vehicles in Greenup country.
2) Leverage the $500 million incentive package into a $1 billion initiative known as Unbridled Winds that installs US-made wind turbines throughout Kentucky’s Appalachian counties, which will generate one gigawatt of electricity
With coal production at a complete stop, electricity will skyrocket in price more and more coal-powered plants go offline. The Unbridled Wind project aims to produce one gigawatt of power, or the output of two coal-fired plants and could offset the 300 tons of CO2 produced by natural gas plants producing the same amount of power. The Unbridled Wind project would provide jobs and economic development across all of Eastern Kentucky, and those places hit hardest by the regulatory ban on coal extraction, not only providing economic development, but also social development at perhaps a chance to lift Appalachian Kentucky from extreme poverty. Only the Unbridled Wind project truly both addresses the economic needs of the Commonwealth, while also providing a model for sustainable carbon neutral policy, important to the SFA and combatting China’s ever increasing CO2 output

With the passage of the Sustainable Futures Act (SFA), a clear message has been sent to both the Nation and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Climate change is real and must be curbed. With China’s already producing 120% of America’s peak carbon emissions changing the way we deal with CO2 emissions is paramount to promoting a sustainable economy. The SFA bans coal extraction, crucial to the Kentucky economy, while it does provide job training and economic support for those in coal mining areas, the bill will not be enough to spur new green growth in the Commonwealth. The two proposals: first, to provide Mazda USA $500 million dollars to expand production of hybrid vehicles in Greenup country; second, Unbridled Wind which aims to create up to a one giga-watt of electricity using wind turbines throughout Eastern Kentucky. As with any proposal there are advantages and disadvantages to implementation, but after review and consideration of the issues at hand, it is my recommendation that we support the Unbridled Wind project.
For decades poverty, mining companies, and mining practices have ravaged Appalachia. The mountains and rivers have been destroyed through mountain top removal and the pollution associated with that process. Communities broken apart by coal and the...

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