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Report: 8,000 Clean Energy Jobs Possible in Kentucky

July 15, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Thousands of new jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy in many Kentucky counties could be created in the next three years, according to a new report by Chattanooga's Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies. It finds the East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) could create more jobs through investments in clean energy projects than with its proposed coal-fired power plant.

According to David Eichenthal, Ochs Center president, several Kentucky environmental and economic justice organizations are encouraging East Kentucky Power to abandon its plans for the new plant and invest instead in wind, solar and hydropower programs which would provide jobs for the region.

"Those jobs would be spread across the entire 87-county region, including parts of the state that, based on the data we've looked at, are dealing with really tough times, given the current recession."

East Kentucky Power responded to the report by saying that the proposed coal-fired plant is the most affordable, reliable option for meeting Kentucky's growing demand for power.

Eichenthal said that East Kentucky Power would be doing Kentuckians a great service by enabling such job growth while providing their members with clean, reliable electricity.

"It would create, over a three-year period of time, more than 8,750 new jobs in the region, with more than 1.7 billion dollars in economic activity."

In Kentucky, and in the EKPC region specifically, the potential for increased residential and commercial energy efficiency is said to be extremely high.

Bill Goodman, Public News Service - KY