Kentucky Energy Quick Facts – Updated May 18, 2017: In 2016, Kentucky dropped from the third-largest to the fifth-largest coal producer among the states, as coal-fired electricity generating plants that had been customers of Kentucky mines were retired.
- Although 83% of Kentucky’s net electricity generation in 2016 was coal-fired, a record 10% was natural gas-fired; the previous record share of natural gas-fired generation was 7% in 2015.
- In 2016, half of all new hydroelectricity generating capacity brought into service in the United States was located in Kentucky, and hydropower supplied 88% of Kentucky’s renewable electricity generation.
- Kentucky had two oil refineries with a combined processing capacity in 2016 of about 278,500 barrels per calendar day.
- A Kentucky electric cooperative is selling customers shares in an 8.5-megawatt community solar project that will credit their bills as though solar panels were on their home rooftops.
U.S. Senators are either in Class I, II or Class III. Kentucky Senators are in Class II or III. Today, Senator Paul is in Class III and Senator McConnell is Class II. There have only been five Senators who have been elected to both classes. They are: Henry Clay, John J, Crittenden, Thomas C. McCreery, Joseph Blackburn and Alben W. Barkley.
The stone mason and the brick mason who helped build Kentucky’s first Governor’s Mansion would both go on to reside in the home. The stone mason, Thomas “Stonehammer” Metcalf was our 10th Governor from 1828-32. The brick mason Robert P. Letcher was our 15th Governor from 1840-44. Both worked side by side to complete the home in 1798 for the 2nd Governor, James Garrard, to move in.
According to the Kentucky Division of Forestry which is restricted to native species, the tallest tree in Kentucky is the Eastern Cottonwood. This tree is located in McCracken County, stands 165 feet with a circumference of 246 inches.*
There have been 67 different men who have represented Kentucky in the U.S. Senate. All have been Caucasian. 37 were born in Kentucky, 22 in Virginia and one each from the following states: AL (McConnell), NC, NY, PA, RI, TX (Paul) and WVA. Senator James B. Beck was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.*
There are ten state forests the Kentucky Division of Forestry owns and manages totaling 47,677 acres. Kentucky is blessed with one of the most diverse hardwood species mix in the nation (second only to Florida). The Commonwealth is comprised of 25.426 million acres, 48% is forest land. The Red Maple is the most common individual tree species accounting for 12.2% of all trees. The tallest champion tree in the state is a Yellow-Poplar located in McCreary County measuring 163 feet tall. The smallest champion is a Mountain Maple with a circumference of four inches and is located at Cascade Caverns State Nature Preserves in Carter County. Forest industries employ more than 51,000 Kentuckians and contribute nearly $12.8 billion of revenue to the state’s economy.
Henry Clay’s Ashland estate and Woodland Park made up the first campus for the A&M College or State College, now known as the University of Kentucky. In 1866, John Bryan Bowman, the driving force behind the new college bought both estates totaling 433 acres for $130,000. The Ashland mansion housed the administration building and a cottage that still stands beside Ashland was an early dormitory. The Woodlands mansion housed the agricultural classrooms and the Engineering classrooms and labs stood at what is now the corner of Fincastle and Sycamore roads (pictured). In 1882, Lexington donated its Maxwell Springs Fairgrounds land as a new campus where UK has been ever since.
Kentucky has had 8 different capitol buildings.
(1) 1792 – a small log house located in Lexington. (2) 1793 – temporary, large frame house in lower Frankfort, the capitol will remain in Frankfort. (3) 1794 -first permanent 3 story stone building, burned in 1813. (4) 1814 – temporary quarters used for state offices. (5) 1816 – 2nd permanent building, two story brick structure burned in 1824. (6) 1825 – temporary church building rented for governmental quarters. (7) 1829 – third permanent building still standing, abandoned for current capitol. (8) 1910 – current capitol.
The top-selling car/truck in the U.S., the Ford F-Series pickup, is manufactured in Louisville, Kentucky. The top-selling car in the U.S., the Toyota Camry, is manufactured in Georgetown, Kentucky. The Kentucky-produced Chevrolet Corvette is the top-selling premium sports car in the U.S.*
400 West Market is Kentucky’s tallest building, a skyscraper in downtown Louisville. The 35-story, 549-foot high structure is constructed of reinforced concrete, as opposed to the steel construction usual for buildings of its height. It was completed in 1993 at the cost of $100 million. A distinctive feature of the building is the 80-foot high Romanesque dome which reflects the building’s original name of Capital Holding that is illuminated from the interior at night. The lighting is changed from the usual white to a combination of red and green from Thanksgiving Day until New Year’s Day. Formerly AEGON Center; formerly Capital Holding Tower; formerly Providian Center.*
Native Kentuckians who have guarded the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Lloyd Cosby (Lancaster), Sterling Howard (Clearwater), Alvin Gross (Jackson), Dan Druen (Shelbyville) and Max Gideon (Danville). – William Kizziar (Central City), Mark Farrar (Campbellsville) and Robert Neidlinger (Bowling Green) have also guarded the Tomb and currently live in Kentucky.*
The Old Governor’s Mansion, also known as Lieutenant Governor’s Mansion, is located at 420 High Street, Frankfort, Kentucky. It is reputed to be the oldest official executive residence officially still in use in the United States, it is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.
There have been four U.S. Vice Presidents from Kentucky more than any other state except NY. 1) Richard M. Johnson, the only V.P. ever elected by the U.S. Senate under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment. 2) John C. Breckinridge, the youngest V.P. sworn in at 36 years young. 3) Adlai Ewing Stevenson from Christian County and 4) Alben W. Barkley, the oldest to hold the V.P. office at 71.*
Southern Kentucky’s barren grasslands, laurels that grow along the Laurel River, medicinal springs where many visitors took a therapeutic bath, Jessamine Creek (pictured), Cumberland River, Ohio River, and the Rockcastle River are the seven Kentucky Counties that are named for their natural habitat.
The year Kentucky became a state, punishment for every felony expect one was death by hanging. The one felony not punishable by death was attempted rape of a white woman by a black man. The penalty for that was castration. Men who committed such crimes as arson, forgery, horse stealing and sodomy were strung up to trees. Minor offenses were punished by physical mutilation-burning of the hand, whipping, or placement in pillories or stocks.
Kentucky also has more counties (120) than any other state/commonwealth in the Union.
The highest elevation points in KY are along the Virginia border: 1. Harlan 4,139’ 2. Letcher 3,720’ both on Black Mountain, 3. Bell 3,400′ on the Cumberland Mountain and 4. Pike County 3,149’ Pine Mountain. The lowest point in KY is Kentucky Bend aka New Madrid Bend at 257’ above sea level. Shown on the KY map as the western most yellow marking surrounded by the Mississippi River, TN and MO.
Kentucky is the only state to have the last two letters of its name as its postal abbreviation (KY).
Forty-one formal duels were fought by Kentuckians, the first occurring in 1790 and the last in 1876, according to J. Winston Coleman Jr. Sixteen died in these duels and no one was successfully prosecuted over these deaths. In an effort to end dueling, the 1850 Kentucky Constitution mandated that all members of the KY General Assembly, Governor included, and all members of the KY Bar, must take the following oath:
I do solemnly affirm that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my ability, the office of …. according to law; and I do further solemnly affirm that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, nor aided or assisted any person thus offending, so help me God. Ref:21
Kentucky is the only U.S. state to have a continuous border of rivers running along three of its sides—the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and the Big Sandy River and Tug Fork to the east.
My Old Kentucky Home’s relationship to the number 13: The walls are 13’ thick, the ceilings 13’ tall, the front of house has 13 windows, each floor is separated by 13 steps. Originally the home had 13 rooms with each landing having 13 railings. The home has 13 earthquake protection bars and there are 13 mantels. John Rowan the builder and U.S. Senator from Kentucky was believed to have an affinity for the number and considered it good luck.
The official fish is the Kentucky Spotted Bass. The official butterfly is the Viceroy Butterfly. The official state Wild Animal Game Species is the Gray Squirrel. The official State Horse is the Thoroughbred. Kentucky’s official state dance is clogging, the official state musical instrument is the Appalachian dulcimer and the official state mineral is coal.
The Kentucky River is nearly 255 miles long, begins from the confluence of the North and South Forks at Beattyville on a generally northwesterly course to the Ohio River in Carrollton, Kentucky and drops 226 feet during its journey. The river flows through 4 regions: Eastern Coal Fields, the Knobs, the Inner and Outer Bluegrass.
McCreary County was the last county created in Kentucky and the only one created in the 20th century.
Marshall County, Kentucky is the only county in Kentucky to be named for a United States Supreme Court Chief Justice. Marshall County was the 92nd county and created on Kentucky’s 50th Birthday. John Marshall, the 4th Chief Justice, was appointed by President John Adams and held office from 1801-35. Chief Justice Marshall had no direct relation to Kentucky other than to have relatives who lived in the Commonwealth including a first cousin, nephew and his father.
The first nine counties formed in Kentucky were formed by the state of Virginia. The first county formed by Kentucky was Washington County, the 10th county created. It was created soon after Kentucky was accepted into the Union in 1792.
Counties in nine states have been named in the honor of Kentucky’s first and fifth Governor, Isaac Shelby.
The Kentucky Colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky. The title Kentucky Colonel dates back to around 1813 when the Kentucky Militia disbanded after the War of 1812 and Gov. Shelby commissioned Charles S. Todd, one of his officers in the war, as an Aide-de-Camp on the governor’s staff. Todd’s official rank and grade was Colonel. The position took on a more ceremonial function in the late 1800’s as symbolic guards at state events. May of 1931, the first meeting of what would eventually become the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels was held in Frankfort. Today the Kentucky Colonels are Kentucky Ambassadors supporting needy Kentucky charities and worthy Kentucky organizations.
Poultry and eggs are the #1 agricultural commodity and #1 food commodity in Kentucky. The average poultry farm is owned by a family farmer and consists of less than five poultry houses. Kentucky poultry and eggs are a $1.2 billion industry creating over 20k jobs for Kentucky.
Number of Kentucky Electoral College Votes Since Statehood:
1782-1800 – 4 Votes
1804-1808 – 8 Votes
1812-1820 – 12 Votes
1824-1828 – 14 Votes
1832-1840 – 15 Votes
1844-1860 – 12 Votes
1864-1868 – 11 Votes
1872-1880 – 12 Votes
1884-1928 – 13 Votes
1932-1948 – 11 Votes
1952-1960 – 10 Votes
1964-1988 – 9 Votes
1992-2020 – 8 Votes