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Guest Opinion: An energy price solution

Apple days

Wool gathering

Farm vacation

Got cookies?

Wood weekend

Cruising Kentucky

Co-op Postcard: Meeting the leaders


Guest Opinion: An energy price solution
by Daniel Yergin

Four years ago, oil was around $40 a barrel. This summer, it was more than $135.

Prices do not usually go straight up forever. Markets respond with behavioral changes, innovation, and substitution. We are seeing the beginning of a powerful response in public policy, technology, consumer behavior, and company strategies:
• The first increase in automobile fuel efficiency standards in 32 years.
• The sharp shift toward fuel economy in the minds of consumers when they enter an auto showroom.
• Changes in behavior in use of public transport, carpooling, consolidation of trips, or miles driven.
• Increased focus by companies on reducing energy costs.

Because of changes in the minds of consumers, and the response of automakers in efficiency of vehicles, gasoline demand may now be in decline.

The United States today uses about half as much energy per unit of Gross Domestic Product as in the 1970s. Some of that represents restructuring of the economy toward services. But much of it represents actual gains in efficiency.

The reality of the current oil shock behooves us, as a nation, to consider what would be required to double our energy efficiency over a certain number of years.

Today, there are tools in information technology to support greater energy efficiency that were not available in earlier decades. In gasoline consumption, savings of 7 to 10 percent may be available with little or no burden on drivers.

Energy efficiency is not a “thing,” unlike a power plant, an oil well, a windmill, or a solar panel. It is embodied in other things—changes in behavior, technology, and in the capital stock. It can be stimulated by regulations, information, and prioritization. But in a market system, price itself is a powerful driver, and energy efficiency will get much higher priority now than when energy was cheap.

Climate change considerations will be a further driver of energy efficiency, for it offers the largest near- and medium-term way to reduce carbon dioxide output.

It has seemed over the decades that U.S. energy policy divides into an “either-or” debate, which sets conventional supply against renewables and conservation.

The answer to the oil shock is not either-or. We need a combination of new supplies, renewables, and greater efficiency—all developed with appropriate environmental and climate change considerations.

Such an approach would be a great contribution not only to relieving the pain the American people are feeling at the pump and the difficulties that are faced today by American businesses. It would also be a fundamental contribution to the future prosperity of our nation and to the global economy.

Daniel Yergin is chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize. This Guest Opinion was excerpted from remarks prepared for testimony on June 25 before the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.

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Apple days
Activities at the Trimble County Apple Festival include the Little Miss Apple Festival pageant ; the pie judging location at the Bedford Inn bed & breakfast; and the quilt display, demonstration, and raffle by the Trimble Thimbles quilting club. The festival takes place in Courthouse Square in Bedford on September 13 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and September 14 from noon to 5. Other attractions include children’s activities, arts and crafts, antiques, live music, and food. For more information, phone (502) 255-7591 or on the Internet visit www.trimblecounty.com.

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Wool gathering
You should find your fill of spinning and shearing in northern Kentucky at the annual Kentucky Wool Festival on October 3-5 at Kincaid Lake State Park near Falmouth. The 26-year-old festival expects some 50,000 visitors this year. More than 130 craft booths will offer items such as hand-stitched quilts, baskets, dolls, corn grinding, forged ironwork, and of course, spinning and weaving. A re-created historical village will highlight Pendleton County’s many years as one of the state’s leaders in sheep production. Sheep herding and shearing will be demonstrated. Two permanent stages have been built for bands to perform music ranging from bluegrass to gospel to barbershop to pop, plus clogging and square dancing. More than 30 food booths will cater to your hunger and thirst, and children’s activities include a petting zoo and pony rides. For more information phone (859) 654-3378 or on the Internet visit www.kywoolfest.org.

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Farm vacation
The Eastern Kentucky Foothills Eco/Agri-Tourism Corporation and Shockey Tours will offer a rare chance to see the rich culture of farm life in Carter, Morgan, Wolfe, Elliott, and Menifee counties. The tour offers first-class lodging and
mouth-watering local cuisine. It begins September 29 with dinner at the Carter Caves State Park amphitheater and entertainment by the Heritage Elementary Hoedowners. Activities over the next five days will include crafts, nature walks, campfires, early agriculture chores and visits to a mule farm, native wildlife areas, fishing, and a unique craft mall. For more information or to purchase a vacation package, phone Raymond Hurst at (606) 668-3040 or Flo Whitley at (606) 738-5543.

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Got cookies?
Kentucky Living invites you to be part of a cookie recipe exchange. The winners will be published in the December issue and on KentuckyLiving.com.

Send in your favorite cookie recipe and we’ll print as many as we have room for. You might even be chosen as a winner by the cookie-loving staff
at Kentucky Living. We’ll award $75 for
what is judged the best-sounding and best-tasting cookie recipe, $50 for second place, and
$25 for third.

Here’s how to be a part of the Kentucky Living cookie exchange:

1. Choose your one (that’s right, narrow it down to your absolute favorite) top cookie recipe.

2. Send it to us along with: an explanation, in 50 or fewer words, why it’s your favorite; your name, address, phone number, e-mail if you have one; and the name of your electric cooperative.

3. Mail to:
Kentucky Living
Cookie Exchange Recipe Contest
P.O. Box 32170
Louisville, KY 40232
or e-mail us at e-mail@KentuckyLiving.com and be sure to put in the subject line Cookie Exchange Recipe Contest.

4. Make sure it’s dated on or before September 20.

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Wood weekend
The Kentucky Wood Expo celebrates its 26th year September 19-20 at the Hopkins County Fairgrounds in Madisonville. The exposition, which the Tourism Council has ranked as one of Kentucky’s top 10 tourist events, is expected to draw as many as 8,000 visitors. Attendees will see all types of forestry equipment and enjoy a range of family entertainment.

The Expo will feature more than 100 exhibits and demonstrations. Sawmill, pallet, logging, secondary, and wood processing machinery will be on display, as well as educational displays and people to talk about forest management and the future of the wood industry in Kentucky.

Other activities will include lumberjack competitions, equipment contests, country and bluegrass music, crafts, food vendors, and a Log A Load for Kids silent auction to benefit Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

This year’s demonstrations and competition will include ax throwing, standing and overhead chop, springboard chop, crosscut sawing, and the always popular modified chain saw races.

Get more info by contacting the Kentucky Forest Industries Association at (502) 695-3979 or www.kfia.org.

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Cruising Kentucky
Classic car aficionados can participate in the Bluegrass 1000 Road Tour, October 5-9. The event is a driving tour covering 1,000 miles within Kentucky to benefit the Bill Collins Parkinson’s Center at the Frazier Rehab Institute at Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation in Louisville. The cost is $3,000 for one car and two participants. For info contact Bill Tilford at (502) 593-8661, or visit www.bluegrass1000.com. Participation is limited to the first 60 registrants. The Bluegrass 1000 will cover about 250 miles a day for four days, hitting the high points of Kentucky attractions: laps on Kentucky Speedway, horse country, Red River Gorge, Cumberland Falls, the Corvette Plant at Bowling Green or Mammoth Cave, Land Between The Lakes, and Moonlight BBQ in Owensboro.

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Co-op Postcard: Meeting the leaders

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