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Facing change

Powerful electric co-op communities keep current—on
everything from new ways to communicate, to shaping good environmental policy

new year can be a good time to try some new approaches, and I’m looking forward to being the new face for this spot in Kentucky Living. I hope to offer perspectives on what electric co-ops mean to Kentucky.

I want to assure you that editor Paul Wesslund, who filled this column for the past 19 years, is alive and well and busy making sure that you continue to receive this high-quality magazine that keeps you and your local electric co-op in close contact.

Last year I became president and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, which publishes Kentucky Living. I grew up in Kentucky. I have worked for electric co-ops for more than 20 years, most recently as president and chief executive officer for Fleming-Mason Energy Co-op in Flemingsburg.

I’ve seen a lot of changes in Kentucky and with electric co-ops. I plan to use this column to highlight some of those changes and what they will mean to our state, our communities, and to our electric service.

Among those changes are the basic ones of how you receive information from your co-op—from the traditional Kentucky Living print magazine to newer media online at, and by participating through Kentucky Living’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Even bigger and more profound issues surround the energy picture in our state and nation.

The electric co-op mission of bringing you reliable and affordable electricity involves complicated issues from engineering to politics and public policy. For the past year Kentucky Living has covered the developing national environmental rules, and asked you to comment by going online to Action

You responded magnificently, with co-op members all across the country sending in more than a million comments to the Environmental Protection Agency, on its proposed rules to place serious restrictions on coal-fired power plants.

You can read more about those comments and the next steps on page 8. And read about what those rules will mean for co-ops, and ideas for a better way to approach environmental regulation, in The Future of Electricity column on page 10.

Thank you for this opportunity to be a part of celebrating the energy of our communities.

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