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SOAR Summit To Address Appalachian Concerns

A former Harlan County coal miner and member of the organization Kentuckians for the Commonwealth has sent a letter to Governor Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers in advance of a SOAR meeting in Pikeville on Monday (Dec. 9). Carl Shoupe serves on the KFTC’s New Energy and Transition Committee.

The communication that he and Letcher County resident Elizabeth Sanders drafted to the two leaders was released by the environmental and social welfare group. Shoupe says it’s important that people in the region stop fighting among themselves as they chart a brighter future for the Appalachian area.

“We need to move forward. We need to start talking positive about what can happen here in Appalachia.” –Carl Shoupe

Shoupe and Sanders recommend several important policy options to consider. They include increased investment and training and support for laid-off miners, special attention to issues involving energy efficiency, affordable housing and land and stream restoration. They also suggest additional investments to improve public health and education.

SOAR stands for “Shaping Our Appalachian Region” and it’s a bi-partisan initiative to address the area’s struggling economy.

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