Kentucky Governor Elevates Energy Office, Commits $1 Million to Energy Efficiency
Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher announced at the 2006 Kentucky Energy Summit in Louisville that he has moved the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy from the Commerce Cabinet to the Governor's Office. Fletcher made the move to demonstrate the importance he places on energy policy. Fletcher said at the summit, "We need to look at how to use our resources wisely and in environmentally-safe ways, how to create value-added, energy-related industries in Kentucky, and how to help our nation reduce its dependence on unstable, foreign sources of energy."
Dr. Talina R. Matthews will continue to serve as executive director of the energy office, which is now called the Governor's Office of Energy Policy. Fletcher had appointed her to head to energy office in August. For more information, see the governor's October 20 press release.
Executive Orders for Energy Efficiency
Earlier in the month, Fletcher announced a series of three executive orders dealing with energy efficiency and high performance schools. The governor made the announcement October 12 at the Appalachian Regional Commission conference in Pikeville. Fletcher serves as co-chair of the commission. Specifically, the governor asked the Kentucky Governor's Office of Energy Policy to:
- Improve the energy efficiency of state vehicles and increase the use of alternative transportation fuels.
- Commit $1 million to commercialization of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
- Study the net benefits of incentives for consumers to purchase Energy Star® appliances.
- Analyze the impact of incorporating energy efficiency in the utility rate structures.
He also asked the Kentucky Department of Education to increase the number of schools that are certified Energy Star. Read Governor Ernie Fletcher's Executive Order 2006-1298 (PDF 87 KB).
Endorsement for the 25 x '25 Initiative
In mid-August, Governor Fletcher endorsed the 25 x '25 Initiative to produce 25 percent of our nation's energy from renewable energy resources in 2025. The initiative is supported by more than 300 organizations and 19 governors. Like most of its supporters, Fletcher stated his reasons for supporting 25 x '25 in order to support Kentucky agricultural producers.
Fletcher noted that Kentucky agriculture is in a transition away from dependence on tobacco production and toward more diversity. He pointed out that Kentucky has spent more than 50 percent of its Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco companies into developing new opportunities for farmers, such as biomass. Fletcher said, "I firmly believe that our farmers will play a major role in providing the energy needs for this country in the future." Read the governor's August 14 endorsement letter (PDF 120 KB).