Kentucky students are joining the Just Economic Transition movement

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest blog post from a guest blogger. The views and opinions expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Renew Appalachia or of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED).

Six proud, young Kentuckians kicked off the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition’s Just Transition Working Group with a spirited discussion about supporting the movement toward a better future for our state!

The group talked about how we could share the values of the Just Transition movement in our own regions and create opportunities for prosperity in our state. We discussed the kinds of jobs we’d like to see: those that put to use our individual experiences as Kentuckians and the unique, rich, cultural heritage of our state, and jobs that we can be proud of without having to put our environmental health at risk.

There was also discussion about how unfair it’s been that communities in Kentucky haven’t been given the money or resources they’ve been owed – and desperately need – to succeed in their own right. We talked at length about why these inequities exist and reached the conclusion that a viable solution for our state would be a permanent revolving coal severance fund. We would expect our legislators and the industries that operate in our state to hold each other accountable for getting the money that is owed to our communities where it rightfully belongs.

When you invest in communities, help them succeed from the inside out, true prosperity can flourish. Young Kentuckians are realizing that, and it’s time we help our policy makers realize that, too. We see our place as Kentucky workers, consumers and taxpayers as positions of power because we know that the future of this state is ours and we deserve to be heard. There’s a lot of really great work being done for Just Transition in Kentucky and KSEC is ready to join the movement!

About KSEC: KSEC is committed to helping create a clean and safe future for Kentuckians that supports a just economic transition that protects our workers and our environment. We do this by pushing our high schools and universities to be environmentally responsible through investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable local foods economies. We also aim to pass legislation to promote green job creation in Kentucky and protect our natural resources, oppose false solutions and other industries which will further poison our communities. We know that a bright future for young Kentuckians is one where we are able to stay and proper after graduation, enjoy the natural wonder or our countryside and mountains, and instill strong values of caring for each other and being a good steward of the environment.

Kelsie Brown

About Kelsie Brown

Kelsie Brown is a senior Public Relations and Environmental Studies student at Northern Kentucky University. Her passion for Just Transition stems from a love for the rich heritage of Kentucky and the people that live here. She believes the voices contributing to the Just Transition movement are smart, loud, and powerful enough to cause an effective change. A better future isn't just possible for Kentucky, it's absolutely necessary.

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