Xyara Asplen grew up in Estill County, KY. After a dozen years of winding her way westward, with stopovers in Minnesota, Colorado, and Southern Oregon, she circled back home to the Appalachian foothills in 2012, where she lives and works on an intergenerational homestead in Madison County’s Red Lick Valley. Last fall, she and her father were approached about leasing their mineral rights for fracking. She is one of the founding members of Frack Free Foothills, and strives to integrate land defense and building a resistance culture into her work as an artisan, permaculturist, and sharer of stories
Activist, farmer, philosopher, and author of The Pipeline and the Paradigm and numerous other books, Sam Avery operates a solar installation company in central Kentucky.
Lane is currently the Executive Director of the Kentucky Conservation Committee, a Frankfort-Based organization focusing on environmental policy matters. Lane has worked on a range of environmental issues in Kentucky since 1992, and led the environmental policy team to draft the Sierra Club’s national policy on Fracking in 2009. Her background has included working as Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator for the Kentucky Environmental Foundation, as well as a range of leadership positions for the Cumberland Chapter of the Sierra Club in the areas of mining, forestry, wildlands, energy and communications for over twenty five years. Lane has also served on the national board of the Sierra Club, as Secretary, Vice President for Volunteer Leadership and Vice President for Visibility & Outreach. Lane has also served on the board of Citizens Coal Council, working to empower citizens affected by the impacts of mining and coal. She is a recipient of the Sierra Club’s national Susan E. Miller award for Administrative excellence. As an experienced creative design and marketing professional, Lane has used her skills to help nonprofit groups with their branding and communications. She holds a BFA from Miami University in Ohio.
Dr. Ralph Ewers
Dr. Ralph Ewers’ karst aquifer experience is worldwide, including most of eastern North America, western Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, central and western Europe, and the British Isles. He is emeritus Professor of Geology and former Director of the Groundwater Research Laboratory at Eastern Kentucky University. His publication list includes nearly100 titles relating to carbonate aquifer studies. Dr. Ewers received the Geological Society of America’s Burwell Award for outstanding contributions to engineering geology. This award recognized his contributions to the problems of contaminant monitoring in Karst aquifers and his innovations in groundwater tracing in carbonate aquifers. He has served on several state and local advisory boards dealing with groundwater regulation and has been an instructor for the National Groundwater Association, E3, and other short-courses in karst hydrogeology. Dr. Ewers has participated in over 500 groundwater traces in karst aquifers.
Tom FitzGerald has been Director of the Kentucky Resources Council since 1984. KRC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization providing free legal, strategic and policy assistance to individuals, organizations and communities concerning environmental quality, resource extraction, energy, and utility issues.
Fitz received his Juris Doctor from the UK College of Law in 1980 (Order of the Coif) and was a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow with the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky from 1980-1982. He is an alumni of Roger Williams College (now University), Bristol, Rhode Island with a B.A. in American Studies with distinction.
Fitz has been a lowly Adjunct Professor of Energy and Environmental Law at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville since 1986, and has published a number of articles.
He received the Environmental Quality Commission Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002; the Henry R. Heyburn Public Service Award from the UK College of Law in 2003, the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission Biological Diversity Award in 2003, the inaugural Professional Achievement Award from the University of Kentucky College of Law Alumni Association in 2008, the 14th Heinz Award in the Environment Category in 2008, and the Brennan-Haly Award from the University of Louisville Department of Political Science in 2012.
He has been a fixture in the halls of the Kentucky General Assembly since 1978.
Nicole Garneau is an interdisciplinary artist making site-specific performance and project art that is directly political, critically conscious, and community building. She is currently completing a book about the 5-year (2008-2012) UPRISING project. UPRISINGs are “public demonstrations of revolutionary practices.” Nicole is on the Executive Committee of Alternate ROOTS and teaches in Women’s and Gender Studies at DePaul University. She holds a B.A. in Theater from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art from Columbia College Chicago. She also makes ceremonies, throws parties, and does healing work.
A lifelong resident of Marion County, Barbara Hagan comes from a large farming family. Shebecame involved with NGL pipelines and fracking through the Bluegrass Pipeline after attending a local meeting held by Mary Ann Chamberlain to increase awareness. Part of this pipeline was very close to where she lives on the Nelson/Washington/Marion border. Barbara has worked with the Sisters of Loretto for almost forty years and has developed a deep respect for the environment and an awareness of the spirituality of protecting the land. The Kinder Morgan pipeline runs completely through Marion County from the northeast to the southern end. Having some knowledge of NGL’s and fracking, Barbara has made it a mission to protect the great beauty of Marion County and other areas affected by the drastic changes that occur when Oil & Gas starts to tell people how to use their land.
Jerry Hardt is the communications director for Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, a statewide grassroots social justice organization.
Wenonah Hauter is the founder and Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. She has worked extensively on food, water, energy and environmental issues at the national, state and local level. Her book Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America examines the corporate consolidation and control over our food system and what it means for farmers and consumers. Experienced in developing policy positions and legislative strategies, she is also a skilled and accomplished organizer, having lobbied and developed grassroots field strategy and action plans. She is currently writing Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment due for publication in June 2016. Order your copy of Frackopoly from a local bookstore.
From 1997 to 2005 she served as Director of Public Citizen’s Energy and Environment Program, which focused on water, food and energy policy. From 1996 to 1997, she was environmental policy director for Citizen Action, where she worked with the organization’s 30 state-based groups. From 1989 to 1995 she was at the Union of Concerned Scientists where, as a senior organizer, she coordinated broad-based, grassroots sustainable energy campaigns in several states. She has an M.S. in applied anthropology from the University of Maryland.
Chef Christopher Hayden graduated from Sullivan University with a degree in culinary arts. He currently works at Wesley Village retirement community in Willmore Ky. Contact him at email@example.com.
Robert (Bobby) Martin lives in Rockcastle County, Kentucky and works as a theater/film artist, community arts producer, cultural organizer, trainer/facilitator and teaching artist through Clear Creek Creative. He is passionate about using all forms of story, theatre, and media to create spaces where audience and artists merge to transform the human condition and the world. He uses cultural organizing and story work to build dynamic partnerships and community power toward manifesting a more equitable and creative future. He co-produces the annual Clear Creek Festival as well as creates original pieces of outdoor theatrical spectacle that deeply engage questions of land and food on 87 acres of woodlands which he stewards in the rural Appalachian foothills. He is currently touring “Where’s that Power gonna come from?” a musical exploration of the threat fracking presents to rural communities deeply impacted by extractive resource practice while visioning a empowered and resilient future.
Andy McDonald is the Director of Sustainable Systems Programs for Earth Tools, Inc., where he designs and develops projects using renewable energy and other sustainable living techniques. Andy is the former Director of the Kentucky Solar Partnership for Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest and is the co-author of “The Kentucky Solar Energy Guide,” published in 2005. He is the former president of the Kentucky Conservation Committee and a co-founder of the Kentucky Solar Energy Society and the Frankfort Climate Action Network.
Andy has worked with appropriate technology and environmental sustainability projects in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, the Texas-Mexico border, and Peru. He lives with his wife and step-daughter on an organic farm in Franklin County, Kentucky.
Diane Moss is a Founder and Director of the Renewables 100 Policy Institute and an independent energy strategies consultant. In addition to her role at the Renewables 100 Policy Institute, she is Founder and Owner of dima Communications & Strategic Partnerships, a firm focused primarily on sustainability, where she has served as a consultant to a broad range of entities, including non-profits, clean tech companies, and utilities. Her writing on renewable energy related issues has been published in Wall Street Journal, Today’s Facility Manager, and Cleantechnica, among others. She also served as U.S. Policy Advisor to World Future Council, and from 2008-2011, she served as Environmental Deputy to United States Congressmember Jane Harman. She also was intern to the Costa Rican Ambassador to UNESCO in Paris. Ms. Moss studied at Harvard University and New York University and completed a thesis program in political science in Paris with professors from L’Institut d’Etudes Politques, University of Paris, and HEC
Dr. James O’Reilly
Professor Jim O’Reilly authored the comprehensive new textbook, The Law of Fracking, available at http://legalsolutions.thomsonreuters.com/law-products/Treatises/The-Law-Of-Fracking-2015-2016-ed/p/101115070
He has taught law and public health courses for more than three decades at the University of Cincinnati, He is the author of 51 textbooks and 215 published articles, and formerly led a 16,000-member national professional association in the field of government and law. As an 13-year city councilman and former vice mayor, he has been active on the executive committee of the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments. His expertise is in the regulation and cleanup of hazardous waste conditions and the administrative process for making governmental decisions. Thomson-Reuters-West Publishers selected him in 2014 to prepare its new text on gas fracking, building on his articles and presentations about the environmental waste consequences of the exploitation of Midwestern resources. He has been active in Ohio citizen efforts to deal responsibly with the liquid, solid and gas wastes of the gas industry which harm local communities.
Bob Pekny spent much of his childhood and early adult life living on boats, using wind power, and living off the grid.
With a background in engineering and business, Bob spent several decades as a marine and commercial refrigeration contractor. He started a company manufacturing welded metal products. Bob has spent countless hours welding piping and finding and repairing leaks of chemicals. His many years in those fields have given him valuable insights in the fight against the Bluegrass Pipeline.
Dr. Simona Perry
Dr. Simona Perry is Founder and Research Director of c.a.s.e. Consulting Services LLC , Vice-President of the Board of Pipeline Safety Coalition, Civic Professionalism Director of the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN), and on the Steering Group of the International Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on the Human Rights Impacts of Fracking. Trained as an environmental scientist and ethnographer, she works in rural and urban places across the U.S. to document and raise awareness of the interconnections between ecology, psychology, politics, and culture. Some of her current projects include: a collaborative long-term ethnography in Bradford County, Pennsylvania; an oral history and cultural resource inventory of Ogeechee River places and folkways in coastal Georgia; creation of a survivors network for oil and gas pipeline disasters; and development of oil and gas pipeline planning and disclosure resources and tools for the real estate profession in 14 U.S. States.
What the Fractures Reveal: Beyond Fossil Fuels and Towards Resilient Minds, Bodies, and Communities
Over the past seven years from the fractured shale fields of rural Appalachia to the right-of-ways, rail-lines, and roadways that transport hazardous materials and natural gas across the mountains and farm fields, under the rivers, across the suburbs, and into metropolitan cities and ports, I have followed the lives of local citizens and communities as they experience a variety of painful and sometimes life-changing struggles and lessons. Struggles for water and food security, democracy, right-to-know and a whole host of rights. Lessons about environmental laws, regulations, financial planning, energy technology, science, deception, health care, loss, national security, economic greed and political power. As these struggles are fought and hard lessons are learned I have also observed them become a galvanizing wake-up call that has the potential to unite strangers and neighbors across the United States and empower them to take action in protecting and improving their own lives and the lives of future generations. Farmers, schoolteachers, stay-at-home moms, retired engineers, grandmothers, business owners, tribal elders, faith leaders, medical doctors, youth, and in some cases elected officials have been motivated to develop research skills, organizational tools, raise funds, file lawsuits, and even run for elected office just to ensure their voices and the voices of their families and neighbors are heard. But this is just scratching the surface of a much broader conversation around renewable energy and a future not solely reliant on a fossil fuel-based economy. This talk outlines a set of proposed principles for moving the “beyond fossil fuel” conversation forward from where we are today, and awakening a path of local resiliency that builds off of existing social and ecological networks in both meaningful and concrete ways.
Tarence Ray is Development & Communications Director with the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center. He is also an activist and journalist on a wide range of central Appalachian issues, including fossil fuel extraction, economic development, and prison expansion. He was born in Lubbock, Texas and was raised in the oilfields of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in History and has lived in eastern Kentucky since 2012. He currently lives in Whitesburg, Kentucky.
Suzanne (Sue) Tallichet is a member of the Rowan County Chapter of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth since 2004. She has held a number of county-level and statewide positions with KFTC, including Chair, and Co-chaired KFTC’s Litigation Team. Today she remains active at the local level, most recently regarding Kinder-Morgan’s proposal for a repurposed NGL pipeline through 18 Kentucky Counties including Rowan County. She also doubles as a professor of sociology at Morehead State University teaching mostly graduate courses in Appalachian studies and environmental sociology and coordinates the Sociology MA Program, supervises graduate assistants and is often a thesis advisor. Her doctorate is in Rural Sociology from Penn State University.
A lifelong resident of Estill County and graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Wallace Taylor has worked tirelessly on making life better for all Estill County Citizens. As County Judge Executive, he has been proactive in procuring grants, meeting with business owners, senators, congressmen and state leaders. Infrastructure projects, such as increasing the amount of total road miles under hard surface, improving water and sewer services throughout the county, building and safety enhancements and improving emergency response services have been a few of the major focal points under his long-standing administration.
Mr. Theissen is a practicing attorney in Covington, Kentucky. His zoning related experience is extensive, and is both legal and official. Mr. Theissen is currently the attorney for two planning commissions in two rural Kentucky counties, Pendleton County and Bracken County. He served for 14 years on the Kenton County Planning Commission, the last 9 years of which he was the Chairman. He also served for 6 years on a Board of Adjustment. He was elected twice as a city council member. As an attorney, Mr. Theissen has served, advised and advocated for many private clients in many cities and counties in Kentucky in their zoning-related affairs, including both developers seeking zoning approvals and private parties opposing developments in their neighborhoods.
Mark Morgan received his Duke University undergraduate degree in Environmental Policy in 1974. He graduated from University of Kentucky College of Law with a juris doctorate in 1978. He is an environmental attorney for ARDF and has a private practice in Danville KY.
Chris Schimmoeller was involved in the grassroots fight against the Bluegrass Pipeline. She is active in forest protection and local efforts to promote sustainable communities. She lives in northern Franklin County with her husband and two daughters. 502-226-5751×1
Mr. Craig Williams is the founder and former Executive Director of the Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KEF) and currently serves as the program director at KEF. For over 25 years he has focused on safe methods of chemical weapons disposal.
Mr. Williams is a Vietnam Veteran and a graduate of the Army’s Defense Language Institute. He is a 1978 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) and received an Honorary Doctorate from the University in 2006 for his advocacy work around safe chemical weapons disposal. He was a delegate to the Pentagon’s Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (ACWA) Dialogue from 1997 through 2002.
He serves on the Kentucky Governor’s Chemical Demilitarization Citizens Advisory Commission (CAC) and Co-chairs the Chemical Weapons Destruction Citizens Advisory Board and has testified before Congressional Committees in both the U.S. House and Senate. He is the Host Community Liaison serving as the primary point of contact between the local Governments and the Pentagon. He has organized conferences in Russia and the U.S. associated with chemical and biological weapons disarmament efforts. He has presented before representatives of 190 countries at the Chemical Weapons Convention Conference in The Hague, Netherlands.
He is the recipient of many awards and commendations including tributes from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives; the Kentucky House of Representatives; the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission; and, was the 2006 recipient of The Goldman Environmental Prize for North America.
Mr. Williams is a co-founder and Secretary-Treasurer of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, Inc. who were co-recipients of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its International Campaign to Ban Land Mines. He is married to Teresa Burnham Williams, has three children and is a grandfather of seven. He coaches his grandson’s soccer team in Madison County, KY.
Chris Woolery became the How$martKY™ Program Coordinator in September of 2015 after four years with MACED as a Residential Energy Specialist. How$martKY™ partners with rural electric cooperatives to design, finance, and install home energy efficiency upgrades – and these improvements are paid for directly out of energy savings on utility bills. As a former ENERGY STAR® builder and energy services contractor, Chris has been a pioneer in efficient construction and remodeling in Central Kentucky for over a decade. Having built 21 ENERGY STAR® homes and implemented energy upgrades to over 700 households, he has learned which energy upgrades make the best investments.